I have never been an avid supporter of the Metro Manila Film Festival. Forgive my honesty but the rule of showing only MMFF films during the holidays is essentially a punishment to the Filipino nation for consuming too much Hollywood during the rest of the year.
I just have this mindset that festivals must only feature artsy, socially and culturally relevant films. MMFF however seems like hodgepodge of all genre known to cinema. First off, we are treated to horror movies that just don’t fit into the season although I can’t fault the young ones who get their kick out of being scared shit-less by monsters and restless spirits. And then we are served with a buffet of comedies with either lukewarm or antagonistic punch lines. As for the biopics prior to Heneral Luna, I observe that Pinoy filmmakers seem to canonize our heroes by focusing on their heroism, perhaps eliminating their vices that would have made their onscreen character more human.
Before 2015 ended, I was fortunate to be out with friends who were interested to watch one of the MMFF films, particularly #Walang Forever. I must say I was curious because That Thing Called Tadhana is still fresh on my mind and if #Walang Forever follows the trail of Tadhana, then I would for sure step out of the cinema all warmed up and beaming with inspiration.
To say that #Walang Forever didn’t disappoint is an understatement. This comedy-drama glows to create a love struck audience after its two-hour run. Here are a few insights why I thought so:
1. Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado’s pairing will ferry you to kilig stratosphere and then tear you to irreparable pieces. If you zone thru the film unaffected, then I don’t know what will. You must be a storm trooper straight from Death Star.
2. The comedy and drama of this film are thoroughly blended to drown one particular organ in your body. Your heart. If you’ve watched the Before Sunrise trilogy and had been broken then made whole again by Jessie and Celine’s romance, then you might just also fall for Jennylyn’s Mia and Jericho’s Ethan. This film breathes with so much love.
3. This film is generous and accessible. You neither have to be deep and intelligent nor jologs and naive to relate with Mia and Ethan’s roller coaster romance. Obviously, love abounds among those who labored for this film. Hugot is one the buzz words of 2015 thanks to the unforgettable Tadhana. In #Walang Forever, hugot has never been more pronounced and gut-wrenching.
4. #Walang Forever’s editing also hooks the audience. The film shuttles between Mia and Ethan’s past and present and their relationship is further dazzled by snippets of the movies that Mia wrote for the screen. The chosen scenes inspired by the turning points of Mia and Ethan’s courtship and eventual breakup keep the audience interested and emphatic.
Watch #Walang Forever while it still runs in cinemas. If there is a 3D or IMAX format of this film somewhere, then go watch it on 3D or IMAX. Don’t wait for a pirated DVD copy to be available. How dare you.
I must say that #Walang Forever restored my faith in MMFF and modern day Pinoy romantic comedy-dramas. May the local film industry continue to sprout with quality films that provide good entertainment, inspiration, and encouragement.