Swak sa panlasa ng JaDine fans ang ‘This Time’. For the rest, well, panoorin lang kung gusto mong kiligin. Part comedy, part love story, part… Snapchat (dahil sa mga special effects nito) ito, pero sa kabuuan, the whole is definitely not greater than the sum of its parts.
SYNOPSIS: Ava (Nadine Lustre) and Coby (James Reid) are childhood friends who only see each other every summer vacation. As they grow up and their feelings toward each other also grow into something more than just friendship, will they overcome the challenge of loving each other from far away?
DIRECTOR: Nuel C. Naval
WRITER: Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario
GENRE: Romance, Comedy
CAST: James Reid | Nadine Lustre | Freddie Webb | Al Tantay | Candy Pangilinan | Yam Concepcion | Donnalyn Bartolome | Bret Jackson | Nova Villa | Tess Antonio | Ronnie Lazaro
This Time, the latest movie starring James Reid and Nadine Lustre, tackles the DTR (defining the relationship) and the LDR (long-distance relationship) between two young people. The result is quite okay, but getting there is muddled with frustrating elements.
Sa umpisa ng pelikula, malumbay si Ava (Nadine Lustre) na umpisa na ang summer. Malalaman ng mga manonood ang dahilan nito: she misses her childhood friend Coby (James Reid), who she may have developed feelings for over the years. But wait, their relationship is also complicated kasi 1) sa loob ng panahon na magkakilala sila, they only meet during the summer, when Coby’s in town; and 2) despite the developing feelings, they haven’t defined kung ano nga ba sila sa isa’t-isa. The fact that Coby and Ava will probably be spending the last summer together doesn’t help matters for them.
This Time banks heavily on the JaDine love team, at to be fair, successful naman ito in taking advantage of James and Nadine’s rapport at nag-uumapaw na chemistry. Kilig kung kilig, o drama kung drama when they share the screen/scene. This movie also showcases how the duo seemed to have matured and developed as actors over the course of four movies and a teleserye. Yes, marami pa silang kakaining bigas as far as acting goes, pero at least hindi sila regressing.
Unfortunately, the movie feels at once overloaded and empty. Parang nasobrahan ng plot points ang kuwento, kaya naman when it comes to resolving them, some came off as mababaw. The third act introduces a conflict between Ava and Coby, but this feels like an add-on dahil the movie could have ended with the resolution that happened a few scenes prior. Parts of the narrative didn’t help, either, in that may differing points of view (and voice-overs) at one point, not to mention the confusing timeline sa umpisa–there was a flashback scene that ended in 2015, but it didn’t give a hint kung bumalik na ba ang manonood sa present time (and to think na gumamit pa sila ng comic book filters sa mga eksenang ‘to, as if to shout “FLASHBACK ‘TO!”).
The supporting characters, played by really good actors on their own right, came off as meddling. Lahat sila may opinion sa love story nina Ava and Coby which is funny sa simula, nakakainis na sa dulo. Are they funny (when the scene calls for it)? Yes. Do they give sound advice? Yes. Is it necessary to move the story forward? Not really.
Minus points din ang visual effects na ginamit sa pelikulang ito. Maliban sa nabanggit na comic-book filter used for flashbacks (na aminin natin, for a movie in 2016, it looks and feels really outdated and amateurish), there were also these cartoon expressions that were superimposed on Ava’s face. This last one not only does not help with the story at all, it also feels as if whoever thought of these does not trust the actor–Nadine–enough to convey the intended emotions or message of the scene. If there’s even the remotest possibility na may deeper meaning behind these, it didn’t come across.
This Time had the potential to be a great movie. The best moments sa pelikulang ito are the ones with the leads being cute, flirty, or solemn with each other. Unfortunately, given the plot, their scenes together are limited. ♦