Such is the case with Emmanuel Borlaza in the film Kasalanan Ba? (Regal Films, Inc.). A Borlaza film made before that sentimental fiasco gives fairer evidence of this director's use of irony. Kasalanan Ba? takes the modern Filipina for its theme and with painful honesty analyzes the various faces of love. The ironic temper of Kasalanan Ba? refuses to prettify the social conflict at the center of the plot. It also refrains from simplifying the consequences of Elvie's (Rio Locsin) indiscretions. At the conclusion, the human complications raised by her affair with Benjie (Alfie Anido) are not tidied up by her reconciliation with Anthony (Mark Gil). The final scene is in fact but an insight, bitter and anguished into the frailty of the flesh that breaks up people's lives. No other Filipino director delivers a cumulative impact than Borlaza at his best. While he may lack Brocka's lyricism and Bernal's narrative facility, Borlaza comprehends a wide range of contemporary Filipino experience which he interprets with a vision that can equal the other two directors in intensity. Borlaza never allows the improbabilities of his script to overwhelm his sense of irony. In Kasalanan Ba?, he steers the plot in such a way that coincidences in the encounters of the principal characters falls into a pattern that comments in the intertwining tragedies of people trapped in a society corroded by lust and money. Characterization is logical and so skillfully turned that the principal figures come off as rounded characters without necessarily complicating the plot. What makes Kasalanan Ba? auspicious, is the assurance that its director, who has frittered his talent away on one mundane melodrama after another, is capable of better work than he has hitherto demonstrated.
An Emmanuel H. Borlaza Film
Screenplay: Toto Belano
Cinematography: Eduardo Jacinto
Music: Tito Sotto
Film Editor: Rogelio Salvador
Produced By: Regal Films, Inc.
Release Date: October 23, 1980
Kasalanan Ba? theme song performed by Eva Eugenio