Netflixable? Filipino drama “Finding Agnes” is mopey and soapy

Having trouble sleeping?

Here’s a maudlin Filipino melodrama set mostly in Morocco that has scenery and very little else going for it save for the promise of a nap it prompts.

Flat performances, feeble attempts at humor, heartless grabs at sentiment, “Finding Agnes” is a terrible representative of an industry that produces poignant dramas and spectacular action pics — many of them for Netflix.

This is the dullest film Netflix has ever made in the Philippines.

It’s about a wealthy businessman (Jelson Bay) who flies to Marrakech to fulfill his mother’s dying wish. Virgilio, who renamed himself “Brix,” is as emotional as he is interesting — as in, not at all.

His mother ditched him as a child, twisting up his Rubik’s cube and assuring him (in Tagalog, with English subtitles) that “I will come right back when you’ve solved this.”

She didn’t. Over 25 years later she shows up, meets him, but he can’t set aside much time for her. And then she promptly dies of a stroke.

At the B & B Mom ran in Marrakech, there’s a young woman named Cathy (Sue Ramirez) who shares Brix’s last name now in charge of the place. Brix takes his sweet time asking her the Big Question. Everything in this movie takes its sweet time about everything.

Cathy and Brix have to undertake a get-to-know-each-other quest to carry out Mom’s final wishes, and as they do, they’ll get an idea of why Mom came here and what she did in the intervening 25 years.

Every single thing about this, every scene, has the pace of pandesol (Filipino bread) batter slowly dripping out of the mixing bowl.

Mom’s activities have a bland, predictable righteousness. Brix’s reactions to each revelation and meeting each person who knew his mother are stunningly unemotional and insipidly scripted.

“Too bad she had a heart attack,” he quips.

Too bad all around.

MPA Rating: TV-PG

Cast: Jelson Bay, Sue Ramirez, Sandy Andolong

Credits: Directed by Marla Ancheta A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:46

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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