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Saturday, February 24, 2024

The games called life and love

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Currently showing in cinemas and one of the motion picture’s in competition for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival is My Father, Myself, with screenplay by Quinn Carillo, direction by Joel Lamangan, produced by 3:16 Media Network and Mentorque Productions.

In a nutshell, the film depicts a modern-day family, their bliss and dramas, sacred secrets and how these are uncovered, and how an emotion like love added not only confusion and chaos, but complicated the lives of Robert (Jake Cuenca), Amanda (Dimples Romana), their daughter Mica (Tiffany Grey) and adopted son Matthew (Sean de Guzman).

The main anchor of the narrative is the peeling and revealing of the layers of the complicated nature of the relationship that the major characters share. The once-happy family is shaken and shattered to its core by the fact of the matter is not for the faint-hearted and that it can be judged instantly because it holds out against how things must stand in a society that puts the ultimate premium on the family.

Jake Cuenca (left) and Sean de Guzman in Joel Lamangan’s ‘My Father, Myself’

The adroit direction of Lamangan allows you to understand the choices of the characters who are all fighting tooth and nail in the name of love. Because of this fact, our open minds and caring heart are unlocked, we then marvel at the emotionally committed and truthful manner that Cuenca, Romana, Grey, and De Guzman invested in the persons they portray on the silver screen.

Jake as the champion human rights lawyer and family man Robert, with a major flaw, is to love truly, madly, and deeply, and how he succumbed to the seduction of his feelings with dire consequences as a result.

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A realistic and sensitive portrayal of Robert, was how Cuenca delivered the goods. As a father tested by his love for family and a different kind of love that makes him want and covet, and as a man who did his best to conceal the truth and resist the allurement but failed, he shone in his moments of passion and the manner his character addressed the complications heart on.

Grey, as the daughter caught in the middle of a situation she did not expect, for a newcomer acquitted herself with up-to-the-mark acting skills and feels. The question her character asked Matthew, was an unforgettable screen moment.

Sean, as Matthew, as the young man who needed to choose between the deep blue sea and the deepest of feelings, the intoxicating combination of lust from the loins and romance from the heart, showed the level of competence this young actor has mastered.

The diamond performer in this Lamangan-directed movie was Romana. Her Amanda, icy and fiery, definitely. Her love for Robert was beyond measure but when push comes to shove, she is queen, and the aces she pulled, the truths she kept at bay, exploded to Robert’s face and it hit him the hardest. Dimples showed to the audiences that a woman is more than capable to love unconditionally but that does not mean you can always mess with her. Romana carried her character with gravitas, emotional intelligence, and the purest of vulnerability that when she unleashed her wrath or displayed a heart of hers that is truly compassionate and understanding, you get her instantly you are an ally of Amanda.

Two quivers in the Carillo screenplay were the easy way out resolve of one of its major characters and secondly the happily ever after course of action which is meant to lighten and obviously soften the emotional wallop because of the solution. A braver and more dignified option should have been the best way out.

My Father, Myself, the only rated for adults movie in the annual MMF, offers more than what meets the eye because allows the heart to expose the essential,s and the scars that make it beautiful are necessary to survive the games called life and love.

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