Distractions throw Piolo-Angelica starrer out of whackBy Rito P. Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT’S always a treat to watch Angelica Panganiban—even when the movie she stars in turns out to be a downer. In “Every Breath U Take,” the versatile actress once again proves that her comedic style is as impressive as her dramatic flair.
In Mae Czarina Cruz’s screwball rom-com, Panganiban portrays clueless Majoy Marasigan, who relies on signs and serendipity to guide her through life’s tough hurdles. But when the gullible virgin sets her sights on the elusive Leo Dimalanta (Piolo Pascual), Majoy unwittingly sets herself up for heartbreak when she fails to see the inveterate playboy hiding deceptively behind Leo’s sensitive eyes, dashing good looks, and ripped physique.
If you’re familiar with the Filipino rom-com genre, you won’t need signs and magical visions to know how this movie plays out—which is a shame, because it gets off to a good start. In fact, the production hits the ground running as it establishes the whats, whys and wherefores of the narrative, bolstered further by Piolo and Angelica’s gorgeous pairing!
It doesn’t take long for the film to lose steam, however, as its story meanders into loopy detours that throw the movie out of whack. As it careens willy-nilly into a perfunctory finale, the production allows its zany supporting characters to take over Majoy and Leo’s love story and dilute its impact.
Thereafter, the couple finds themselves in the ensuing melee that involves Majoy’s Korean suitor, Ji Sun (the endearing and hilarious Ryan Bang); Leo’s desperate girlfriend, Dianne (Wendy Valdez), and her doting but demented brothers (Smokey Manaloto, Carlos Agassi and Joross Gamboa), and Leo’s manipulative, gun-toting rival, Mario (Ryan Eigenmann). Who knew love could be this dangerous?
The dreamy Piolo can portray his role with eyes closed—but the 35-year-old heartthrob is starting to look a little long in the tooth as the career-driven character into whom he’s required to breathe thespic life—a role that’s better suited for younger guys. And, despite the reason offered by the script to explain Leo’s seeming misogyny, his psychological motivation fails to transform his actions into an empathetic portrayal to which one can relate. Moreover, his sudden change of heart is too much of a knee-jerk reaction to be believable.
For her part, Panganiban breezes through the complex—and contrasting—requirements of her role. She shifts from drama to comedy (and back) seamlessly—as she effectively demonstrates in the “Ano ba’ng ibig sabihin ng gullible?” scene, in which she makes viewers laugh and cry at the same time. That is certainly no mean feat!
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