A friend asked online what is another 'good movie' to watch apart from Honor Thy Father in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival. Having just gone out of the cinema and still recovering from the unexpected feels from the movie, I eagerly suggested Walang Forever. There were a few minutes of silence (during which I'm sure my friend rolled her eyes and judged me) before she finally replied, "Naku, ayoko na sa mga romcom na ganyan."
Against HTF that was pretty much ordained as the "quality movie" of the season, I realized that it is inevitable for WF to be unfairly stereotyped as just another chick flick. Truth be told, given that both films have their own share of flaws, a credible jury could have easily picked either film for Best Picture had they both been eligible for the category.
Walang Forever benefited from a good story and credible leads. I have always known Jericho Rosales as a good actor but he is exceptional in this film, it makes you wonder why he isn't the most popular actor among his peers today. Jennylyn Mercado did her best and succeeded at creating a character that is distinctly different from last year's runaway hit, English Only Please. Irma Adlawan is great in the few minutes that she was on screen and should have been handed the award for Best Supporting Actress.
The only real problem that I saw was a revelation three quarters into the film that was a little too contrived. It was a disappointing turn but it was handled beautifully. Walang Forever made up for it by downplaying its bittersweet end. There was a moment where Jericho was just looking at an old couple, he did not say anything and it only lasted for a few seconds but it was heartbreaking. Digging into the reality behind the love that we see on screen, Walang Forever bared its own heart, showed us what real love can be like, and made us believe in its version of forever.
I cant write about my opinion on the story as I will have to talk about parts of the plot that will ruin it for those who haven't watched it yet so I will just say this - the story isn't as original (or out of this world unique) and there were a lot of cliches BUT it was done so realistically (ex: no swelling background music on supposed romantic scenes, no overdramatic lines) that it felt palpable and real.
This would have been a contender to One More Chance (in my book) but it wasn't able to get to that level because of one thing: the actors.
Jennylyn Mercado appeared tired and devoid of emotions for two-thirds of the movie. I couldnt get over how she was so good in last year's EOP and then suddenly lose any depth in her acting in this one. It only picked up on the last part but its too late by then.
The supporting cast was also a hit and miss. The hits were the bestfriend of Mia (Jenny Lyn) and her house boarder (forgot the name). Irma Adlawan is always a godsend for any movie that is confident enough to give her good roles.
The misses? Sebastian Castro and his 'bf'. The lines felt like they were waiting for a cue from the director before they started speaking.
The ensemble barkada also felt lacking - their nuances and acting did not convey the closeness of people that have known each other for years. It was like they were just waiting for everyone to throw their lines.
Jericho on the other hand was surprisingly good. I guess if given a better co-star (like Kristine Hermosa during their Pangako Sayo days) he would have been awesome in his role. But you can only do so much when the girl you're supposedly in love with (and is in love with you too) looks and acts like she's tired of doing everything in the movie from start to finish.
But hey, I am only very critical because like what I've said, this movie could have been sooooo much more. Even with the opportunities outlined above, this is still worth watching just because of the story. Focus on that and you'll definitely like it.