Oro Plata Mata isn’t for the faint of heart. The film shoves its audience into the blood, gore and violence that war entails. It also explores naïve love turning into lust at a time of uncertainty and desperation. It dwells on human nature at its core. The film follows the lives of the two upper class families, the Ojedas and the Lorenzos, who try to flee from the ragging war that lands on their hometown. If one payed attention to the title, it is a foreshadowing of its own. The title,” Oro, Plata, Mata”, roughly translates to “Gold, Silver, Death”, it nods to the Filipino superstition that staircases shouldn’t end in a multiple of three. If it does, then bad luck befalls the people living in it. The film itself, brilliantly layers into three parts. Each part shows the slow deterioration in the lives of the rich families.
In Oro, the audience can catch a glimpse of the pompous life of the Ojedas. They carelessly dance and celebrate one of the character’s birthday, while feasting on a table with abundant food and flowing wine. But it soon ends as they receive news which make them flee to the safety of the Lorenzo’s hacienda, paving the way to the next chapter, Plata. The Ojedas hid in the temporary safety of the Lorenzos, who thought all was well. Their lives weren’t as glamorous, but they still lived in decent conditions. Some of the younger characters may have still been naïve enough to think that their situation is temporary, and they will go back to how they used to live soon. They talk about daring things they would do once the war ends. Their way of thinking contradicts one of the adult characters who believes that their time is getting shorter. The character uses this as an excuse to sexually exploit the innocence of a younger character. But once again, they receive news that make them flee the security and comfort of their mansion. Because the news was abrupt, the families are forced to cramp in a vacation lodge deep within the forest. Mata may have been the longest chapter in the lives of the families. Their lives have been completely turned upside-down. Their former lives have made them weak and impractical. They struggle to survive through hunting trips, and through farming. A sense of hopelessness and desperation finally fell in the hearts of each character. As life grew more complicated and colder, the families bent and withered. Until they were betrayed by one of their own, a series of gory imagery was vehemently shown to prove the consequences of the families’ lifestyle and ignorance.