Movie Review: ‘Elise’
‘Elise’ is a haunting movie as it is beautiful. Delicate yet strong and more than you can expect in a romantic-comedy. The qualities of this movie match the main star Janine Gutierrez in her strengths as an actress. For me, this movie is where you will see the acting skills of Janine Gutierrez shine and finally be put on display on the big screen for everyone to see.
The onscreen character of Janine Gutierrez ‘Elise’ is that of an enchantingly beautiful young lass set in a nostalgic period–strong-willed, lively, brimming with life, not shy to speak her mind, and whose personality packs a punch. On the other hand, the onscreen character of Enchong Dee ‘Bert’ is that of someone who is unsure of himself; hesitant to speak his mind. His personality borders more on the reserved type, timid, somewhat naive, kind of slow in certain situations, and because he refuses oftentimes to take action when he has to, he misses his chances. In short, torpe si Bert !
‘Elise’ and ‘Bert’ are as opposite as they can be based on their respective personalities. However, that is where the “magic” lies, where the sparks will fly, and where their childhood friendship will gradually develop into something deeper with each chance encounter they have, through the years. This is a perfect case of opposites attract. Interestingly, the movie ‘Elise’ is set mostly in a retrospective mode with ‘Bert’ narrating how he and ‘Elise’ came to be–how they first met, how their relationship blossomed, how they lose each other, and how they would keep finding each other at each turn.
The best friend of ‘Bert’ is ‘Gian’ who is portrayed by Victor Anastacio. I have to say that ‘Gian’ was a hilariously funny and shamelessly silly onscreen character in the movie ‘Elise’. A lot of the humor in the movie came from him. ‘Gian’, I think, is slightly retarded, a bit off the wall, and quite possibly really stupid. hahaha… He is almost like a kid in some scenes. Yet, he is a real friend to ‘Bert’ and is there for him when he needs advice and someone to just goof around with. A true barkada friend, as they say. ‘Gian’ reminds me so much of ‘Stifler’ of the ‘American Pie’ movies. If you have seen the first three movies of ‘American Pie’, then you know what I am talking about when it comes to ‘Gian’ in this movie.
Now, back to the movie ‘Elise’. The narration goes from present-to-past-to-present-to-past. It is a backwards-storytelling but this is the way it really is meant to be because it is a narration of their love (‘Elise’ and ‘Bert’) from the point of view of ‘Bert’ and how it all began for the both of them in always finding each other. Effective, captivating, and a moving storytelling style, it is !
The cinematography in ‘Elise’ really captures the “Golden-Age” beauty of Janine Gutierrez from the close-up camera shots of her face, the veering camera angles and to the wide angle camera shots of ‘Elise’. For instance, in the scene wherein ‘Elise’ walks away… and suddenly, turns her head to look back… that slow motion sequence of her doing that will long remain in your head. All of these intricate camerawork details add up to convincing the moviegoer what it must be like to see ‘Elise’ from the eyes of ‘Bert’. It is a treat to get such quality shots and moving images of ‘Elise’ that will remain etched for some time in the moviegoer’s mind and psyche, once he gets to watch this movie on its nationwide release on cinemas on February 6, 2019.
Visually and stylistically, there are obvious elements and influences of classic film-noir here. You will know that once you watch ‘Elise’.
The original score for ‘Elise’ meshes well with each important scene. The accompanying music heightens the mood of the main onscreen characters and creates to intensify the emotions of ‘Bert’ and ‘Elise’ so that the moviegoers get to feel what they are feeling right in that moment–for each of that important moment–they are together.
Tears will fall while watching ‘Elise’. I don’t care how tough you are, how many movies you have seen, how old you are, and what kind of relationships you have had. Once the movie ends, mark my word, you would have shed tears already. It will be impossible not to get teary-eyed, have your eyes well up, and even sob as others did, by the time the ending credits of ‘Elise’ are shown. I will go on the record and say, I ended up crying a bit while watching ‘Elise’ because this movie will get to you and tug hard at your heartstrings. I am not ashamed to admit that because that is exactly what happened–everyone cried!
‘Elise’ will be emotionally tough in some scenes; they will be “heavy”. However, you will realize and appreciate later on that everything you will see, hear, and feel while watching ‘Elise’ were only but necessary for you to go through and experience vicariously via ‘Bert’s’ narrative story-telling, so that you can take that journey with him. The highly emotionally charged scenes will complete your journey with ‘Bert’ and possibly even change who you are as a person when it comes to relationships. Trust me, this movie is worth it.
If you watch ‘Elise’ it will forever change your view, notion, and belief of what it is to be in love and what it truly means to love someone unconditionally to the very end.
Kudos to Director Joel Ferrer for directing such an outstanding movie in ‘Elise’. This is not far from being ranked as a masterpiece in its own right and I have seen countless movies coming from all genres, from different countries, but this movie is special almost beyond words in some scenes. It is an experience that must be felt to truly understand ‘Elise’.
Go watch it. You got to!
‘Elise’ is directed by Director Joel Ferrer.
‘Elise’ is produced by Regal Entertainment, Inc.
‘Elise’ will have its nationwide release in cinemas on February 6, 2019.
My Score For ‘Elise’ – 10/10
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