Friday, September 12, 2014

The Gifted

Two girls gifted with exceptionally high IQ form an unlikely friendship stemming from necessity. Zoe Tuazon (Anne Curtis) is vengeful and obese, while Aica Tabayoyong (Cristine Reyes) is a romantic with a face deemed unattractive based on the conventional standards of beauty. The two eventually form an alliance to get back at those who constantly bully them. This bond is broken by the arrival of Mark Ferrer (Sam Milby), a looker from the province whose English is just as bad as his grades. Zoe puts ambition first and hatches a plan to use him as a distraction for Aica, so she could emerge as the clear frontrunner as valedictorian of their batch, causing the two to end their friendship. Years and several liposuction sessions later, Zoe comes back as a Cambridge educated model, while Aica undergoes surgery and becomes popular herself through her street tutoring advocacy. The three meet again, and it seems as though the lack of closure from a decade ago would trigger a similar flow of events, as though high school just happened yesterday.

The problem with Viva is that they seem to have quite a limited number of artists that we just see the same pairing over and over again. We could even say that The Gifted might just as well be a quirky prequel to No Other Woman because of Curtis and Reyes fighting over their hunk du jour. But then again, this is Philippine showbiz, and plots as well as actors are just recycled ad nauseam. Does this mean that the movie is a complete waste of time, then? Well, not really, but do not expect anything out of the ordinary.

Perhaps that is one of the disappointing factors, the movie being a Chris Martinez creation. While it is obvious that an attempt for an original and inspiring story is there, the movie just comes short of expectations and even borders on Wenn Derramas territory a little bit because of the many exaggerations involved, like that entire scene with the shotgun. Seriously? It would have been more tolerable if they just went ahead and gave us an out of this world ending, given how Zoe goes full retard anyway. But no. This is the mainstream after all, and you have to give the masses something palatable for them to enjoy.

Curtis does nothing new here. She should be given an honorary award or something for such roles because she seems to have already mastered them. People would eventually get tired and look for something new. Perhaps she should try indie, for a change? Reyes, on the contrary, has recently vowed to show less skin, which is perfectly fine, but that is not the problem. While her TV roles seem to be more diverse, the movie characters she has been portraying as of late tend to be victims, girls with pure hearts who have been wronged but hopeful that the world would give them what they really deserve in the end anyway. Maybe the two of them should try switching roles in their next movie together, or perhaps play the same archetype of the manipulative bitch and see who wins in the end. Actors should not settle for roles which do not require them to leave their comfort zones, lest they want their acting repertoire to stagnate.

As for Milby, the director plays around with his weaknesses, mainly his Tagalog proficiency, by giving him an accent. Even his English is deglamorized for comedic effect, which could have been a good decision after all because the audience were laughing most of the time. But the role is not that challenging for him either, and he has played better roles in the past, in the indie scene in particular. In any case, his character could have been replaced by anyone, perhaps Derek Ramsay again, and no one would have given a damn.

In the end, The Gifted is a decent attempt at good comedy, but somehow leaves you wanting, for reasons that are understandable as far as the mainstream is concerned.

0 creature(s) gave a damn:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Detector

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review