‘Lorenzo’s’ dramatic musings proceed apaceBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
AS the storytelling on “Lorenzo’s Time” continues to unfold, we are heartened to note that its dramatic musings about time, age, youth, love and related topics are proceeding apace, hopefully to viewers’ benefit.
“Carpe diem! “ or “Seize the day!” appears to be the new series’ rallying cry, as it dramatizes its unusual story about a boy who ages too fast due to the rare affliction known as progeria. Alarmed, his parents put him in suspended animation by means of cryogenics, hoping to “awaken” him after a cure shall have been found.
Well, the boy (Zaijian Jaranilla) finally wakes up 30 years later—and after getting used to his new “retroactive reality,” he finds himself enmeshed in nasty familial contretemps over his parents’ business empire, which is being run by his ostensibly loving but actually avaricious aunt (Amy Austria). Things sometimes get so nasty and contentious that the 30-year-old boy could feel tempted to crawl back into his cryogenic cocoon again!
This past week, however, the series seems to be focusing on other, lighter and shallower concerns, spending too much screen time on the boy-man’s belated romantic pursuit of his boyhood love, played in adulthood by Carmina Villarroel. Our quarrel is not over the “logic” of the purusit—after all, “Lorenzo” is supposed to be 30 years old—but with the extended time devoted to it.
The series hasn’t been able to resist the temptation to play its “courtship” scenes for all of the cuteness and comedic ardor they’re worth, long after their point has already been made. Yes, some of the ligawan or panunuluyan scenes are cute, but can we cut to the next plot point, please?
On point of casting, Zaijian continues to be the series’ strong thespic fulcrum—quite an achievement for such a young performer. But, we must note (again) that his enunciation could stand improvement, for clarity’s sake. He tends to drop some syllables when he speaks, or adds extraneous sounds. To give just one example, last Tuesday, he said something like, “Kaya ko siyang chuportahan.”
Less equivocally, we’re glad that Amy Austria has come on board as the young protagonist’s scheming aunt, because her style of nastiness isn’t over-the-top, as is usually the case with teleserye villains, but more subtle and complex.
We trust, however, that in her next TV assignment, Amy will be cast in a more challenging role. When it comes to TV villainy, there’s just so much that even the best actors can do, because there are restricting “conventions” and viewer expectations to conform to.
As for Carmina Villarroel, she appears to be miscast as Lorenzo’s “retroactive love.” Yes, the role requires somebody in her late 30s, but Carmina sometimes looks older and more peaked than that. So, her courtship scenes with Zaijian lack the comedic vitality they need to delight viewers.
Be that as it may, we’re glad that “Lorenzo’s Time” is encouraging viewers to reconsider their ideas about age, youth and the flitting, fleeting impermanence of existence. It reminds us that, for some people, life can be exceedingly short, so we should all “seize the day”—each and every day!
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