ANG LARAWAN (2017) Review
Directed by Loy Arcenas
Musicals are rare in Philippine cinema which is rather odd knowing that Filipinos love to sing. But musical films aren’t embraced as warm as romance or comedy films today.
Set before World War II, Ang Larawan tells the story of Candida and Paula Marasigan, the single daughters of the ill Don Lorenzo Marasigan. But with no proper job, and their two other siblings stopped giving them allowance for maintaining their house and to support their father, the two are left to save their house and each other. But everyone else is decided to sell the house and the portrait their father painted for his two daughters which everyone calls his masterpiece. Will a suspicious love interest make them change their mind in selling the portrait? Or will it destroy the bond between the Marasigan sisters?
Ang Larawan is a must-see musical drama film not just because of its music and story but also because of its cast. Joanna Ampil’s performance alone will leave you in awe, mostly giving heartbreaking moments and sometimes will make you smile with how much positivity her character Candida can show in spite of the tragedy her family is going through.
Rachel Alejandro effectively place the fragile Paula, you can see in her eyes the confusion, the pain of having to choose between family and desire. And Paulo Avelino works his charm as the deceitful Tony Javier. Even Sandino Martin is noticeable as Bitoy.
The film, while lacks the star power of the names you can see in mainstream movies, doesn’t feel like it while watching. Every sequence will either make you cry, laugh, or just smile, enjoying pure entertainment presented by the people whose love and passion for their craft resonates outside the screen.
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Ang Larawan” opens in cinemas December 25, 2017. An official entry to the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival, from Culturtain distributed by Solar Pictures. Rated PG by the MTRCB.