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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal, pass big-screen test

Nandito Ako, Nagmamahal Sa ’yo is a trial balloon for Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal to see if their relatively new love team could soar to cinematic heights. Their tandem may have been a smashing success on television in Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin, but the big screen is an entirely different ballgame.

So how do they fare in their first film project together as a romantic pair?

In terms of box-office success, I have no idea because in the local motion picture industry you’ll never know the truth this early since I can imagine figures are padded in the first few days. Bandwagon hogwash. Watch it because everyone else is — that is the eternal battle cry of most local producers and this is the reason why they always have to say that their movie is making a killing at the tills.

But as far as artistic achievement is concerned, Aljur and Kris have passed the test. To begin with, it’s difficult to fail given the fact that they have a major director like Maryo J. de los Reyes handling them.

Screenwriter Jake Tordesillas also gives them a decent enough blueprint to work around with and that allows them the opportunity to shine in this launching vehicle produced by Regal Films.

Nandito Ako, Nagmamahal Sa ’yo starts with Aljur and his mother Anna Capri eking out a living in Quiapo. Anna, who is ill, however, runs off with syndicate money and mother and son seek refuge in her native Bohol.

The Bohol trip is two-pronged: First, they’re far from the syndicate and second, Anna feels it’s about time Aljur met his real father, the rich Lloyd Samartino, already a widower, but left with a legal son, Baron Geisler.

Baron is about to be married to childhood friend Kris Bernal, but Aljur comes to the picture and they fall in love. Here lie the intricacies of this romance movie that is appealing to all ages and not just strictly for Aljur-Kris fans.

Nandito Ako is very likeable as a film because there are strictly no out-and-out bad people. You can’t even hate the character of Baron because to begin with, he was very cordial and welcoming toward his half-brother Aljur. They only get into a fraternal feud because a girl comes between them — and so you can’t totally blame Baron for eventually being arrogant toward the sibling, whose identity that time was still under DNA testing. And so there are no black-and-white characters here and that’s very commendable because in real life I doubt if there are really such people.

It also helps that Baron is such an excellent actor — so unpredictable, you never know what he is up to next. Of course, noteworthy performances are delivered as expected by more seasoned actors Lloyd Samartino and Anna Capri. Even newcomer Valeen Montenegro, who plays Kris’ frivolous friend and wedding planner, turns in a good acting job — and so do Carlo Aquino, who is sent to Bohol by the syndicate to run after Anna, and Gerald Madrid as Kris’ brother, who is also her father confessor, Gerald being a priest.

Surprisingly, even Aljur and Kris — despite their being new in the acting profession — both do very well. Aljur in particular manages to deliver his dramatic lines full of conviction. For sure that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the guidance of Maryo J. de los Reyes.

Nandito Ako also gives a great boost to Bohol’s tourism as it shows all the beautiful spots in that place — with great emphasis on the Chocolate Hills. The Baclayon Church is also utilized heavily since a lot of the scenes were shot in its interiors.

Being the launching pad of a new love team, Nandito Ako naturally has kilig moments. Some can be icky, but most are basically tolerable. I’ve seen mushier sequences in other local romance films.

Aljur and Kris may not be Heathcliff and Catherine and Nandito Ako, Nagmamahal Sa ’yo is certainly no Wuthering Heights, but it succeeds as a romantic movie.

If all you want is light entertainment, Nandito Ako is here.

[via]

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

as for the box office, i think it did not do well.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous G-ROOM said...

To all GERALD ANDERSON and ALJUR ABRENICA fans, there’s an ongoing poll between them at http://thegayroom.blogspot.com/

You may cast your vote once a day. Poll ends this Sunday.

1:58 PM  

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