Christmas is my FAVORITE movie season, simply because I'm a sucker for Tagalog movies. This year, I was excited to watch a couple of movies - not because of the main actors but because of the directors and or writers. I admit, I have Beauty and the Bestie on my list because I'm a fan of #JaDine.
Let me say this first. I didn't know who Dan Villegas was until last year's MMFF - when my mom, her trusty helper and my yayas told me that the movie English Only, Please was very good. They told me over and over again that it was really good. I only took notice when Jennylyn Mercado won Best Actress and the movie won Best Director and Best Screenplay. I had to google them.
Then a few months later, I saw That Thing Called Tadhana because most of the feeds on my social media accounts were sharing the movie poster and #Hugot lines. I got curious, so I watched it and fell in love with the movie. It has been a long long loooong time since I last saw a *very good* Tagalog movie. I have since researched the director and writer. Turns out - it was Tonette Jadone.
Fast forward the last quarter of the year. I was curious again, because my friend Alch and my mom wouldn't stop raving about this teleserye called *On The Wings of Love*. You've read how much I looove that teleserye. During the opening scene (the Pilot) I couldn't help but think at the back of my mind - the similarity of the digital cartoon - and then boom! I saw her name - Tonette Jadaone. I was so looking forward to watching the episodes. I think I was able to marathon the 3 months worth of episodes in 10 days. I was in love with the show and the team up, but most of all - I was in love with the director.
I'm crazy like that. Think of it like my love affair with JJ Abrams. I have loved him since Felicity! He was the main reason why I adored Jennifer Garner in Alias. And then came Lost - where everyone felt the show was losing as the years progressed. But I sincerely believe in JJ Abrams' talent so I held on - and I was proven right because the series finale of Lost is one of the best ones. I've followed JJ Abrams then till now - he's the director of the current Star Wars film. Galing diba? And I can't help but find it really nice - that he has his staple of actors like Greg Gunberg.
Similarly - I feel that with Dan Villegas and Tonette Jadaone. I've been following them ever since. I like that they've stuck to certain actors. Brilliant actors at that - most are unknown to me, but believe me when I say - these actors - they deliver, and I mean DELIVER. It's wonderful, honestly - to see talent, real talent with the actors they've chosen. I always give kudos to the casting directors, scriptwriters, editors and directors - they're the ones who run the show because the actors merely interpret their visions and ideas.
With #WalangForever - 1honestly doubted the talent of Jennylyn Mercado for the sole reason that I'm a certified Kapamilya. I have this certain lack of confidence with Kapuso talents - sorry, but I really feel that when a Kapuso turns Kapamilya - their skill is developed more thus their acting becoming a natural talent. But what do I know? This is just my observation. Hahaha! But last year, when Jennylyn Mercado won Best Actress in MMFF, plus my mom, her helpers and my yayas told me that English Only, Please was a good movie - I was still a bit skeptical.
Watching #WalangForever marks my FIRST ever time to see Jennylyn Mercado on the big screen, and what can I say about her? She's not half bad. Well, okay - she's great. But please consider the fact that she's acting side by side with Jericho Rosales (who I ultimately LOOOVE, yes - he will always be the original Angelo Buenaventura for me!!) who is a very experienced actor. I read somewhere that these two have *never* met and that #WalangForever is their first ever project together. But when you see them on screen - they're so at ease with one another, I didn't feel any awkwardness - it was as if they were very familiar with one another. Very surprising, very very surprising.
So during the first few minutes of the movie - I was schooled on the talent of Jennylyn Mercado. She's actually very good. I didn't feel the *inis* that I thought I would (since I'm a certified Kapamilya* and instead - I fell in like with her beauty and her talent.
I found the pacing of the movie perfect, it didn't push too much information for me to absorb instantly and instead it was very good in throwing information here and there for viewers to absorb. I loved how Direk Dan played the *movie* version (scene) first before showing the actual event that inspired those scenes. It reminded me of a Korean movie, the title of which escapes my mind now. And I liked it. It made me laugh so hard too. Made me appreciate the thinking it made me do.
We all know that love songs have this certain #Hugot whenever we are in pain. I've also heard and read that when people are in pain - they write the best songs, poems, stories, novels and books. I personally can attest to this because during my major break-up, my heart felt ALL the words of love songs I heard! It was as if they songs were reading my mind and what I was feeling. Yes, ganun ka tindi. But when you're happy - well, they don't hold much meaning.
With #WalangForever - the story is simple, very simple to be honest but what made it shine was the storytelling it did. The magic of movies, as they say - but how it was told, directed, edited - everything was polished and perfected (in my opinion) - we were given the right amount of highs and lows in different scenes in the movie. The progression was perfect too! They didn't give much information, certain details were there - but it was fed to us slowly but surely until the climax at the end. I was honestly wanting more - more Maya & Et Et scenes - but they gave just the right amount to keep you wanting more. And by the time you wanted more - BOOM - they suddenly leave firecrackers to revitalize your interest once again. It's like you're in the ocean - they're on a boat they throw you a rope and you hold on to it, slowing pulling yourself in. They tug it once in a while to help you, but in the end - they pull you in very hard so that you get to the boat faster. That is how I felt with the movie (sorry, nagets niyo ba? Haha!!) We were all pulled in at the right moment.
The acting was impeccable. Jennylyn and Jericho - wow, can I just say wow? I haven't seen Jericho act in a long loooong while and I must say, he's still very effective. He has this certain aura - I love it when he smiles, it's very charming and inviting. As with Jennylyn, I found her prettier and prettier as the minutes went by - she's very pretty. And her acting is very good too! I did not see any awkward moment! Even during their supposed *bed* scene - it was so nice to watch. I usually cringe whenever I see a bed scene because it's almost always awkwardly done - but this one is very natural and teasing. Yes, it teases the mind - makes you think of the rest, which is very good when you think about it! Hahaha.. I love their kissing scenes, very natural and very Pinoy.
The secondary cast. I LOVE THEM ALL! They all worked so well together, I must say, it's as if they've been acting for more than 20years! They show off emotions very naturally, hindi pilit! The lines are said with perfect timing. In my opinion - there was no one who was OA, they expressions and the acting - was perfect for the scenes - sakto lang, hindi OA. I have to give kudos to whoever discovered them - wonderful talent talaga, ang galing!
Editing was very good too. The transition between scenes were all seamless (in my humble opinion). The color, the set design, the location - it was very nice. Perfect for the movie talaga. The lines, the script - very well written. Well, that's how I like it. Hahaha! I feel that I'm their target audience. I love too that the movie is another trademark of Direk Tonette's #Hugot movie. Made me tear up and cry almost at the same time as That Thing Called Tadhana. Hahaha!! :)
I don't want to give away too much. But let me say this - the movie will make you think and feel the love you have or once had. The love that got away, the love that you currently have, and the love that you wish you had. Love does make the world go round, and with #WalangForever - I feel that it will tickle an emotion deep inside you. Hey, we all deserve to be loved right? And this movie did just that for me.
Masarap magmahal, pero masakit ring magmahal.
P.S. I was super entertained when I saw Quark Henares. I love this trend of Pinoy movies. Sana tuloy tuloy pa ito. Mabuhay kayo Direk Dan Villegas and Direk Tonette Jadaone!! I'm a HUGE HUGE fan!