Casket for Hire (2007)
1h 34min · Drama · 7 November 2007
Ataul for Rent is a narrative social satire movie depicting the lives of the slum dwellers of "Kalyehong Walang Lagusan", a very narrow, congested, miserable alley/compound in a typical squatter's area. The story revolves around the lives of a live-in couple who owns a small-time funeral parlor renting out coffins of four different sizes, small, medium, large and extra small. Guido, the owner, doubles as the embalmer, while his partner, Pining, does the make-up and uses the same implements for both the dead and the living and is the jueteng kubrador of the neighborhood. Gossipers, gamblers, drunkards, drug addicts, ex-convicts, prostitutes, snatchers and other notorious characters regularly hang out in the funeral wake/s of the alley either drinking alcohol, in the gaming table, or just gossiping around. These personalities, having been born and growing up in this kind of environment, see themselves as having the right to abuse their own bodies and cause untold miseries to others. These same people do not believe in God but eventually will call on Him in the midst of their deathbeds. The story progresses with rental use of three coffins because of the deaths, one after the other, of Tale, the shabu-user mother of a drunkard son who loves her so much; Moises, a professional thief who was killed/salvaged by the police and was a husband to a nagging wife with three kids; and Andoy, an addict whose brother Danny is a call boy con snatcher and whose gambling laundry woman mother Aling Carmen became insane after Andoy was killed by a drug lord and gang leader. The narrative is told through the eyes of the neighborhood hobo, Batul, whose pure heart and innocence witnesses all the daily drama, miseries and evil deeds unfolding within the alley. The compound became a haven for scums and other no-good doers and has become a threat to the community and its authorities. Eventually, all houses were demolished in a violent manner that ends the aberrant activities and injustices of the people towards other people, and on the same site, a new church will be constructed...and a new hope.
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