Noteworthy performances in Piolo-Sarah starrer
WITH DAN Villegas directing and Antoinette Jadaone scripting, “The Breakup Playlist’s” leads, Piolo Pascual and Sarah Geronimo, are in good hands, and both come up with noteworthy portrayals.
Sarah gets the “most improved” citation, because her past performances tended to be too “acted,” “pushed” and generally strained and artificial, but her portrayal here is relatively natural, believable and “felt.”
Piolo also does well, but his characterization is hobbled by a weak or relatively “abstract” scripting conceit: His character is made to turn nasty because he resents his discovery, Trixie’s (Sarah) stellar success. Now, we know that this does happen in real life, but it isn’t easy to dynamically actualize, so Piolo has a harder time than Sarah.
Its’ a good thing that he’s able to come up with a “harshly” moving breakdown scene toward film’s end—but, all told, it’s Sarah who evinces the most progress as a movie thespian.
On point of structure, the film develops well, but tends to take too long in detailing its back story, and the viewer feels the onus and drag of this by the storytelling’s final section.
Another downer is the movie’s attempt to correlate Piolo-Sarah’s romantic travails and “learning insights” with a younger pair’s (Diego Loyzaga and Maris Racal) own fumbles. This is thematically sound, but it’s awkwardly and shallowly pulled off, making the movie’s denouement less than fully felicitous.
—Which is not to say that the film doesn’t have its share of scenes that come off really well. The first exceptional sequence we’d like to cite is an early scene in a record shop, in which Sarah and Piolo “talk” and flirt with one another by using the song titles on the music discs around them.
Next, viewers are moved by the scene in which the hurting and sobbing Sarah goes back to her estranged parents’ home and lies down between them like a bruised child.
Finally, the penultimate sequence in which Sarah fiercely lashes away at her ex-lover and tormentor after controlling her anger for a number of years is heartening proof that she’s really learned what “acting” is all about.
Now appreciating the movie as a whole, we note that it’s too concentrated on its two lead players, and doesn’t take advantage of the benefits of other characters’ “contextualizing” inputs.
In addition, the dialogue, while winningly natural and “trendy,” is sometimes too long, particularly in scenes in which the two leads trade “quotable” repartee and ripostes.
What we’re saying here is that the film’s leads, while turning in noteworthy portrayals, are not “deep” or “vivid” enough as thespians to hold our empathetic attention for the entire full-length movie’s running time. —So, the production should have supported them more with less verbose exchanges and more dynamic inputs from its other actors.
All told, however, “The Breakup Playlist” is one of the best mainstream movie productions of 2015, so its director, writer and players should take a well-deserved group bow!
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