“Star na Si Van Damme Stallone” Review: Spotlighting a Mother’s Love

Directed by Randolph Longjas

It’s always the filmmaker’s goal to create a story worth every audience’s time and money but to be affected by its story, by its characters is a rewarding experience. That’s what I got from watching Randolph Longjas’ Star na Si Van Damme Stallone.

Watching the trailer, you’d expect a cutesy, feel-good family movie about a mother and her two sons, one healthy and one with a down syndrome. That already makes the film interesting as you would question yourself, how does a family with a member that has a down syndrome cope everyday? It may be a little harsh, but it’s still a valid question for those who do not understand what these families are going through. And thankfully for Star na Si Van Damme Stallone, we have been given some insights.

Characters that have down syndrome mostly portray cute roles or a burden to someone, but in this film, they are both, and more. One would assume, Van Van, played by Paolo Pingol is the heart of the film. But the emotional journey lies with Nadia, played by Candy Pangilinan, who is heart and soul of the movie. Panglinan won the Best Actress award with Angeli Bayani (Ned’s Project) at the CineFilipino 2016 and yes, she deserves it.

The film isn’t afraid to go where it needs to go. The funny and dark side of being a mother. Where the trials will take you emotionally and physically, the decisions and thoughts of how you’re going to live by without a husband, with two sons, one with down syndrome.

There’s this authenticity of Pangilinan’s character wherein you’ll feel the heaviness of what she’s going through, what’s killing her inside – those she can’t provide for her sons and the fears of what tomorrow could bring to them. But as a mother, there’s also this strength, the willingness to keep her family happy no matter what they’re going through.

Star na si Van Damme Stallone reminds us what a good story is, and how a character can inspire and move us.

Star na si Van Damme Stallone


4.5 stars

“Star na si Van Damme Stallone” is now showing in cinemas nationwide as part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Rated PG by the MTRCB.

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