The Metro Manila Film Festival is officially over and while My Bebe Love and Beauty and Bestie are somehow still fighting as to which movie is the real top grosser based on official figures, there are two movies that have gotten fairly positive reviews.
I only managed to watch three of the official entries: #WalangForever, Honor Thy Father and My Bebe Love.
The first movie of the AlDub pairing was surprisingly funny. I wasn’t expecting much from the movie because I am simply not a fan of Vic Sotto’s and AiAi delas Alas’ humor. But there were scenes when I even laughed first than mama.
As an audience, my first (and maybe only) expectation in a movie is that it entertains me. See, my standards aren’t really that high. Just don’t treat me like I’m stupid and we’re okay.
Directed by Dan Villegas, FCS
Starring Jennylyn Mercado, Jericho Rosales
As an aspiring writer, I loved how the film portrayed the inspirations artists use in their works.
Coming from English Only, Please, which was a surprise hit during the MMFF the previous year, I was really looking forward to this film.
It is still your typical romantic-comedy film, but what I appreciated from the film was the first half was not filled with cliches and cheesy lines.
Now, the second half was another thing. It suddenly became dragging and over the top dramatic like the writers couldn’t figure out how to really end this. I think they wanted to present a rom-com with a happy ending but still with a hint of reality. I get that, but with the way they built up the supposed ending, I figured out what the last scene would be minutes before the film ended.
The story begs for something more, though. Andyan na e, kinapos lang.
I am now a certified fan of Jennylyn Mercado. I am no film expert but I couldn’t help but fall in love with her character and would understand why she won Best Actress. I bet it is hard to make people laugh and cry in the same movie. Her acting just seemed non-acting at all, and that’s great, at least for me.
And why isn’t Jericho Rosales doing more films? That man is an actor. And to those people who questioned his winning the Best Actor award against John Lloyd Cruz, I’m sorry but I have to agree with the judges. Despite the meh story, I loved Jericho’s acting throughout the movie. He made me love, hate and pity him.
Honor Thy Father
Directed by Erik Matti
Starring John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano
Now I understand why people loved the film. A gritty take on selfishness, deception and sacrifice. The film was really a welcome surprise to the festival.
I also loved Meryll Soriano. She deserved an award for Best Actress. I don’t even know why she was just considered a supporting character. I mean, come on, there wouldn’t be a story without her character really. Her breakdown scene in the first part of the film was really outstanding.
Okay, on to the part that may anger some friends: I now get why #WalangForever won Best Original Story and Best Screenplay. Something’s amiss with the narrative of this film. It failed to connect. Yes, it is dark, but somewhere in the middle of the film, I forgot why the film had to go the direction it went. There was a point when I was actually bored. It could’ve used a few more minutes trimmed from its run time.
Also, John Lloyd Cruz, while still a very capable actor in the film, just didn’t make an impact.
The robbery scene looked hilarious. And toward the end of the film, it seemed like he lost all the hatred and anger he harbored during the start of the film.