STAR NA SI VAN DAMME STALLONE
Directed by Randolph Longjas
Starring Candy Pangilinan, Paolo Pinggol, Isaac Aguirre, Acey Aguilar, Erlinda Villalobos
Back in the CineFilipino Film Festival game, director Randolph Longjas gives us the most heartfelt story among all the nine entries. One can easily be sympathetic with its story because of one of its main characters, a person with down syndrome. But the title and trailer are actually deceiving, it is actually more than that, and you get more from what you expect.
Star na Si Van Damme Stallone is actually a mother-son story. First, you can guess as many times why they chose Candy Pangilinan and how she landed the role, because she’s mostly done comedy, right? But her performance is so good, you won’t define her as just a comedy actress anymore. Paolo Pinggol and Jad Dilanco are like all persons with down syndrome are charming and adorable to watch although you can see that they do have a hard time focusing on their act at times but playing their role as persons with down syndrome, their actions are acceptable and actually made it more believable.
The film leads to a heartfelt story, it goes beyond a story of what a person with down syndrome can offer. The love of a mother, while not entirely pure always will always be genuine and expressed and felt. Candy Pangilinan deserved her win as Best Actress along with Angeli Bayani and her character and performance will leave you with a warm heart, admiring the courage of the challenges of having a son with down syndrome.
Directed by Dexter Hemdez and Allan Ibanez
Starring Lotlot De Leon, Darwin Yu, Sachie Yu, Allan Paule
There are a lot of themes that 1st Sem wants to tackle and while they make a point at some, the others were far too long that it never did make sense. The film is quite lovely at times, thanks to Lotlot De Leon’s charm and her ability to make the audience understand both sides of the film: Maru’s and hers. The direction is confusing at times and the film’s length is awkwardly excessive, there are sequences that doesn’t clearly needs to be included in the film.
You get the film’s intention though. Things are different now and separation anxiety isn’t something little for some. It presents its predicament in mostly ridiculous but still decent story lines and its actors made it easier to watch.
STRAIGHT TO THE HEART
Directed by Dave Fabros
Starring Carl Guevarra, Gwen Zamora, Vincent De Jesus, Ricci Chan, Nico Antonio
It might not come as a surprise that Straight to the Heart is the least liked film in this year’s CineFilipino Film Festival. Not only is the main character in the film confused, but also its story. It feels like a series of different ideas put together that it doesn’t want to actually make sense. A lot of the film’s scenes try to gush out the stereotypes of the LGBT people and initially corrects them but still embracing them in the end.
Vincent de Jesus and Ricci Chan may be the only reasons to see the film. They know their character that they want the audience to feel that they know them too or know someone who’s just like them. The story is poorly written and the direction is confusing, Straight to the Heart might be interesting for its trailer but by throwing in awful sequences to create a film from an already ridiculous plot is just not the best way or at least a good way to make one.
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