More honing, learning needed for stellar 'K'.
What made them less than the thespic triumphs they were obviously meant to be? Let's start with the female lead character, played by Sofia Andres. As written, her role "felt" like it was meant for a younger performer, since we first get to meet her on her 16th birthday.
Unfortunately, Sofia looks and acts years older, so the inappropriate assignment of role robs the character of some of her essential freshness and vulnerability.
In addition, some plot elements make the character too unrealistically dreamy and ditzy to be taken seriously as a person who's "worth" viewers' empathy and concern:
Just because she (accidentally or "fatedly") found a letter ostensibly from modernday counterparts of "Noli" characters Elias and Salome, she travels all the way to a beach in the Visayas to find either the "classical" epitomizers of true love, or their embodiments!
Even more fantastically, she convinces not one but two male teens (IAigo Pascual and Julian Estrada) to go on the impossible trip, and they end up fighting for her heart of hearts!
For his part, Julian comes across interestingly with a "bad boy" tinge, but his slightly surly acting style or projection quickly becomes predictable and even shallow, so his stellar debut is less remarkable and promising than even Sofia's already compromised effort.
If Julian wants to have a longer acting career, he really has to get out of the "bad boy" box that his first starring portrayal inhabits, which (after Robin Padilla set its template decades ago) certainly doesn't lack for imitators or (to be more generous) emulators.
Finally, what about the film's biggest prospect for stardom, IAigodoes he set the movie screen suitably on fire? IAigo does well in his first major acting showcase, but his performance falls short of knocking his prospects out of the ballpark.
The "fault" isn't entirely his alone, because scripting infelicities limit his characterization's believability: A rich kid with no evident parental supervision, he gets practically everything he wants and has a supersilly girlfriend named Cupcake.
That may make for some outrageous humor, but it also says something about his character's lack of good grounding and solid judgment. Despite this, however, he implausibly agrees to go on a lovelorn lark with this feisty stranger he's just met!
Viewed separately from these scripting limitations, IAigo exudes an appropriately youthful vibe and verveexcept that he still doesn't know how to "share" his emotions with viewers by way of his eyes, which he tends to keep shyly "hooded," thus lessening the empathetic power of his portrayal.
On the other hand, IAigo sings onnote and well, which is more than we can say for most of his frogvoiced contemporaries.
Still, it's clear that he needs a lot more honing and learning before he can be objectively regarded as a major stellar discoveryfor the long term. IAigo may have the right "royal" roots in the biz, but he has to establish his own "K" to make his stellar prospects trulyAOK!
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|Publication:||Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)|
|Date:||Nov 28, 2014|
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