“Colma: The Musical”
“Colma: The Musical” is just pure entertainment. I laughed and I cried and I loved this movie.
Music is the key element here—it is simple and even a bit campy but it is perfect for this film. Now don’t be fooled—this is no big Hollywood spectacular, it is a well-produced brilliant indie. It is unlike any musical you have ever seen. It manages to have that tinge of alternative edge and the characters are both free and trapped at the same time.
Colma is a suburb of San Francisco where there are more dead people than live ones—it is known for its grave sites. Colma is also the basis and foundation of Richard Wong’s movie which s written by H.M. Mendoza who also wrote the songs and stars.
The movie focuses on three characters—three friends trying to decide what life after high school really is. Billy is torn between his dead end job that he really needs and his “aspiring acting career” as well as exploring possibilities with girls whose manes he can never remember. (He also has a problem with his ex that he can’t live with and can’t live without). Rodel is a poet trying to find peace after having broken up with his boyfriend and a very serious problem in the relationship with his father. He writes his thoughts on scraps of paper and all that he has are his friends. Maribel is the one of the three friends that is somewhat level but what holds her together are her friends. She is just interested I living out her young days by partying, drinking and having sex. What she wants is to be herself.
Just as happens in life, the three have to face reality and when it does it challenges the staying power of their friendship. Unlike real life, reality raises its head when they sing and sometimes in the most unlikely of places and with the most unlikely of people.
The art of film is to mirror back to us those things in life which we may not be able to see because we are too busy. What “Colma” does is represent both everything and nothing in our past which is comfortable and secure and what once, at some point made us happy. All of us have been in states of Colma in which we don’t know what is real and what is not and we can’t seem to let go of that state. We are the only ones that can choose whether to stay in Coma or come out and enter the unknown ahead of us.
Here is one of those films that we can just enjoy and what a pleasure that is. However, it is possible to take the movie a level deeper and find out whether or not we have reached that point in which we decide to move on or just stay back and live in a world that is not real.