Though, the Regal Entertainment Incorporated’s film ‘My Fairy Tail Love Story’ by Perci Intalan is easily identified with the fairy tale written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ which is about a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul; this one attempts to create a movie experience apart from telling a story; particularly having in mind the youth of today.
The mermaid-centric piece assembles three of the promising young stars in Philippine cinema, the popular team-up of ElNella (short for Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador) and the eye candy—Kiko Estrada, the son of Cheska Diaz and Gary Estrada. Magalona plays the male childhood friend of Chantel, Noah; while Salvador is Chantel and Estrada is DJ Ethan, the third wheel in the film.
The film takes pride in its scenic locations where the film was shot in Batangas, Zambales and Pangasinan. Most of the breathtaking underwater scenes were taken in Anilao and the beach scenes were both in the latter mentioned places. Some underwater shots were done in Tubbataha Reef, Palawan. It posed a great challenge for the director to make all the shots look like it was taken in one location.
Like any other ‘Little Mermaid’ franchises, though the film has nothing to do with Walt Disney films and all; still it offers musical production where it utilizes the singing talents of ElNella tandem. However, Intalan promised that it only has 20% musical parts, but has a major musical scene. Moviegoers are in for a Disney-kind-of-treat in this Valentine offering movie.
Janella’s character as Chantel is cursed with a fish tail and she can only go back to her human form and restore her legs when she finds her true love’s kiss, which she mistook it to be DJ Ethan. In contrast to the character of Walt Disney Princess named Ariel, Salvador’s voice wasn’t gone, but she has to sing whenever she has to say something.
Also in the cast are Kiray Celis, Dimples Romana, Dominic Ochua, Kakai Bautista and a lot more. The MTRCB rated B film opens on Hearts’ Day (Valentine’s), February 14 in cinemas nationwide.
Regal Films is known for its tear-jerking productions back in the 80s; and it is great to hear that for the opening salvo of the said film outfit—it chose to have ‘Mama’s Girl’ written by the famed Ms. Gina Marissa Tagasa with Connie S.A. Macatuno as director and top-billed by Sylvia Sanchez and Sofia Andres as the mother-and-daughter in the film.
It is refreshing to see how the story was weaved by seasoned screenwriter and attempted to tackle on the relationship between a single mom named Mina (Sanchez) with her millennial daughter Abby (Andres).
A Very Timely Film.
It is quite a challenge for Mina, as a mother and as a single parent to raise Abby through the restaurant business she has invested with her passion and commitment over the years; but still she was able to send her daughter to school and eventually let her finish college.
Amid the many distractions that the young people are facing these days; it is obvious that some of them are struggling to be responsible individuals; which is true to Abby’s character. Maybe because of the convenience that the technology has provided this present generation—it is hard for them to cope when one of the convenient stuff are taken away from them.
Abby, as a sheltered young adult, had a difficulty in getting a life especially when she was compelled after her mom’s demise. As if the young lady lost her arms and legs when her mom left her unprepared.
The film is a timely take on how to raise or deal millennials.
A New Device in Storytelling.
It is also both intriguing and engaging for the audience to try to uncover the character of Mina. Is she a ghost in the film?
If one gets to base on the trailer—it seems that Mina is a ghost. However, viewers must watch the movie in order to decipher what really happened and why is Mina always present in scenes where Abby is having some challenges in life and all. For me, it is one beautiful device that Tagasa did in telling her story.
What makes the film more appealing because it naturally incorporated tips in having a successful life.
Tagasa used these key words to highlight things that Abby has to do in order to pick up from the ashes that she found herself in.
There were five letters that Mina left for Abby; containing reminders for the latter or serve as guideposts. First, there was ‘passion’ that taught Abby to believe in her innate talents which she has inherited from her mom. Then, ‘commitment’ where she as a young entrepreneur; it gives her that sense of responsibility to finish what she has started (or rather what her mom has started). The word ‘acceptance’ was also instilled since Abby had to deal with her long-lost father played by Allan Paule. After being taught about acceptance, she was also asked to assist her grandmother to reconcile with the past and appreciate what ‘forgiveness’ is all about. Only when she is able to accomplish the things that her mom asked her to do—she can finally meet or the love of her life will come; and would give her inner peace as well.
A Brave Move.
Frankly, I admire the courage that the writer, the director and even the producer have ventured into. In the midst where filmmakers are too engrossed in making ‘hugot’ flicks (romance-drama or romantic-comedy), the decision to ride on the bandwagon of the success of ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’, ‘#WalangForever or even the 2017 ‘Kita Kita’—was not the route they choose to follow.
Though, Abby has two leading men here—Diego Loyzaga and Jameson Blake; it was not the focus of the story. It is great to see a film that tackles another kind of relationship—about a mother-and-daughter.
Perhaps, this film is a good break from all those tried-and-tested romantic flicks. Catch it as it just opened last week and still showing in cinemas nationwide.
Being positive about the film—‘Haunted Forest’, her production outfit has done in time for the Christmas season and the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)—Regal Entertainment Incorporated matriarch—Lily Monteverde expects box-office success as she sees the new generation audience—the millennials are thrill-seekers.
Back in 1988, the company has produced and created one of the biggest horror flicks in Philippine cinema history with the winning tandem of Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes as directors of ‘Tiyanak’ which starred Janice de Belen. Three years later, another film came to the fore with still the Gallaga-Reyes team-up as directors for the third installment of ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’; and left an unforgettable creature called ‘Undin’, a water-nymph sea creature in its third episode titled—‘Nanay’ with Manilyn Reynes as the lead star.
Despite the strong competition that stands in the way for the film’s success in the upcoming MMFF 2017; like her mother, seasoned producer Roselle Monteverde is confident about the unique charm of the ‘Haunted Forest’ to attract the moviegoers come on Monday, December 25—Christmas Day.
“We assure you that this is not just your typical jump scare movie because ‘Haunted Forest’ is a film that you have to think about per scene in order for you to feel the horror,” according to its director, an international award-winning filmmaker Ian Loreños.
In the film written by Jeps Gallon, a new creature will be introduced to make the scary experience of its audience complete. Its story revolves around the father-daughter relationship of ex-Manila policeman Aris (Raymart Santiago) and Nica (Jane Oineza) and the mysterious haunted forest where a dark creature called ‘Sitsit’ resides.
Joining the cast members are Jameson Blake, Maris Racal, Jon Lucas, Joey Marquez, Jerald Napoles, Betong Sumaya, Myrtle Sarrosa, Miho Nishida, Beverly Salviejo, Fiona Yang and Kelvin Miranda.