By By Pablo A. Tariman
WHEN SENSUALITY FAILS
posted 18 days ago  ·  
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Derrick Monasterio and Sanya Lopez in "Wild and Free." Neither wild nor free.

A movie reviewer’s life is an unpredictable lot. You always accept invitations for advance screening hoping to brighten up your deadline-weary days with some slices of gems from cinema.

Actually, they didn’t have to be gems. They just have to be fairly good in the layman’s point of view.

You are also wary of the producer’s gambit. It is no joke to shell out good money in a venture that hopefully will yield good return of investment.

But when the story fails and the acting becomes an invitation to boredom, you begin to regret why you accepted the invitation at all.

Two films come to mind. Wild and Free directed by Connie Macatuno for Regal Films and Destination Wedding written directed by Victor Levin.

The story of Wild and Free begins to go haywire in the middle of a film as Jack (Derrick Monasterio) falls for Ellie (Sanya Lopez) who is working as part-time TNVS (transport network vehicle service).

But somewhere in the story, Jack couldn’t accept the woman of his desire was also a former girlfriend of his departed brother.

There is an effort to make much out of this situation while the characters discover each other bodies.

Truth in sensuality as a component of a movie can only look credible with a good story. Otherwise those love scenes would look like last-minute decisions to save a crumbling storyline.

Monasterio didn’t disappoint but Lopez has a lot of catching up to do. Her frequent delivery of the line during love scenes (“Ang guapo mo talaga!”) makes you think the whole scenario was unscripted and was left to the actors’ discretion.

As a launching film, Wild and Free attempted to soar high but went down swiftly as pure and unadulterated dud. It was neither wild nor free. The passionate scenes all looked contrived and at the end of the film, sensuality all but flew out of the window without effort.

***

Destination Wedding, written and directed by Victor Levin, has many things going for it.

The lead stars – Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves -- are the big come-ons and the script sizzles in the beginning of the story.

The screenplay carries the film with smart and witty lines and delivered without effort.

But the big laugh-on was when the writer challenged himself by providing lines for the couple (Ryder and Reeves) making love and exchanging lines in the middle of the carnal act. The scene looked bizarre and the verbal exchange looked like a part of a sensuality workshop. But it had audiences laughing their heads off.

Indeed, the actors delivered and the story is not so bad at all. You leave the theater raving about the script that foreign critics thought was “overwritten.”

But each according to his taste.

In a movie reviewer’s life, you learn something from good and bad films and you learn to categorize the amateur and the seasoned filmmakers.

After all, they are all free to make films imitating life. But if the imitation turns into drudgery, you try to muster more tolerance for bad output and accept the fact that some filmmakers have no access to this thing called subtlety and brilliance.


Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in "Destination Wed-ding." The script is the thing and the acting didn't disap-point.
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