Movie Review: ‘Wild and Free’
‘Wild and Free’ will hit you like a “sledgehammer” in the emotional department. A good bulk of the scenes that make up this movie are that genuine to the core of it being a hard-edged sexy-romantic drama. In several ways, ‘Wild and Free’ is an “original movie” in its own right.
Why so ?
‘Wild and Free’ has constant twists and turns as its story unravels. There is the unexpected complexity of its plot and the interconnecting backstories of the lead characters which all contribute mightily to the originality of this movie that will please even the most discerning, sophisticated, and “highbrow” of moviegoers. Yup, you can surely say that this movie has “layers” to it and it will take patience for the moviegoer to still figure out everything by the time the movie shall have ended. That is what makes this movie great. In fact, ‘Wild and Free’ is a “thinking man’s” movie.
As a moviegoer, you will have to pay extra close attention to the intricate details of ‘Wild and Free’ in terms of how the individual pasts of the main onscreen characters (“Jake” and “Ellie”) inevitably lead them to finding each other in the most unexpected, somewhat mysterious, and shocking of ways.
To me, so many fine details have been given into developing the truly relatable, identifiable and lastly, remarkable lead onscreen characters of “Jake” (Derrick Monasterio) and “Ellie” (Sanya Lopez). Certainly, people who have been in love, are in love, or have fallen out of love can see themselves in either one of these aforementioned characters.
I saw myself in the onscreen character of “Jake” as portrayed magnificently and so convincingly by Derrick Monasterio. I could not help but feel like I was watching a younger version of myself on the big screen in some respects because I once experienced what he went through specifically when it came to keeping emotions in check as also keeping a cool head when he saw that guys were getting touchy, fresh, and “too familiar” with his girlfriend. That anxiety, stress, and pent-up frustration he showed I know exactly how that was because I had been there.
Derrick Monasterio gave a performance of a lifetime is what I can say. It really felt like so much was on the line for him to give a very convincing, believable, and realistic performance. His acting was that damn good ! It was kick-ass performance on his part. He was mean, smug, arrogant if had to be but he could also be brave, strong, and determined when his onscreen character called for it. This is the most emotion-driven onscreen characterization he has done, ever.
There is also a darkness to Derrick Monasterio’s onscreen character “Jake” in ‘Wild and Free’ that is becoming unusual to see nowadays in Philippine Cinema for a young actor with his wholesome public image. There was that “fire” in his eyes. Derrick Monasterio did a complete 180 degree turn for this movie from the kind of clean-cut personalities that he usually portrays on television. I have to say that Derrick Monasterio took a wild gamble in doing this movie. And a risk it was that proves it was all worth it because you can bet that more people now will be taking him more seriously for his acting skills.
Back to “Jake” in the movie ‘Wild and Free’. When it came to his undying love for “Ellie” (Sanya Lopez) there was no such thing as quit for him; no denying of his desire for her. His love for “Ellie” was borderline lustful because he was so fixated, infatuated and obsessed with her. Without doubt, Derrick Monasterio lived up to the task of truly bringing to life “Jake” on the big screen.
Ashley Ortega portrayed the co-worker and best friend of “Ellie”. Bubbly, jovial, and carefree… almost everyone has a friend like her in their lives. The presence of her character in the movie was much needed to lighten up its mood a bit, to lessen the tension, and ease some of the more unnerving scenes as were needed. Ashley Ortega did her job well in helping round up the main cast of ‘Wild and Free’.
Sanya Lopez portrayed to perfection her onscreen role as “Ellie”. Why so ? Her acting felt so natural and not forced upon the moviegoers. It did not feel like you were watching someone portraying a role but someone who embodied it. As the moviegoer, you can sense “Ellie” has been through a lot, I mean a lot, geez… her first ex-boyfriend “Carlo” portrayed by (Juancho Trivino) died in a tragic car accident before she and “Jake” would cross paths a few years later ! Plus, get this… “Jake” who, by chance or bad luck, just happens to be the younger brother of the deceased “Carlo”. This is where things take a turn for the worse, become so complicated later on, and begin to overflow swirling with deep and buried emotions that were just begging to be addressed.
Beyond the halfway mark of ‘Wild and Free’ it was like watching an imminent meltdown between “Jake” and “Ellie” waiting to happen in how tense, palpable, and combustible the progressing scenes were between the two of them.
Also, I have to say I can’t help but be reminded of Jennylyn Mercado in Sanya Lopez. There were more than flashes there of the brilliant known dramatic acting of Jennylyn Mercado but long stretches of it that I saw and felt in Sanya Lopez.
Whether or not she consciously projected a bit of Jennylyn Mercado in her acting methods, her approach in some scenes, and how she carried herself on the big screen in ‘Wild and Free’ is beside the point because Sanya Lopez truly came to form in this movie as a serious contender to being one of the best new dramatic actresses of her age group. Kudos to her !
Derrick Monasterio and Sanya Lopez what an amazing onscreen pair they are !
‘Wild and Free’ will take you into an emotional rollercoaster ride !
This movie is directed by Connie S.A. Macatuno and is produced by Regal Entertainment, Inc.
My Score: 10/10
Exclusive photos at the Red Carpet Premiere
Now, here are some of the photos I was able to take during the Red Carpet Premiere of ‘Wild and Free’.