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Pangako... Ikaw Lang

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  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic PExer
    I like it too.

    Flower Girl

    By Noel Vera

    "Pangako...Ikaw Lang" (Promise...There's Only You) is Joyce Bernal's latest and a return to the genre for which she is best suited, the romantic comedy (her film with Robin Padilla, “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw” (You Are All I Need) was a huge hit). Her last film, "Buhay Kamao" (roughly: A Boxer's Life) was weighed down by too much dramaturgy and some poorly shot boxing sequences--it didn’t make as much money as expected, considering it also starred Padilla. This one has as serious a tone sometimes, but without the boxing (Bernal must have felt really uncomfortable shooting them) and with Viva Studio's trademark glossy production values, the drama goes down much easier.

    The story’s "While You Were Sleeping" by way of "The Wedding Planner." Regine Velasquez meets the boy of her dreams while the boy (Aga Muhlach) is dreaming--seems that Muhlach was on the cellular phone trying to convince his girlfriend (Ricci Ocampo) that he's been faithful to her when his car was rammed by a truck (didn’t help that wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, either). Muhlach ends up in the hospital--bruised, but not so much that Velasquez (who's visiting her ailing father) doesn't notice how swooningly handsome he is.

    Part of the appeal of Bernal's films--written, incidentally, by Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario--is in the way Bernal and her writer tailors the picture to do clever spins off of a star's persona. "Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw" played on the perception that Padilla is a man's man and popular with the common folk; "Pangako" is predicated on the (not all that outrageous) conceit that Muhlach is irresistibly attractive to women (which I suppose he is, if you like the moist-eyed puppy-dog type). What sets Muhlach apart from younger and prettier boys like Jomari Yllana or Piolo Pascual is that he can act--I wouldn't say he's bursting with brains, but he does have the quick-witted, instinctive intelligence of an experienced actor, able to consistently deliver a decent if not actually good performance.

    Velasquez and Muhlach meet again several times, the reason being that Velasquez operates a flower shop from which Muhlach's friends and relatives order their flowers (the picture is full of flowers, for a variety of occasions--birthdays, dinner parties, weddings, funerals). The two continue to bump into each other, are compelled towards each other--swinging like magnetized needles towards each other's direction. It's not much of a plot, nor does it have to be; another part of the appeal of Bernal's films is in how defiantly pointless they can be, how totally lacking in either social or political agenda (unlike other more pretentious--yet less skilled--Filipino filmmakers…). You watch them to have an aimless good time, to revel in the good looks and unenlightened fun the two lead stars so obviously have onscreen. That, and the fact that Bernal is a film editor (one of our finer ones) who edits her own films--it's my unproven theory that film editors make the best storytellers, because they're constantly sifting through thousands of feet of footage to try and make some kind of narrative sense. Bernal keeps the pace of her films brisk, the self-indulgence minimal, the emotional tone light and easy on the digestive system--more mellow drama than melodrama here.

    It also helps that Bernal is expert at soliciting wonderful supporting performances from her cast. Bobby Andrews is funny in the role of Velasquez's dependable best friend; at times he's more than funny, he’s gallantly moving--as when, for example, Muhlach is compelled to dance with his girlfriend-slash-fiancee, and Andrews rises to the occasion by taking Velasquez (in a scene recalling Rupert Everett in "My Best Friend's Wedding") to join them on the dance floor. Later Velasquez sits broken-hearted, and Andrews describes for her her feelings of loving someone who was never truly hers...and you eventually realize that he understands because he's in the same situation with regards to her--has been in that situation, in fact, all his life. It’s not a particularly profound moment, but it’s a poignant one, and Andrews with Velasquez beside him is able to pull it off with remarkably understated skill.

    Charlie Davao and Evangeline Pascual put some texture into their roles as Muhlach’s parents; Robert Arevalo as Velasquez’s father is amusingly suave for someone dying of cancer. A short scene involving a funeral deserves mention, for Ruffa Mae Quinto’s gem of a comic cameo as the deceased’s overgrieving daughter--howling in despair at the tragic loss of her father, then howling in fury when she mistakes Velasquez (who provided the flowers) for one of her father’s ******* child. Quinto and Bernal have worked together before (in “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw” and in the wildly uneven “Booba”); watching this, you wish they would work together again, and soon.

    As for Regine Velasquez, she may be developing with Bernal one of those useful actor-director collaborations you occasionally see popping up like so many mushrooms along the path of film history. They may not be working on the level of Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese but they are doing something similar, with Velasquez’s sunny good nature, wholesome good looks, and light comic touch so thoroughly expressive of Bernal’s sensibility the film would seem incomplete without her. Aga Muhlach’s specialty, on the other hand, is in mooning like a Disney cow over some girl he cannot have (who is eventually handed to him on a silver plate); there’s more romance in him than comedy, an uninteresting mix (I much prefer Robin Padilla’s volatile charisma and penchant for improvised punchlines). To be fair, Muhlach does have a physical deftness that helps his comic scenes, and he’s given great support by Velasquez, who’s generous enough to give him room to be funny beside her.

    It puzzles people that I should pay so much attention to a filmmaker whose works are so unabashedly commercial. Bernal is not a deep filmmaker; she doesn’t do great works of art, and in fact it may be difficult to defend her pictures as art. But Bernal has never pretended to be otherwise, and her virtues, modest as they are (a way with actors, a clean storytelling style, a light comic touch), are nothing I for one would laugh at. A sense of humor is rare in Philippine cinema; Lino Brocka’s films never really had one, nor did Mike De Leon. Ishmael Bernal’s pictures are funny, but his humor is so darkly sardonic you’re afraid to laugh--his jokes have a vicious tendency of boomeranging back at you (I’m still trying to decide if Mario O’Hara has one--if so, it’s almost as dark and perhaps even more perverse than Bernal’s. Ishmael, I mean). A comic touch as light as Bernal’s (Joyce) should be cherished, wherever it may be found--even if it’s found in a film as unpretentious and openly entertaining as this one.

    (Comments? Email me at [email protected])
  • angel jangel j Member PExer
    Noel Vera's review is very helpful.

    After my chums at work read the previous post, they're gonna rush to the cinema houses later today to catch this film.

    I of course told them that it's gonna be well worth their money... at ako uulitin ko pa para kilig uli... :*)
  • moonshinemoonshine Member PExer
    maganda nga itong movie. hindi siya over, hindi siya corny, hindi rin baduy. nakakatuwa siya dahil subtle lahat. sana mahawa ibang direktor. di naman kelangan na OA lahat ng acting at eksena para maging maganda.
    uulitin ko itong movie na ito. sulit siya.
  • yehveybey_14_gsmbyehveybey_14_gsmb *represent!* PExer
    ako din I want to watch the movie na!:*) trailer pa lang kaka-inlove..pag nakita ko na yung movie...post ako dito agad kung ano say ko bout the flick..:D
  • neth_rowneth_row Moderator ✭✭
    okay, so everybody liked the movie...i wouldn't want to be the first dissenting opinion :D, so i'd say it's pretty entertaining as well, but not as good as i expected it to be....in my humblest opinion, Dahil May Isang Ikaw is much, much better ;)
  • blue eyes blueblue eyes blue baby blue baby PExer
    I watched it this morning for the third time already, and it still makes me swoon!! :lovealot:

    Kilig talaga :inluv: :lovealot: :*)
  • mallowsmallows Member PExer
    hhhaaaaayyyyy...this is definitely one kilig movie! grabe ang ganda.. kaya nga kahit nakipila pa kame ng cousin ko sa mega ok lang..sulit naman...this is one movie na i wouldn't mind watching again! ganda ng mga lines, ganda din nung mga sinabi ni bobby andrews ke regine.. yung after ata yun nung wedding anniversary nung parents ni aga e..ganda ng lines..nde OA, galing talaga ni joyce bernal.. me comic moments, me touching moments, ang galing talaga..relate pa ko ng konti sa story..eto tuloy..wishing tuloy ako ngayon na sana mangyari sa kin yung nangyari sa movie:( :rolleyes:

    watch nyo!!!!:cool:
  • Scorched_EarthScorched_Earth The heat is on! PExer
    nice film *okay*
  • homeBuddyhomeBuddy Member PExer
    which is better?

    Pangako Ikaw Lang? Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw? Dahil May Isang Ikaw? Narinig Mo Na Ba Ang L8est?
  • neth_rowneth_row Moderator ✭✭
    Dahil May Isang Ikaw :up:
  • mytyragirlmytyragirl Live Life Simply ! PExer
    Good Film! Di masasayang oras mo kaso lang mas gusto ko pa rin yung first Aga-Regine tandem na "Dahil May Isang Ikaw". Parang may kulang sa Pangako...Ikaw Lang. Pero overall, maganda siya.
  • EquivocationEquivocation Game Ka na ba? PExer
    sobrang ganda ng movie...

    Fate ang nag-ikot sa kanila..


    Magpapakasal sila kahit hindi naging sila..

    hehehehe

    I like yung pag babatok ni Regine kay Aga sa AABANG TOWN CENTER...

    I like also yung pagkadulas ni Regine sa bahay nila.. at yung pagbatok ni bobby kay Regine .. hehe

    Syempre si Ruffa Mae.. pang kulit..... "Huwag mong sabihin ikaw ang anak ng tatay ko" ... the girl said "best friend mo ako"... sbay sampal ni ruffamae sa best friend niya..

    the movie is so hilarious... hehe
  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic PExer
    Was Dahil May Isang Ikaw? directed by Joyce Bernal too? I should catch it.

    Actually, I even prefer Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw. Aga hath hith charms (strictly limited for me), but Robin is more volatile, more spontaneous and full of energy, hence more interesting. Also, there's this macho-sexist-strong woman filmmaker tension going on between Joyce and Robin.
  • moonshinemoonshine Member PExer
    homeBuddy... which is better? LAHAT yun binanggit mo okay :D lahat nakakatuwa panoorin. kaya nga lahat pinanood ko. iba iba ang appeal nila pero lahat okay.
  • WIENWIEN Member PExer
    :mecry: ako after 3 months ko pa yan mapapanood:sad:
    waaaaaaaaaaaaaa......... gusto ko an yan mapanood:bawling:
  • fennfenn Member PExer
    Although I liked it a lot, napansin ko lang na sobrang dami ng product placements. Ilang beses ko ba nakita yung Chicken Hotdog na iyon? at yung Close-Up, at yung PLDT.

    Very commercial but entertaining nevertheless.
  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic PExer
    Was emailed the following, to which I included my reply:

    >Dear Mr. Vera,
    >
    >Thank you for that very objective review of Aga and Regine's latest film
    >Pangako, Ikaw Lang, and for recognizing Regine's talent and her
    >contribution in the film. It just pissed us off, Regine believers, that
    >she was not given the recognition due her when Kailangan made a killing at
    >the box office last year - all credit was given to Robin. As for her first
    >film with Aga, again, it was Aga that was given much credit. Why can't the
    >movie industry give credit to the whole film crew and give some to Regine.

    Thing is, Regine is the consistent ingredient in the two films; I don't think we can deny what Aga and Robin bring to them (though I feel Robin brings more than Aga does), but Regine is the one the director identifies with. It's through her that we feel what we feel, and think what we think. She's the director's vessel for conveying her point of view.

    And I'm impressed with the way either Regine or Joyce feel so secure that they can bracket both Regine's beauty and singing voice. I mean, they did include someone who is conventionally prettier (Ricci Ocampo) and someone who I felt has a more powerful voice--Jaya--and even someone funnier--Ruffa Mae Quintos--but it doesn't detract from Regine. Either Regine or Joyce realize that these people are better in their own restricted way, but Regine has her own flavor, so to speak--she's pretty, sings, and acts comedy in a different way, and does all three together at once, which is in a way also unique.

    >AFter all, the soundtrack alone is a big selling point for the film.
    >
    >As for Ms. Joyce Bernal's directing style, those feel-good movies she's
    >doing reminds me of those films done by Nora Ephron - sleepless in seattle,
    >michael, you've got mail.

    Oh, but Ephron is merely a writer turned filmmaker and Bernal edits her own films. There is a difference. There's a discipline, an astringency to Joyce's way of telling a story that you don't see in Ephron, who might know what scene to put in to tell her story, but wouldn't have the slightest idea just how long to hold a shot, or when to cut to a long shot, or how to keep a simple scene of two people talking lively and vital. Bernal is a better filmmaker than Ephron, trust me on this.

    Though some shots and scenes are obviously copied
    >from foreign films, (the synchronized coffee drinking sequence of Regine &
    >Aga, similar scene in Meet Joe Black where Brad Pitt first met Carla
    >Forleani) and that biking scene of regz - a la city of Angels where Meg
    >Ryan was biking her way to a grocery. These shots maybe copied, but they
    >came out beautifully in the film.

    I'd be more cautious saying they were copied--synchronized action is an old device in comedies, and there are only so many ways to film a person biking. I'd say they are more unique than you give them credit for. And as I've said before, Kailangan SEEMS to derive from Notting Hill (personally, I think both take after Roman Holiday), but Regine is a sweeter girl than Julia, and Robin a more interesting macho than that fop, Hugh Grant.

    >
    >It is so refreshing for a film reviewer to give merits to a highly
    >commercial film.. Yes, the film is commercial, but as you very well said,
    >it has no pretentions of its objective - just to deliver clean, wholesome
    >fun to a movie viewing public that is reeling from the problems the country
    >is facing.

    I don't have anything against a socially relevant film, it's just that it's so rare that such films are done well. At the same time, I don't have anything against a commercial film out to make money as long as in exchange for my money I get a reasonably intelligent good time; I'm not insulted, and I get to laugh and shed a tear.

    I watch films to be entertained - not to dissect the social ills
    >of the country. There is a different and better venue for that!
    >

    Well, I'd say there are venues to deal with them in amore complex way, but there's nothing like a good film on social issues to strike the crucial spark. Films provoke debate and inspire discussion like few other things can; properly used, this can be a powerful thing.

    Nothing wrong with people who like socially relevant films really; it's when they start looking down on the more commercial ventures that you smell the reek of snobbery.

    >Again, thanks so much.
    >

    No problem.

    >
    >Cherry S. Rodriguez
    >
    >***
    >
    >
  • ate germsate germs master showgirl PExer
    ikakasal na ko
    alam ko... saan?
    ikaw bahala..

    :heartpump:
    :heartpump:
    :heartpump:
  • aLLysH*aLLysH* Member PExer
    i did enjoy the movie a lot. it's not just another kilig movie... maganda sya! but i'd have to rank it 3rd only to "dahil may isang ikaw" and "kailangan ko'y ikaw".
  • ApostleApostle the comeback kid PExer
    Long live RUFFA MAE QUINTO!!!

    "miss, san galing yang mga flowers na yan?"
    "sa seiko films..."
    "then it must be good...."

    :lol: killer line!

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