- 8 hr 39 min
Heremias (Book One: The Legend of the Lizard Princess) is a Filipino independent film directed by Lav Diaz in 2006. This movie follows the journey of Heremias, a simple man from the countryside, as he tries to find his way back home after being stranded in an unfamiliar town. The plot begins with Heremias traveling from his hometown to Manila to sell his carabao. However, upon reaching his destination, he is robbed by a group of young men who leave him stranded in the middle of nowhere. Heremias then embarks on a long and perilous journey through the city, hoping to find his way back home. Throughout his journey, Heremias encounters various people and situations that challenge his beliefs and test his will to survive. He meets a young woman named Haminah, who claims to be the titular Lizard Princess of the town, and an eccentric painter who tries to convince him to model for his paintings. Moreover, he also encounters a group of prostitutes, drug-dealers, and corrupt policemen who exploit and abuse their power. As he navigates through this strange and dangerous world, Heremias begins to question the nature of reality and the purpose of his existence. He philosophizes about the meaning of life, the role of suffering, and the value of human connection. His encounters with the different characters also highlight the social and political realities of contemporary Philippine society, including poverty, violence, and corruption. The movie's slow pace and deliberate editing style, which is a signature of Diaz's work, allow for a deep exploration of these themes and character development. The cinematography creates a haunting and dreamlike atmosphere, with long shots of empty streets and dilapidated buildings that reflect the solitude and alienation of the protagonist. The performance of Ronnie Lazaro, who plays Heremias, is particularly noteworthy. He delivers a nuanced and introspective portrayal of a man who is struggling to understand his place in the world. His physicality, facial expressions, and body language convey a sense of weariness and resignation that is palpable throughout the movie. Jordan, who plays Haminah, also gives a convincing and nuanced performance. Despite her limited screen time, she manages to convey a sense of mystery and depth that adds another layer to the film's themes of identity and self-discovery. Sid Lucero, who plays a drug dealer, also deserves praise for his portrayal of a complex and morally ambiguous character. His interactions with Heremias reveal the contradictions and complexities of the society that they inhabit. Overall, Heremias (Book One: The Legend of the Lizard Princess) is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that explores themes of identity, existentialism, and social injustice. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Philippine cinema, art-house movies, or philosophical inquiries.