By By Pablo A. Tariman
posted 16-Jun-2018  ·  
675 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
Dingdong Dantes and Anne Curtis in a scene from "Sid & Aya" (Not A Love Story). Absorbing story and superb cinematography.

Nothing prepares you for the spontaneous unpredictability of Irene Villamor’s Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story) starring Dingdong Dantes as Sid and Anne Curtis as Aya.

The story is simple enough, but the thing is it says a lot about the class divide inhabited by a go-getting stockbroker (Dantes) and an imaginative waitress (Curtis) who has found creative ways of augmenting her income.

She probably doesn’t know anything about how the stock market works but she starts to get an idea when she agrees to an escort service job initially without intimacy involved. Because the stockbroker is an insomniac and he needs someone to talk to and his offer was something she couldn’t resist. The pay was good, and the stockbroker was a hunk and quite a looker. She decides she might as well accept it and have fun.

Then Sid discovers Aya also works as a laundry assistant to his pleasant surprise.

In the process, she gets to know the man and the stockbroker. As she sorts out his clothes for washing, she picks up assorted papers from his pants’ pocket from receipts to unused condoms. When she tells her friends about it, the gay one exclaims, “Strike anywhere pala siya.”

In time, mutual attraction turns into something else that baffles both of them.

They become friends and then they get intimate and they start asking questions about how both of them live and survive. Love is not anywhere hinted, but it was obvious something is in the making.

This although she has a girlfriend who wants to move in with him and hopefully settle, so to speak.

Aya follows her mother’s fate in Japan and one night when Sid accepts a job in Japan, he discovers she has become a japayuki – like her mother before her.

Direk Irene’s latest film (her previous equally good output include Camp Sawi and Meet Me in St. Gallen) has an innate charm that works slowly but surely into the moviegoer’s heart. She has a good film narrative of two lives merging as one and she is in total control of their unpredictable fate. Meanwhile, she gives her viewers a   view of the stock market and how everyone slaves for the big money. While Aya settles for the crumbs, Sid is always aiming for the big time. Indeed, the director has a good feel for big and small people and how they cope with the work-a-day world.

Not to be overlooked, the storytelling is enhanced in no small way by the ravishing cinematography by Pao Orendain.

But what is amazing is that Direk Irene was able to get the spontaneous best from Anne and Dingdong and thus striking a good rapport without trying too hard.

Anne charms her way into her role and got to pin down the character’s ups and downs with all the emotions showing without effort. Dingdong probably had a model in the stock market and he delineated the part with such commendable dispatch.

While the movie is touted to be anything but a love story, it very well unfolds without showing too much.

The characters are real, and they are not exactly figures from franchise rags-to-riches story. But Direk Irene has a versatile pen and a sensitive one to make something magical out of a something unromantic and unexpected.

This is where she hooked the audience who found another story they could connect with without the subplots.

Like it or not, Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story) is another beautiful variation of love in unexpected places.

And she found the right actors who can do justice to her story.

Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story) is now showing in cinemas.

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