header image


This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

Interested in What I Create?


Thursday, November 26, 2015

entry arrow8:25 PM | The 'What Is' of Popoy and Basha

I quite liked Cathy Garcia Molina's A Second Chance, much to my surprise. I was prepared to dislike it, given the iconic nature of the 2007 film and the high expectations we often bring to the follow up -- but as it unfurled for me, it revealed its appropriateness as a sequel.

This is Popoy and Basha post-honeymoon, and it is to the film's credit that it decidedly went for an uncommon conflict that's not often dished out by cinematic factories like StarCinema. No queridas here, and no complicated love triangles to warrant a search for yet another chance at making things right. The problem that faces our favourite couple is grittier than those hoary teleserye staples of a problem, and perhaps touches on something a bit more pragmatic: it's being P80 million in debt, and trying to stay liquid. (Ack.)

There were scenes from the film that made for uncomfortable viewing, simply because they hit the right notes about what it's like, really, about being grown up: we're all just flailing as we go, hoping the decisions we make are the right decisions, although deep inside, we really have no idea what we are doing. I guess it's more or less a grown-up film in the sense that it doesn't shy away from confronting issues of adult failures and missed chances. (Ack.)

In tackling the unraveling of a marriage, the film readily reminded me of Richard Linklater's Before Midnight and Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage -- but Garcia-Molina takes the influences from both and mixes it with quote-worthy pathos the way Pinoys like their spaghetti: sweet and easy to digest. It works. Even when the actors strain for the credible with lines such as "It’s brave to ask 'what if,' [but] I think it’s braver to ask 'what is'" -- perfectly tailored for the sobbing masses to quote and requote forever -- there is sincerity somewhat in the endeavour that it is able to skirt what could easily be maudlin.

Garcia-Molina, of course, has never really been a cinematic director, and so we don't really get a film that's beautiful to watch. But she is a very capable craftsperson, and she ably stitches shots together and paces all the other elements in such a way that hits the right notes and does its job in selling just enough a story to make it compelling. It works in satisfying the most basic of our expectations, and I'm glad I got to see Popoy and Basha again. Although I'm #TeamTrisha forever. (No Tricia in the film though. Ack.)

Labels: , , ,

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich