Monday, February 24, 2014

Starting Over Again


I've been into watching Tagalog movies of late. It all started with On the Job, which I watched because it was highly publicized and got some good reviews from esteemed film critics (whose opinion about the movie I don't quite share, just saying). And then there's Bride-For-Rent . I am not a KimXi fan but since my new supervisor loves Kim and Xian and I wanted us to have something to talk about other than work, I did go and watched it. (Happy that I did, picked up some great advice about marriage from the side stories of couples that they interjected into the movie). And then, there's Starting Over Again. This one, I really wanted to see, and I'm glad I did.

From rappler.com :
In Starting Over Again, former lovers Ginny (Tony Gonzaga) and Marco (Piolo Pascual) have long gone their separate ways, but the circumstances of their breakup have left both of them with unanswered questions.

When Ginny receives a postdated letter from Marco, she sees it as a second chance to rekindle what she had lost with her former boyfriend. And when a business venture brings the two together, Ginny takes every opportunity to win Marco back, even if it means stepping in between him and Patty (Iza Calzado), his current girlfriend.

Unlike most mainstream love stories, the details of Ginny and Marco’s break-up are mostly kept secret. But as the film cautiously moves forward, their past is slowly unraveled. We move backwards and forwards through their relationship and soon discover that even the most endearing of love stories can be riddled with flaws.
The movie is not without its flaws. I found Toni's soft-toned unblemished face too distracting. Thank God Piolo's pores were visible on screen. That could have been more bothersome! I love Toni's antics, all the when-things-can-go-wrong-it-will-go-wrong moments. Her crying, though, was too theatrical, for me, it was anything but au naturel in contrast to Piolo's eyes brimmed with tears. It was a bit distracting seeing Bryan Santos fiddling his phone through most of his scenes. Was he even in character or he was just being himself? Beauty Gonzales did justice to being the Bisaya roommate/ friend. But you could tell that she was super-conscious during her "Ang Hope parang drugs yan, nakaka-addict" scene. I didn't like idea of the OFW mom leaving her family and starting a new life abroad. Personal preference, just don't like it. With a construction project like that, I can't believe there were only a handful of people at work, but then of course that's one detail you can let pass (for budget considerations, perhaps?).

There were lots of things that I love about the movie. I love Iza's character Patty. She makes a believable Ilongga, or at least the epitomized version - composed, slow to anger, maasikaso and all. There's background music in almost all of the scenes, it served the purpose of putting on a lively vibe into the scenes. So I guess it helped to induce the emotions that it needed to elicit from the audience. I love the wackiness of the story, the metaphors, the special participation of several characters towards the end of the movie and the last scene, the perfect! 

I have to say that the movie has mass appeal. What makes it click is you can easily see yourself into one or many of the situations in the story. [SPOILER ALERT] A girl, finding herself falling deeply in love with someone she admires. And then, the guy slips into mediocrity, content and without any desire to pursue his dreams. It's disheartening and frustrating, especially when the girl sees that the guy is actually okay with it because he knows that he's got someone who loves him no matter what.  And couldn't so much as broach the topic without hurting the guy's ego, she leaves without telling him the real reason why. And that breaks his heart. And then, she returns and she sees that he's a changed man, and she realizes that she still has feelings for him and wants to pursue him again. Which brings to mind a quote in another Tagalog movie starring John Lloyd and Bea. When John Lloyd said, "She loved me at my worst, you had me at my best."

I appreciate the fact that the movie didn't have to end the way Tagalog movies always do - for the couple to get back together. Because in reality, you don't always end up with your ex without having to cause havoc in the lives of others. I appreciate that they chose to take that path. Because love does not always have to be spectacular. It may not be exciting. But it could be certain. And secure. The kind of love that you would like to nurture and see through eternity.

I look forward to seeing more Tagalog movies this year. I hope they keep it interesting so more and more people would want to go and watch it in the cinemas rather than somewhere else!

Tangkilikin nating and sariling atin!

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