There are two things the MTRCB’s X-rating could do to Jerrold Tarog’s new film and current locus of debate, Bliss. On the one hand, it could act as a death sentence, effectively depriving a potentially large audience of a well-directed thriller. On the other hand, it could act as a badge of sorts, indicating a film so dark and messed up it forced a freaking governing body to play savior and protect the Filipino moviegoing public from pissing themselves, as they must have during their review.
Sitting in the theater of the UP Film Center, it seems the latter case is most true. The place is packed; the air of the venue is filled with whispers of intrigue, nervous chuckles, and excitement to watch a film that may not see the light of day. The X-rating did the opposite of scaring people off — it could be that the MTRCB really shot themselves in the foot with this one. Simply put: those people wanted to see Bliss. And from the feedback that’s been going around, we know that those people want other people to see this film, too.
I can’t say much without totally giving away the plot — beware now: minor thematic spoilers ahead — but In the interest of supporting local film, I’m going to try to prove why Bliss deserves to be shown, and why people deserve the choice to see it.