By By Pablo A. Tariman
A MERMAID’S DILEMMA
posted 26-Feb-2018  ·  
644 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador in "My Fairy Tail Love Story." A millennial's coming to terms with herself thanks to an island stranger.

A film cannot be judged by its trailer.

In this context, Regal Film’s latest release brought about high expectations with its highly imaginative trailer.

For another, it is the third of IdeaFirst Company’s offerings for the New Year. It started with a big bang with the blockbuster Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes directed by Jun Robles Lana and blooming into full glory with an equally well-received Mr. and Mrs. Cruzmegged by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.

With these two crowning glories as a backdrop, Fairy Tail has a lot of catching up to do.

Not fair though.

Because the latest Perci Intalan film is a lot different from the two earlier releases.

Previewed at the Directors’ Club in SM Megamall Tuesday night, Perci Intalan’s My Fairy Tail Love Story has many things going for it.

With the enthralling Zambales sea as a background, you get the hint that it will pitch a subtle lesson on saving the environment. To some extent, it succeeded.

But then the film revolves around a spoiled millennial (Janella Salvador) going gaga on her 18th birthday. A bosom buddy (Elmo Magdalena) keeps her company.

In the beginning, you can see that the film is a spoof of a typical family trying to make a big show out of a strictly family affair. Sadly, well-off Filipino families fall for this trap.

The highly cherished family values look funny when the patriarch (Dominic Ochoa) separates from the wife and fell in love with the family maid (Cacai Bautista) who remains forbearing as she fulfills dual roles – as brand-new wife and former maid.

But demanding wife will not have none of it. How dare he even bring that former-maid-now-wife in her daughter’s debut party?

The blowing of candles has yet to materialize when matriarch (Dimples Romano) raises hell over ex-husband bringing her brand-new partner in the auspicious birthday party.

As expected, debut turns into a shouting match between ex-partners with poor daughter accepting father’s offer of an out-of-town picnic as peace offering.

The spoiled brat that she is, Janella’s character turns off a mysterious islander and a day later, she turns into a mermaid and can only communicate by singing.

At this stage, a threesome of a rom-com unfolds with audience held in suspense over possible discovery of her island curse.

To be fair, Janella has a good singing voice that partly makes her character engaging. The script was wise enough not to turn the film into a present-day Larawan with one character (Kiray Celis) asking cursed friend, “Why are you (always) singing?”

In fairness, the film has a good theme song that lights up the movie.

All told, Fairy Tail has good intentions and a good idea in which to transpose a modern-day Ariel (The Little Mermaid) into this romantic comedy.

Midway into the film, one realizes the film is geared for millennials and not for this old-school sexagenarian.

To be fair, Janella did very well as mermaid with a big dilemma.

Magalona is better off in this film than in his previous outings. This time, he looked and sounded real.

Kiko Estrada has a lot of promise and indeed his character could be typical of millennials whose positive outlook remains intact for as long as there are no horror stories to challenge that good life.

As one has said earlier, the film has good intentions but somewhere along the way, you saw the promise and missed the message. But one critic’s observation doesn’t make it a bad film. In fact, millennials can turn it into a blockbuster.

In the end, it is the audience who is the final judge and one must remind moviegoers that although critics have a role in shaping taste in cinema, they can also go wrong trapped from an old school’s point of view and the millennial’s present-day outlook.

Nevertheless, My Fair Tail Love Story imparts a good lesson that being spoiled is no good way to start living life.

There are other less privileged people out there who don’t share her good fortune and one of them happens to be a mysterious islander who gave her a lesson she will never forget.

The film is a good narrative of a young woman’s coming to terms with herself and her milieu.

It took a sea and an island to teach her that lesson.

This must be one of the reasons the late Direk Maryo J. de los Reyes liked this film

My Fairy Tail Love Story opened in cinemas last February 14.


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