100 TULA PARA KAY STELLA (2017) Review
Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana
We’ve been flooded with romantic films in the Philippines, some are nice, and most are redundant and is just a way to lure the audience through “hugot” lines. But there are rare cases of romantic comedy films that veers away from the usual cutesy tandem and tired formula. Here enters Jason Paul Laxamana’s 100 Tula Para kay Stella.
The film, not only boasts poetry and music, it also features a character with a speech defect. Starring JC Santos as Fidel and Bela Padilla as Stella, the film revolves around the life of Fidel, who stutters when he speaks so he limits his words to three to avoid being laughed of because of his defect. He’s just an ordinary guy, attending college and pursues his dream, but everything changes when he meets the girl with the black lipstick, Stella.
This is actually more than a romance story, this is also a coming-of-age story. It’s bittersweet but JC Santos’ performance makes it heartbreaking. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella presents a story of romance in the middle of something significant for every person, that moment where we find ourselves, in order to be someone in this world.
100 Tula Para kay Stella adds a new character in the romance genre in Filipino films, while most are going for good looking artists, and just lately, guys who are funny, the film puts someone who has a speaking defect on the spotlight.
JC Santos flawlessly portrays Fidel. His nuances from start to finish makes him look and feel like his character, from being that shy guy to that fine and confident individual ready for what the world has to offer. Then there’s also Bela Padilla, who still surprises us for being natural even if she plays a frustrated rock artist who’s going through a lot.
100 Tula Para kay Stella gets how inspiration can be life changing, but it also gets that inspiration isn’t enough to get the girl, to have the happy ending you’ve been working hard for. It may feel unfocused and has an overloaded climax, but how it is acted and how personally most of it feels, overshadows its shortcomings.
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“100 Tula Para kay Stella” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from VIVA Films. An official entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Rated PG by the MTRCB.