Panoorin ang ‘She’s Dating the Gangster’ para tumawa, kiligin, at umiyak—in that order. Kung ang ultimate goal ng isang movie ay dalhin ang mga manonood sa isang rollercoaster of emotions at nagawa n’ya yon based on the reaction of the audience, well, wagi ang She’s Dating the Gangster.
SYNOPSIS: In She’s Dating The Gangster, Kenneth Delos Reyes (Daniel Padilla) journeys (literally and figuratively) towards the discovery of his father’s past love, whom he blames for the lack of love he and his late mother ever got from his father. The story is revealed by Kelay (Kathryn Bernardo), who joins Kenneth in this journey for her own reason: Kenji Delos Reyes’s greatest love, Athena, is her aunt and is dying. Kenneth soon understands the great sacrifice that both Kenji and Athena gave so that his own mother could live. In the process, Kenneth and Kelay also journey towards knowing each other better.
GENRE: Romance, Comedy, Drama
DIRECTOR: Cathy Garcia-Molina
CAST: Daniel Padilla | Kathryn Bernardo |Richard Gomez |Dawn Zulueta |Sofia Andres |Khalil Ramos |Ian Veneracion |Pamu Pamorada |Alex Diaz |Yana Asistio |Igiboy Flores |Marco Gumabao |John Uy |Eslove Briones |Joe Vargas |Elisse Joson |Arnold Reyes |Nina Dolino |Rio Locsin |Kobi Vidanes |Justin Reyes |Yayo Aguila |Allan Paule |William Lorenzo |Niño Muhlach |Jules Estrada |Kevin Fowler |Ramon Christopher |Karen Reyes |Matutina |Hyubs Azarcon |Pooh |Jojit Lorenzo | Jm De Guzman |Rayver Cruz |Joross Gamboa |Ketchup Eusebio |Joem Bascon |Gerry Bricenio
She’s Dating the Gangster is a colorful movie experience—visually and in story.
An adaptation of the book of the same title by Bianca B. Bernardino, the movie offers a rich storyline that involves a couple in the past who find love in each other only to make a great sacrifice, and a couple in the present who are only beginning to know each other.
As the two couples go through their journey, we are taken on a familiar roller-coaster ride of emotions: first we laugh, and then swoon, and then we cry. Towards the end, we swoon a little bit more. It’s a formula. And it works. When a movie sets out to draw emotions from the audience and is obviously able to do just that, it is a successful movie.
Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo play the lead roles, both of the present-day Kenneth and Kelay, and the young Kenji and Athena. It’s a perfect vehicle for a love team with the strongest chemistry anywhere, as their fans get two stories in one movie. It needs to be mentioned that Bernardo is able to differentiate her two characters using subtle but effective acting variations.
They are supported by a strong cast of veterans. The movie opens with Richard Gomez as the present-day Kenji. Rio Locsin and Arnold Reyes did not hold back in their short dramatic scenes. Dawn Zulueta shines in the only slow-mo that worked in a movie full of slow-mos.
Visually, the movie is a treat. The blast from the past was particularly enjoyable. My first thought as Eraserheads’s Pare Ko played in one of first few scenes was, has it really been that long? The film went all out in capturing the spirit of the 90’s, where much of the movie is set. The costumes are great. It was also another excuse to bring out the wigs—at the rate wigs are being used in Star Cinema movies, you’d think they do movies just so they can use wigs.
The rich story offered a lot of opportunities to do some more strong creative choices. The movie could have benefited from stronger parallelism between the two timelines. Editing could have been more strategic, too, as we switch between past and present.
But nobody is complaining. It’s a highly enjoyable movie. ♦