LFF 2015 – Ruined Heart

Filmgoers hung up on plot-driven narratives might want to skip punk filmmaker Khavn De La Cruz’s crime movie. Set in the back alleys of Manila, Ruined Heart features a familiar array of movie archetypes. Criminal, Godfather, Best Friend, Whore. Khavn introduces them by having the actors walk towards the screen one by one and giving them their label. Tadanobu Asano is the criminal whose relationship with a sex worker (Nathalie Acevedo) brings him into conflict with a local gangster. The cliched elements of the story are acknowledged in the film’s subtitle (Another Love Story Between a Criminal and a Whore). We learn nothing more about them. Khavn tells this story through images and music and his title song ‘Ruined Heart’ performed by Bing Austria becomes a refrain throughout the film. Assisted by legendary director-of-photography Chris Doyle Ruined Heart is a colourful, chaotic, and ultimately sublime sensory experience.

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