The film ‘Edsa Woolworth’ is set in Bay Area, revolves around the Woolworth Family who are struggling to hold each other amid the ailing pillar—the adopted American father of Edsa, Boni and Paco portrayed by American actor Steven Spohn. The three grown-up adopted children of Spohn’s character named Papa Frank are played by Pokwang, Ricci Chan and Prince Saruhan, respectively.
The said John-D Lazatin film’s plot is not new anymore except that the children are adopted and the three siblings are having struggles with taking care of the man whom they have become a father figure after their mother Mercedes married and left as a widow with an Alzheimer’s disease.
Family is Not Limited to Blood Relations.
Perhaps the selling point of this film is the reality that family is not limited to blood relatives. Despite the fact that Edsa and Boni were real siblings along with their adopted younger brother Paco—their love and concern toward Papa Frank is as strong as real children to the sick old man. Such theme has been a winning formula even in Philippine telenovelas.
What makes this film unique though is the tie that binds the four main characters. They may have struggles, but in the end they realized that the only lasting thing in the world is their family. No matter how they find themselves in certain challenges, still they draw strength from each other.
Another Moving Performance for Pokwang.
The versatility of Pokwang’s acting always prove that a character such as Edsa is something that she can easily breathe into. Her dramatic as well as her comic scenes never fail to entertain her audiences here and abroad.
In the latter part of the film, Pokwang showed a moving performance when she was giving her eulogy and in a breakdown scene. She truly deserves an acting nomination here.
Also the confrontation scene between Edsa and Boni was too powerful that even I, would want to slap not just once, but twice or even thrice the faggot brother. The pain she exhibited was enough to shake the ambitious and self-centered Boni.
An Unexpected Romantic Angle.
Frankly, I wasn’t feeling the ‘kilig’ part between the love story of Boni and Patrick (Lee Robin Salazar). I was rather rooting in the fairytale-like love story between Edsa and Chad (Lee O’Brien). Even if Pokwang’s character wasn’t as desperate like those of Filipinas who have ‘American Dreams’—the unlikely attraction and unexpected romantic angle between Edsa and Chad were enough to glue the moviegoers.
Chad’s character may not be likened to Richard Gere’s Edward Lewis in the 1990 romantic comedy film ‘Pretty Woman’ and Ralph Fiennes’s Christopher Marshall in the 2002 movie ‘Maid in Manhattan’—his was a mixture of an idealistic and realistic knight in shining armor.
Their love story is not superficial as opposed to the one I see between Boni and Patrick.
As a whole, the film has promise, but the characters and the conflicts need more exploration to increase the tension. Though there were moments that the story tends to drag, it was Pokwang who held it together; not Chan’s forcing-through to be comical at times.
‘Edsa Woolworth’ also stars Princess Ryan as Shayne and Vivian Foz as her mom Norma, and Joji Isla as Rudy, Paco’s real dad.