By By Pablo A. Tariman
posted 2-Jun-2019  ·  
619 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
Gerard Anderson and Julia Barreto in "Between Maybes." Fresh and highly inspiring partnership

Just when you thought you have had enough of predictable stories with two lead characters carrying the weight of box office acceptance, here comes another film shot abroad (Saga, Japan) and still emerging a runaway winner.

Between Maybes is about a showbiz star weighed down by endless pressure (mainly from stage mother played brilliantly by Yayo Agila) and coping with the onset of lukewarm reception from both fans and producers.

To one’s relief, Julia Barreto (as the movie personality Hazel Ilagan) turns in a real, if, incandescent, down to earth portrayal of a spoiled star she keeps the audience giggling and guffawing with her naughty ways.

Still another surprise, Gerard Anderson (as Louie Puyat) delivers a low key but highly effective portrayal of a man leading a solitary life as fisherman and waiter in Saga, Japan. For once, the actor sheds off his matinee idol image and becomes the fine character he is in this latest Laxamana film. He exudes dignity as fisherman and waiter but his vulnerable moments were just as convincing. His trying moments with the owner of the restaurant were just as moving.

When the two finally meet, there comes highly defined contrasts of characters and disposition.

She is low on manners and he is the epitome of self-restraint. From the movie star, he receives a casual invitation for love making only after first meeting but he shows better judgement. As the story gets midway into the film, you find an excellent script unfolding and more doses of fine acting that makes for an excellent ensemble.

True to form, the two lead stars keep the audience on its toes and watching every move on the screen with quiet but admiring dispatch.

The story is about two lost souls finding themselves in a foreign land after years of coping with strains in career and family life.

From the way screenwriter Laxamana weaves the story, you get to their stormy past and see them confront their present.  

Away from the pressure of showbiz life, the famous star with strings of product endorsement to her credit realizes there is peace and quiet in solitary setting away from screaming movie fans. She even sees herself as a plain housewife doing household chores.

But just as the character of Anderson leads her to come to terms with herself, the next unpredictable chapter becomes inevitable. They have no choice but to confront it quietly.

But the beauty of this film is that nothing is forced or contrived in the way the story unfolds.

The direction is tight but equally sensitive the lead stars must have been thoroughly inspired to give their best.

Just as the characters realize they have a choice, the inevitable dictated by the demands of the industry come into the picture. For another, the film score of Paulo Protacio and the cinematography of Carlos Mauricio blend beautifully with the story.

Surely, this is one of the best of Julia and Gerard and one of the most revealing from Laxamana. From this young director, you see a flicker of maturity setting in and how.

About the lead stars, the quality of their screen partnership goes beyond rapport enough to make one conclude they have started to come of age as actors.

When good direction and good acting come in equal doses, they give moviegoers another hope that the Filipino movie industry will still be here for a long time and showcasing the most promising young artists of cinema.

Between Maybes produced by Black Sheep and directed by Paul Jason Laxamana opens in cinemas on May 15.

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