Sunday, November 18, 2007
One more chance
The story is typical but not plain.
The recipe used, though tried, tested, and already much- touted, still churned out a flavorful experience because of the freshest, almost perfect basket of ingredients.
All Pinoys- all human beings, for that matter- might as well get royalties since the Star Cinema’s film ONE MORE CHANCE seems to be loosely based from any and all of our lives.
My sister didn’t have to ask me twice so I’ll accompany her to watch the latest John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo flick since I am an avowed Kapamilya and I am a firm believer that John Lloyd Cruz and I are actually twins separated at birth. Else, why would my paternal grandmother- God rest her soul- and maternal grandfather be quick to quip that we- John Lloyd and I- look so much alike whenever they saw the former on tv? I must look for that diary that holds our true identity… But I digress.
The movie begins where many a date nowadays ends- in a hotel room, where two drunk people try to get the groove on, so to speak, but because of a five-year commitment to each other couldn’t quite get themselves to do so with other partners. From the ensuing scenes, the story unravels, the main protagonists characteristics are put to the fore, and we begin to see why the TV teasers underscore the basic truths in that stage of their lives: that to find herself, she had to lose him and for him to find true love, he had to lose her.
Thinking about the movie now reminds me of Carlos Celdran. No, not because his faced is splashed all over TV-dom in the new Nescafe commercial. But to anyone who has ever gone through Intramuros with him in his tours would remember his observation about what is common among the halo-halo, jeepney, and San Agustin Church. He says that each is intrinsically plain: crushed ice, a military-issue-slash-dumped vehicle, an adobe box, respectively. But, when the Pinoy weaves his/her flair for embellishments, all touches- minute and gaudy, converts what is intrinsically plain becomes truly more than the usual dessert, transport vehicle, and place of worship.
I think that’s where the movie succeeds.
Yes, the story is typical. But it is not plain because of the way it is narrated- from the pace of storytelling, to character development, to the conflicts’ revelation and subsequently resolution. To borrow and slightly alter McCann Erickson’s motto- fiction well told.
Yes, the recipe used in the film is not the most original, but the ingredients heaped thrown together created a sumptuous sensory and cerebral delight. The film is peppered with subtle, well-thought of touches ranging from witty one-liners to over-the-top cameo of a Sarao jeepney blasting at full volume Jeremiah’s Nanghihinayang. The characters are a complete who’s who of the people in our neighborhood and circle of friends: the brutally frank friends; pensive, peacemaker pals; protective but consenting parents; rowdy but pathologically romantic buddies; consoling comrades. Of course, the lead roles seem to have been created with Bea and John Lloyd in mind. Their on-screen presence screams of a chemistry that ought to extend beyond their reel-life relationship.
Yes, there are overt attempts by the director- successful, actually- to create tension with wise juxtaposition of characters in literally parallel predicaments. But gauging from the audience- including my own- reaction to the movie, what it actually achieved is that it allowed us to juxtapose our own lives to Basha and Popoy’s. By seeing, hearing, feeling bits and snippets of our lives played out on the big screen, the film becomes totally believable and relate-able and consequently liable to pay all of us our share of the movie’s earnings…
At the end of it all, the film is an interesting, recommended, must-try ride, though the attraction seems to be an all-too-familiar-but-still-thrilling relationship rollercoaster. The movie can make you feel some wistful longing within, if you allow it. At the very least, however, it leaves a wonderful aftertaste, of something you know you’ve partaken of before but now served on a better platter, still filling, still heartwarming.
(Special thanks to the owner of Friendster page http://profiles.friendster.com/48212768 for the photo I used above.)