I’ve refrained from writing movie reviews for a while, but after watching Urduja, I felt compelled to write this. Urduja was…disappointing. It epitomizes everything that I hate about Filipino cinema, all of the overacting and the bad jokes and actors who think they can sing. The story is simple enough and easy to understand, but the dialogue sent shivers down my spine, or caused uproarious laughter at all the wrong times. The jumping to and fro between mangled english and tagalog also annoyed the hell out of me. I can safely say that Urduja is one of the worst movies I’ve watched in a long time.
However, the animation itself is not bad. I’ve been studying animation and composition in movies lately, and it was nice to see that these guys know their stuff, apart from the random slow mo effect or levitation. Some of the animation sequences were very fluid, especially those involving the snake and the pirate chase scene. The character design needed some help though; you know you’re in trouble when you don’t find the animal characters cute.
Unfortunately the sound design also lets the movie down. You know how in those chinovelas and koreanovelas where the dubbing of the voices overpowers the background music? That’s how it sounded. Hell, the movie could have done with better direction, and the truth is if they had a bigger budget and more time, I’m sure this would have been a much better film.
But it’s not.
I do encourage you all to see it though. I really hope it makes money, because that’s the only way these folks can get another project and make it better. I’d encourage everyone to see it, and look at it critically. Don’t praise it just because it’s Filipino, just because everyone worked so hard to make it. No animated film is ever created with out the sweat and tears of hundreds of animators. If other animated films don’t get a free pass, neither should Urduja, because if we never hold it up to the standards of others we’ll wallow in Philippine mediocrity forever.