By By Pablo A. Tariman
When maturity becomes love
posted 15-Apr-2018  ·  
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James Reid and Nadine Lustre in "Never Not Love You." When love matures, you leave the world of fantasy and start getting real as life itself.

One finds the latest James Reid-Nadine Lustre starrer -- directed by Antoinette Jadaone -- a luminously quiet one and with some hesitation, you wonder how their fans will take this.

For one, there are no scenes calculated to elicit kilig moments and indeed see millennials seriously at work and making both love and career work at various stages of their relationship.

The persistent suitor in the graphic artist Gio (Reid) finds spontaneous reactions from a would-be brand manager Joanne (Lustre) enough to keep the film going.

A good thirty minutes into the movie, you realize this is a well-written film that needs a seasoned cast for a semblance of reality and magic to happen.

For some reason, one doesn’t see Lustre and Reid as the perfect cast. But they have worked very well enough to give a credible portrayal. Surprisingly, their best effort still does justice to the film.

Not that they differed sharply from past characterizations in past assignments.

In past films, they moved pretty much like their real selves and you don’t see where the real life ends and where film characterization begins.

On the other hand, Reid’s sensitivity has improved over the years, but he could only give so much and connect so much. The magic of love (Stage One) Lustre captures with spontaneity and the detached graphic artist in Reid finds unequivocal portrayal you can almost feel the angst in the interpretation of the young actor.

It is the well-written script of Jadaone that demands a lot from the performers and often, they succeed. In some sequences, they sound like they are treading on a safe labyrinth all the time. But in fairness them, the tandem really works for the story.

There is a lot of kissing scenes enough to shed off any sign of teen innocence in the characters. But as the scenes shift to London where they turn into hardworking OFWs, the pair turns in some real acting that show how overseas workers live and survive.

As one of the characters describe it, working abroad is no bed of roses.

As the film winds up, you get the drift of the story and for once, you feel the presence of a director who does not compromise just to give a film something that will keep fans screaming.

Because the story of the latest Jadaone film is as real as life itself and indeed, it is no bed of roses.

When the relationship is threatened by separation, you feel the tension and the agony and towards the end, you entertain the idea that this relationship can only last this long.

But as Filipino rom-com ends, the story ends happily ever after.

As for its good acceptance at the box office, “Never Not Love You” shows a good and well-written story -- plus a stroke of good direction -- will always do wonders to both filmmakers and audiences alike.

Written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, “Never Not Love You” is still showing in cinemas.

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