TOKYO - Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young describes Filipino filmmaker Khavn's "Ruined Heart: Another Love Story Between a Criminal & a Whore" as a "wordless digital poem [that] captures the mood of Manila's mean streets."
Young acknowledges that "Ruined Heart" is a "controversial choice" for the main competition section of the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival but cites "its own raison d'être." She notes how it "surges forward on waves of world music."
Dubbed "antinarrative, anti-everything" by Filipino actor Vim Nadera, Khavn collaborated with an international cast and crew for this entry.
Young points out: "It would be a challenge to dredge [out] meaning, much less a message [but it is] charged with electricity by Australian [director of photography] Christopher Doyle."
Summing it up, Young says, "Sex and violence aren't really what this very physical film is about; it comes closer to a joyful, wild and dizzying engagement with fleeting life."
It's clear that "Ruined Heart" can be polarizing and perplexing but, as Doyle teased the gala-night audience on Friday, "If you don't like it, f*** you very much."