One More Try (Review)

Star Cinema Entry One More Try stars
Angel Locsin, Dingdong Dantes,
Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo.
Photo from GMANews TV Online
After seeing the trailers for El Presidente and Thy Womb, I thought of trying out Star Cinema’s melodrama movie for this year’s Metro Manila Film Fest, One More Try. The movie stars Angel Locsin as Grace, a single mother who has a child, Buchoy (Miguel Vergara) afflicted with a rare blood disease. When she found out she’s not a match, she went on to find the child’s estranged father, Edward (Dingdong Dantes)—who, after a few tests, is also not a match. The solution, according to Grace’s blabbermouth ob-gynecologist (Carmina Villaroel), is to conceive another child who would surely be a bone marrow match. Now, another problem ensues—Edward is already married to successful career woman Jacq (Angelica Panganiban) while Grace is engaged to Tristan (Zanjoe Marudo).

Ok, so the movie tries to spark some controversy with their plot—it complicates a situation that can actually be handled easier. For one, Grace should have consulted a pediatrician or a doctor who specializes on blood diseases instead of her talkative ob-gyne. Because they’re experts, they might as well provide better pieces of advice to the worrying mother than Villaroel’s character. But secondly, considering Buchoy’s deteriorating health (which is not really visible in the film except for a scene where he fainted and was brought to the hospital), conceiving and giving birth to another child who would be his donor is quite unbelievable. Just imagine the years it would take for the newborn child to be ready for an operation (see: Abigail Breslin in My Sister’s Keeper). But ok, let’s take the movie as it is.

I felt that the movie dealt more on issues of probable infidelity and the extent of choices people make in order to save another life. It also tried to present several stereotypical differences of women in a typical Philippine setting. We have Jacq who embodies a “modern” Filipina (the term modern is used loosely here)—career-oriented. She’s willing to sacrifice having a child for a better professional track, which she would later on feel guilty about. Grace’s character, on the other hand, provides us a picture of a “traditional” Filipina (again, loosely used). As a single mother, she juggles work and taking care of her sick child; and when she learns of his rare disease, she vows to do everything to save his life even if it means sacrificing a part of herself.

The characterizations presented might be true one way or another—that’s why in the movie, Panganiban’s Jacq is perceived as the kontra bida—she hinders Edward and Grace from conceiving a child even if it means saving another life because she feels it would mean a large crack in their married life. This is especially made problematic when we learn that Jacq had a miscarriage before and Edward partly blames her for it. In one scene when the doctor tells them that the surefire way to cure Buchoy’s rare disease is to have a sibling match, Jacq goes hysterical and says that with their money, they can opt to bring the child to the States and have him cured there. Of course, if that route is followed, the story abruptly ends. So we go to the more thorny recourse—the doctor pushes them to have a child.

I felt that the movie could have been given more grip and emotion if Buchoy’s character suffered more than the usual hospital visits. The child actor was cute but there has to more than the Ibong Adarna storytelling scenes. I guess if this was done, it might have helped in justifying Grace’s predicament as well as Edward’s torn-between-complicated-choices drama. It might have also given Jacq and Tristan something to really think about with regard to the level of sacrifices they have to make for their respective relationships to work. The happy family scene in the end was also quite unbelievable. Not that I don’t believe in reconciliations but seriously, would that really happen? I wouldn’t really know.

As a whole, I felt the movie has its potential despite the over-complicated plot. The first half gives us hope that it might be a relatively good melodramatic film after all. But when on the second half the actors started resorting to cheap lines and campy fights which are staples of typical Pinoy dramas, I was disappointed.

Finally, the issue on the movie’s similarity with a Chinese film was something that provoked debate on the state of the Philippine movie industry. For one, I thought that originality was something Filipinos are capable of. But second, in times that we choose to adapt storylines or base our works on a material that really inspired us, Filipinos should also be capable of admitting such. To be fair, One More Try’s plot was different from the usual infidelity movies film outfits were churning lately (i.e. The Mistress, No Other Woman, etc). It may not be as original as Ishmael Bernal’s Himala or Mario O’Hara’s Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, but the more important value, I think, that should be upheld when we do adaptations, is to recognize and acknowledge the material’s source. Or maybe it wasn’t copied at all. Maybe director Ruel Bayani and his team of writers did not really know the existence of In Love We Trust. We wouldn’t really know. But one thing’s for sure, it’s a harsh lesson learned for our movie producers and filmmakers out there.  

3 out of 5 stars.

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felix felicis: One More Try (Review)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One More Try (Review)

Star Cinema Entry One More Try stars
Angel Locsin, Dingdong Dantes,
Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo.
Photo from GMANews TV Online
After seeing the trailers for El Presidente and Thy Womb, I thought of trying out Star Cinema’s melodrama movie for this year’s Metro Manila Film Fest, One More Try. The movie stars Angel Locsin as Grace, a single mother who has a child, Buchoy (Miguel Vergara) afflicted with a rare blood disease. When she found out she’s not a match, she went on to find the child’s estranged father, Edward (Dingdong Dantes)—who, after a few tests, is also not a match. The solution, according to Grace’s blabbermouth ob-gynecologist (Carmina Villaroel), is to conceive another child who would surely be a bone marrow match. Now, another problem ensues—Edward is already married to successful career woman Jacq (Angelica Panganiban) while Grace is engaged to Tristan (Zanjoe Marudo).

Ok, so the movie tries to spark some controversy with their plot—it complicates a situation that can actually be handled easier. For one, Grace should have consulted a pediatrician or a doctor who specializes on blood diseases instead of her talkative ob-gyne. Because they’re experts, they might as well provide better pieces of advice to the worrying mother than Villaroel’s character. But secondly, considering Buchoy’s deteriorating health (which is not really visible in the film except for a scene where he fainted and was brought to the hospital), conceiving and giving birth to another child who would be his donor is quite unbelievable. Just imagine the years it would take for the newborn child to be ready for an operation (see: Abigail Breslin in My Sister’s Keeper). But ok, let’s take the movie as it is.

I felt that the movie dealt more on issues of probable infidelity and the extent of choices people make in order to save another life. It also tried to present several stereotypical differences of women in a typical Philippine setting. We have Jacq who embodies a “modern” Filipina (the term modern is used loosely here)—career-oriented. She’s willing to sacrifice having a child for a better professional track, which she would later on feel guilty about. Grace’s character, on the other hand, provides us a picture of a “traditional” Filipina (again, loosely used). As a single mother, she juggles work and taking care of her sick child; and when she learns of his rare disease, she vows to do everything to save his life even if it means sacrificing a part of herself.

The characterizations presented might be true one way or another—that’s why in the movie, Panganiban’s Jacq is perceived as the kontra bida—she hinders Edward and Grace from conceiving a child even if it means saving another life because she feels it would mean a large crack in their married life. This is especially made problematic when we learn that Jacq had a miscarriage before and Edward partly blames her for it. In one scene when the doctor tells them that the surefire way to cure Buchoy’s rare disease is to have a sibling match, Jacq goes hysterical and says that with their money, they can opt to bring the child to the States and have him cured there. Of course, if that route is followed, the story abruptly ends. So we go to the more thorny recourse—the doctor pushes them to have a child.

I felt that the movie could have been given more grip and emotion if Buchoy’s character suffered more than the usual hospital visits. The child actor was cute but there has to more than the Ibong Adarna storytelling scenes. I guess if this was done, it might have helped in justifying Grace’s predicament as well as Edward’s torn-between-complicated-choices drama. It might have also given Jacq and Tristan something to really think about with regard to the level of sacrifices they have to make for their respective relationships to work. The happy family scene in the end was also quite unbelievable. Not that I don’t believe in reconciliations but seriously, would that really happen? I wouldn’t really know.

As a whole, I felt the movie has its potential despite the over-complicated plot. The first half gives us hope that it might be a relatively good melodramatic film after all. But when on the second half the actors started resorting to cheap lines and campy fights which are staples of typical Pinoy dramas, I was disappointed.

Finally, the issue on the movie’s similarity with a Chinese film was something that provoked debate on the state of the Philippine movie industry. For one, I thought that originality was something Filipinos are capable of. But second, in times that we choose to adapt storylines or base our works on a material that really inspired us, Filipinos should also be capable of admitting such. To be fair, One More Try’s plot was different from the usual infidelity movies film outfits were churning lately (i.e. The Mistress, No Other Woman, etc). It may not be as original as Ishmael Bernal’s Himala or Mario O’Hara’s Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, but the more important value, I think, that should be upheld when we do adaptations, is to recognize and acknowledge the material’s source. Or maybe it wasn’t copied at all. Maybe director Ruel Bayani and his team of writers did not really know the existence of In Love We Trust. We wouldn’t really know. But one thing’s for sure, it’s a harsh lesson learned for our movie producers and filmmakers out there.  

3 out of 5 stars.

Labels: , , ,

3 Comments:

At January 29, 2013 at 6:16 AM , Blogger V-hive Live TV said...

One of the best Movie I watched this year. Galing!

 
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At August 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM , Blogger Avon Luna said...

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