Superstar
Nora Aunor Fan Site
Review: Nora Mahal Kita

Isagani Cruz The Philippines Herald, 1972

Taming a Superstar (A review of ‘Nora Mahal Kita’)

What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistible force?

The immovable object is Nora Aunor. Easily the biggest of past and present
superstars. Nora is nevertheless still a promising actress with a very good voice. She has
had the misfortune of being in films with no meaning, no art, no subtlety, no relevance, or
a combination of the above. There is even a joke going around that the easiest way to earn
a million is to put Nora in front of a camera, pin a white sheet or a calendar on the wall
behind her, and make her sing for five minutes. The joke is rather unfair, but it brings out
correctly the fact that Nora’s films have been characterized by a lack of imagination, logic,
and meaning.

The irresistible force is LEA Productions. This particular company has an enviable
record of award-winning films, films which have earned the praise not only of the
moneymakers, but also of academicians and reviewers. In particular, LEA Productions
excels in acting and directing, what with Hilda Koronel and Lino Brocka leading the way.

Immovable object meets irresistible force in O.R. Nadres’ “Nora, Mahal Kita.” The
result of the confrontation is tragic.

Nora does something really commendable in the film: she sings Pilipino songs. But
whatever significance this development has is attenuated by the role that Nora plays. Nora
plays a poor barrio girl who turns out to be a rich woman’s granddaughter. Nadres, who
wrote the story, thus neutralizes the relevance of Nora’s shift to the vernacular. Nadres
seems to be saying that it is good to sing local songs, but only during idyllic retreats. In
reality, one should try to be rich.

LEA Productions loses much of its reputation with this potboiler. The usual good
points of a LEA picture are all missing. The cinematography is very bad (the overuse of
the zoom lens is unforgivable), the screenplay is confused (the dream sequence are
meaningless), the plot is contrived, the acting (except for the stage actors and actresses) is
unbearable, the dialogue is inconsistent, the editing is particularly faulty.

When an immovable object meets an irresistible force, something is bound to give. In
“Nora, Mahal Kita” what gives is the audience’s faith in the future of Philippine cinema.