BARCELONA: A LOVE UNTOLD (2016) Review
Directed by Olivia Lamasan
Young love teams who shoot their films outside of the country is the trend this year, after This Time with JaDine in Japan, Imagine You & Me with AlDub in Italy and now, KathNiel shoots most of their scenes in the beautiful Barcelona in Barcelona: A Love Untold.
A Love Untold, you would think that the story is being told by someone’s experience but it’s actually just a title, Barcelona on the other hand is quite obvious, the place where they filmed the movie. A material for Padilla and Bernardo to showcase their maturity as they portray more sensible roles as Ely and Mia. Director Olivia Lamasan’s 13th film, her 4th being shot outside of the Philippines (Sana Maulit Muli 1995, Milan 2004, In My Life 2009).
The film tells the story of Mia (Kathryn Bernardo) and Ely (Daniel Padilla), two lost souls in a foreign country. Ely, who recently lost the love of his life, travels to Barcelona to finish his studies in architecture and does jobs on the side to provide for his family back in the Philippines while Mia, suspiciously escapes her issues with her family in the Philippines to make something out of herself in Barcelona doing different jobs. The two find comfort in each other when Mia lost her job and doesn’t have anywhere to go meets the heartbroken Ely whom his deceased love Celine resembles a lot to Mia’s face. And their story begins, as they bond for days, weeks, will they surrender to love? Or will they hold back to the issues of their past?
Daniel Padilla is quite impressive here, he comes out from the young and cutesy roles and embraced a mature role while Kathryn Bernardo paints the film with her acting; it struggles from being cutesy to being serious. Star Cinema films mostly does this storyline wherein the main characters have issues with their families and they can’t seem to love wholly because these issues hold them back. So when everything is at its highest especially the drama, the film consciously mends its complications, the family drama and then of course, the love between the two can now happen.
There’s a lot happening in the movie, not just the romance between Ely and Mia. There’s also drama with finding and during work, their families, and within themselves. The beauty of Barcelona can be seen but can’t be felt in the film, while director Olivia Lamasan obviously can handle the dramas and the light scenes of the film, everything we see are just the surface of it all. Most of its characters’ problems are beyond selfish, which you may find ridiculous and then goes back to realizing that they’re wrong. Some of the dramas are laughable because they hardly go deeper to their sentiments.
The magic in Sana Maulit Muli and Milan, the way it breezes its audience the experience of being in America and in Milan isn’t here, but it does duplicate some of the shots and moments from her recent romance filmed outside the country. It’s watchable and the two are both capable of materials that are better than this, but the project itself is to present these actors Bernardo and Padilla in their most daring and matured role yet, which obviously succeeded. But unfortunately, there’s nothing new in the film and nothing worth keeping after seeing.
2 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Barcelona: A Love Untold” is now showing in Philippine cinemas nationwide from Star Cinema. Rated PG by the MTRCB. Use the hashtag #BarceloneALoveUntold in your social media posts.