Well-acted at fun panoorin ang ‘Ang Taba Ko Kasi.’ Napayatan lang ako sa pag-address nito ng self-image issues without giving a cohesive, long-term resolution. Parang crash diet lang ang peg— puro promise, kulang ng lasting delivery.
SYNOPSIS: Olga (Cai Cortez) is an overweight girl yearning for self-acceptance. She finds herself romantically torn between her hot swimming instructor who encourages her to lose weight and her equally overweight best friend who wants her to just accept her figure. Pero ano (sino) ba talaga ang gusto ni Olga?
DIRECTOR: Jason Paul Laxamana
GENRE: Comedy, Romance
CAST: Cai Cortez, Ryan Yllana, Mark Neumann
No other CineFilipino entry enjoyed more pre-festival hype this year than Jason Paul Laxamana’s ‘Ang Taba Ko Kasi.’ Intriguing ang mga teasers, nakakatawa ang mga pinakalat nilang memes, at ang Facebook page ay may 73,000+ fans as of this writing. Some of those fans likely cried foul noong nabigyan ng controversial “X” rating ang trailer. Idagdag pa sa hype na ‘yan ang isang subject matter na super relatable (Aminin!), and we’ve got ourselves a potential sentimental favorite. Ngayon, kung naging bigatin lang din sana ang follow-through.
Fresh from the box office success of ‘Love is Blind,’ director Laxamana (‘Babagwa‘, ‘Magkakabaung‘) tackles self-image issues ulit in this well-meaning pero half-baked rom-com. ‘Ang Taba Ko Kasi’ is about Olga, a woman torn between two romantic prospects and, more importantly, two life-altering decisions. Magpapapayat ba siya para magkasya sa ideya ng crush niya ng “tamang” weight? O tatanggapin at ie-embrace na niya na ganoon talaga siya built? Apparently, na-stuck din ang pelikula sa same dilemma.
Ang fun panoorin si Cai Cortez, an exceptional actress who’s comfortable in her own skin, bring authentic vulnerability sa kanyang unang lead role. Nag-shine talaga siya bilang Olga, a girl so hell-bent on getting thin; she tries every trick in the book from jogging around U.P. to running away from sweets (literally, at one point). Mas marami pang bida roles for Cai from now on, please! Kayang-kaya na niyang magdala ng pelikula at hindi lang ma-stuck sa mga best-friend roles. The same goes for Ryan Yllana, who effectively balances wisdom and restrained pining as Benji, Olga’s jogging partner and confidant. TV5’s Mark Neumann, meanwhile, does his best in a role that’s not necessarily suited for him. He plays Noah, the swimming instructor na pinagnanasahan ni Olga. Game naman silang lahat at feel mo ang energy na ito sa kanilang mga eksena, kaso lang their collective enthusiasm can only sustain the film so much.
‘Ang Taba Ko Kasi’ was inspired by the weight struggles of both Laxamana and his peers. The personal touch is evident, and so is the ambition. The film aims to be a cautionary tale that questions our need for physical change. In fact, paulit-ulit ngang gagamitin ang title ng pelikula bilang recurring catchphrase kapag naghahanap ng masisisi ang isang character para sa kanyang shortcomings. Dito pa lang, marami-rami nang puwedeng minahin insight sana. Pero, no. While gets mo na may malakas na urge ang pelikula na magparating ng mensahe, hindi naman ito talagang nag-effort para mag-delve deeper or mai-send nga sa manonood kung ano mang mensahe ‘yun. Complex issues are touched but never really fully resolved, making the conclusion feel like a convenient “quick fix”. In its quest to avoid being preachy, nagsayang ang ‘Ang Taba Ko Kasi’ ng napakagandang opportunity to provide a lasting sense of empowerment sa mga manonood. ♦