‘Bliss’ gets R-18 rating on second review

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Iza Calzado in 'Bliss.'

From being declared unfit for public exhibition to a film that can be seen uncut by audiences 18 years old and above, Jerrold Tarog’s psychological thriller “Bliss” has passed the second review of the Movie and Television Review Classification Board.

Rated X by the MTRCB review committee last week, “Bliss” now has an R-18 rating as deemed by committee members composed of screenwriter Bibeth Orteza, former MTRCB chair Consoliza Laguardia, actress Gladys Reyes, filmmaker Joey Romero and lawyer Jeremiah Jaro.

In his latest post on Instagram, Noel Ferrer, manager of lead star Iza Calzado, declared that with the more acceptable rating, “A BATTLE HAS BEEN WON.”

In explaining the R-18 rating, “The Second Review Committee maintains that what’s in the film—a realistic depiction of aberrant sexual activity, sexually oriented dialogue, profanity, gore—can be seen by adults.”

Producer Eduardo A. Rocha of TBA Studios which produced the film, posted a link of an earlier report by CinemaBravo.com with the quip, “That’s more like it.”

Following the earlier X rating, Iza Calzado made a public appeal to the review board to reconsider.

“Mawalang galang lang po sa MTRCB, nais kong lang pong maliwanagan kung ano yung standards natin ng X na pelikula. Bakit yung ibang mga foreign films na mas grabe pa ang mga eksena puwedeng maipalabas sa atin, at ang ‘Bliss’ hindi puwede? Hindi naman po porn ang pelikula namin. Sana kapag napalabas ang pelikula, tayo ang humusga,” she said.

Last Monday, April 3, the film was screened for free at the UP Cine Adarna where it was hailed by attendees who posted their thumbs up approval on social media.

Ferrer said that now that there are no more obstacles to the film’s scheduled theatrical run on May 10. “The next battle is—gaining more theaters to show the film, and most importantly, bringing the filipino audiences back to the theaters.”

For those who will organize block screenings, Ferrer vowed to bring his talents Iza Calzado and Adrienne Vergara and hopefully other cast members to interact with audiences.

In a Facebook post, Ferrer also said that Tarog was considering the possibility of releasing an R-16 version of the film so it could be seen by more people. SM Cinema, the country’s largest theater chain, does not screen R-18 movies.