The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers
Mika (Julia Barretto) is a young woman who grew up believing in aliens because her mother (Carmina Villarroel) was convinced of their existence. When her mom dies, it leaves a gaping hole in Mika's heart, and one day, she sets out on a journey to search for aliens herself.
On the way, she meets Caloy, a guy looking for his estranged father. He believes that if his dad found out he's suffering from cancer, he would finally recognize him as his son.
Together, Mika and Caloy go on a road trip that will change their lives forever.
The Short, Honest Plot
Two wounded souls go on a journey of healing = A MAJOR CRY FEST.
The Main Actors And Where You Last Saw Them
Julia Barretto as Mika
This actress was last seen in the MMFF movie Vince & Kath & James and is a regular in the teleserye A Love To Last.
Joshua Garcia as Caloy
This actor was also last seen in the MMFF movie Vince & Kath & James and in the afternoon drama The Greatest Love.
Did You Know?
1. The movie is directed AND written by Antoinette Jadaone. How's that for talent?! The writer-filmmaker is also responsible for That Thing Called Tadhana, for which she won the 3rd prize in the Dulaang Pampelikula category of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in 2014. She also wrote blockbuster hits like #WalangForever with Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado, and The Breakup Playlist with Sarah Geronimo and Piolo Pascual.
2. The movie's theme song "Torete" may be a familiar tune especially to those who listened to the radio back in 2001 when it was first released by the band Moonstar88. This time around, singer Moira dela Torre, one of the standouts of the first season of The Voice Philippines, lends her soothing voice to the song.
3. In the movie, you will hear Joshua do a perfect Batangueño accent. That's because he's a real Batangueño! He was born and raised in Bauan, Batangas.
What I Think:
I'll be honest and say it outright—you're in for a CRY FEST with this movie. I kid you not, I used up eight pieces of tissue and came out of the cinema with swollen eyes. It was that much of a tearjerker.
The movie starts out light but midway, it gets heavy and very real. How can it not when the movie tackles something as serious as cancer? If you're maselan though, I have to tell you that there are some realistic throwing up scenes—just so you're warned. But that's one of the things I liked about this movie. It wasn't at all trying to glamorize sickness or putting an effort into making the actors look good.
Julia Barretto, as expected, was fantastic as Mika. If you have not been watching Julia lately and have no idea how well she acts, then you're in for a treat. She is one of the best actresses among her peers. She's very natural and acts with depth. You will see that she gives her whole heart in every scene.
Joshua Garcia, on the other hand, is such a revelation. I watched Vince & Kath & James where he was one of the lead actors, and even then, I could see a lot of potential in him. I never thought he would improve this fast, though! Joshua was remarkable in this film and seemed to have no inhibitions, which is very commendable.
As for their chemistry, I thought there was still a little bit of awkwardness between them. Perhaps it's because they're not (yet) together in real life (in their press con, Joshua admits to still courting Julia) or maybe because the characters they play have not known each other for a long time. But definitely, there is tension between them and the kilig factor is very much present. For me, it just hasn't reached peak level yet.
The only downside of the movie for me would be that everything was packed in such a short time. If it were longer, I would have liked to see the alien storyline pursued a little bit more. Perhaps more scenes about how Mika became obsessed with aliens, too, like her mother? After I saw the trailer, I was excited to see how the theme would be tackled and was disappointed that there wasn't more of it in the film.
But overall, I found the film to be a real tearjerker with lead actors who played their roles excellently.
What my friend thinks:
First hour was stir-fried. Second hour was slow-cooked. Ending: I was a mess.—Owen
I would recommend it to:
Anyone who's game for a good cry!