Sunday, June 30, 2019



THE BRIDE AND THE BACHELOR – A Bachelor (Alex Medina) relaxes in his apartment playing video games and living the carefree life when he is suddenly ambushed by a Bride (Via Antonio). He is her ex, and today is her wedding day, yet here she is in her wedding gown trading opinions with him regarding marriage and thoughts about relationships in general. As they discuss what had been the pros and cons of the failed 10 years they spent together, they agree to disagree and decide to move on with their lives.

This one doesn’t quite connect. It’s one of those narratives full of talk and dialogue. However, the lines are rather repetitive and the plot suffers from awkwardness and dead air. The smoke machine and occasional red lighting onstage coupled with chanting in the background suggest something supernatural but there really is no twist of that sort to speak of. If anything, it seems to be a simple issue of style. The material is also devoid or either intensity or climax, which makes it feel like just a filler of sorts.

SURROGARES – Eve (Paul Jake Paule) surprises his partner of seven years Adam (Roeder Camanag) with a lively dinner for two at their home. It would have been a lovely evening except for the presence of Ana (Karen Romualdez), his partner’s one-time stalker turned uninvited guest to what’s supposed to be an intimate evening between the couple. As one proposes marriage, the other suggests adoption. As they weigh their options, the third party buts in, offering herself as a surrogate for a child all three of them can raise as their own.

It’s not necessarily dark but the premise doesn’t add up. Surrogacy can work without the surrogate being a third party in the relationship. The process is even quite well-structured in some countries. Or maybe they just wanted to flesh out each character and this is the only way for the story to be more interesting? In any case, the presentation is fine and the energy is high from the get-go mainly because of Paule. The tension among the characters is palpable but the premise just seems too unnecessarily complicated.

A FAMILY REUNION – Roch (Chrome Cosio) comes back to the family home after a long time of absence. Younger brother Nick (Joshua Martin Tayco) is back from Japan with his half-Japanese fiancée May (Sabrina Basilio) to announce their engagement. Older sister Hershey (Lesley Lina) is supportive, until she finds out what her future sister-in-law used to do for a living. As the reunion becomes a venue for airing out grievances both present and past, the Dad (Gie Onida) finds himself in the middle of a brawl among his children.

Well what’s the use of having a dinner table at a family reunion as your setting if there won’t be a confrontation scene there, right? This one builds the tension up slowly but surely yet avoids melodrama territory with a smattering of humor here and there. Eventually, it reaches that climax scene that is intense and film adaptation ready. You know you are watching a well-directed play when you don’t just hear sniffles from the audience, but you also see some of them with tears in their eyes. This is indeed the highlight of this particular set, a family drama done right that pulls a heartstring or two.

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