The KenBie tandem that was born out from the successful romcom series—‘Meant to Be’ is back to make fans feel giddy via their first-ever film together—‘This Time I’ll be Sweeter’ with Joel Lamangan as the director and is set for a November 8 playdate in theaters nationwide.
In the film, Barbie Forteza is Erika and Ken Chan is Tristan; they were college sweethearts that didn’t last long. Like in any relationship, the former was left too devastated about the breakup.
After years of being apart—fate allowed reconnecting the former sweethearts. This time—Erika as a field reporter and Tristan as the manager of his family airline company. Because of a tragedy in the latter’s family—it paved the way for them to be closer once again. Being a love story, this film does not only tackle the romantic side but one’s struggles of being in a state of depression.
Coming from a light type of series—both admitted that they had to make certain adjustments in tackling their respective roles who are placed in a more mature and challenging situation. Banking on their ‘intimacy’ as friends has helped them both in making their heavy drama scenes easy to approach.
Erika and Tristan’s love story is a classic example of what Nishan Panwar described about falling in love, “It is very easy, staying in love is a challenge, letting go is the hardest part, and moving on is a damn suicide.”
Together with them in cast are Thea Tolentino (as the third party in the second chance of the protagonists’ love story), Ara Mina, Rey Abellana, Yayo Aguila, Neil Ryan Sese, Kim Rodriguez, Hiro Peralta, Akihiro Blanco, Jai Agpangan, Kaki Ramirez, Fiona Yang, Jon Leo and a lot more.
Despite being an animated film, this story written by Sunao Katabuchi-Chie Uratani, which is based on the manga titled—‘In This Corner of the World’ by Fumiyo Kōno definitely provides its audience the kind of drama set in the 1930s-1940s wartime in Hiroshima and Kure in Japan, roughly 10 years before and after the horrific atomic bombing.
In the film, a young woman named Suzu, innocent and is fond of drawing; she lived in a seaside town called Eba in Hiroshima City. At 18 years of age she married Shūsaku, an earnest and quiet man; who worked as a judicial officer at the military court in Kure.
Suzu opted to live with Shūsaku in Kure City. Her husband lived with his family located on a hillside in the suburbs of Kure, with a view of the Japanese Naval Fleet in the harbor, including the largest battleships, Yamato and Musashi. Suzu enjoys touching nature and viewing warships moving on the sea with her niece, Harumi.
One day, a navy sailor named Tetsu comes to see Suzu. He was her childhood friend, now assigned to the Japanese cruiser Aoba stationed in Kure. During the night, Shūsaku allowed Tetsu and Suzu to be alone with each other; thinking that it might be the last time for the two to see each other for war is on. Little did he know that Suzu and Tetsu loved each other and professed their feelings toward each other. They copulated that night as well.
In the springtime, Shūsaku is drafted by the Navy and temporarily quartered with troops in Otake City, 40 miles away from Kure.
As mentioned in the film’s logline—‘torn apart by war’—the relationship between Shūsaku and Suzu were also falling apart. It even got worst when the U.S. army began its air raids on the Japanese mainland, in Kure. In July, urban areas of Kure are firebombed and mostly burnt down. Suzu is nearly killed by a U.S. low-level strafing run, but saved by Shūsaku. But the inevitable tragedy happened—Suzu lost her brother Yōichi, her niece Harumi, and her right arm—the one she used to draw the things she sees and imagine. She suffered in depression, and planned to return to the relative safety of her hometown (Eba) in Hiroshima City in time for the local summer festival on August 6. But on the morning of that day, a huge and marvelous cloud was rolling up over the mountain from the direction of Hiroshima City. The atomic bombing horribly destroyed countless humans and buildings in Hiroshima City.
It distraught Suzu. Probably, anyone who find himself or herself in a similar situation as Suzu—one will definitely be in a nervous breakdown.
Watching the film will also open the viewers’ eyes on the perils of war. One can ask: ‘How do You Draw Love in the Middle of War?’
After the war, Shūsaku found a new job and began a new life with Suzu, again. The latter regained her motivation to get through life and still draw love for herself and others.
Directed by Sunao Katabuchi, featuring character designs by Hidenori Matsubara and music by Kotringo—it vividly captured the episodes and background of the story are based on facts and real incidents—the lost townscape of pre-war Hiroshima, the damaged Hiroshima due to the atomic bombing; accurately supported by old photos, documents, and the memories of living people.
Suzu’s battled the horrors of war and her depression, which the moviegoers can surely empathized with.
Now showing in theaters, catch it soon.
In 2016, The film won in the following awards—Hiroshima Peace Film Award (3rd Hiroshima International Film Festival) and Best Film (38th Yokohama Film Festival).
Based from the story of Keiko Aquino, and screenplay by Vanessa Valdez, the upcoming high-caliber drama film titled—‘The Unmarried Wife’ features three of the country’s finest actors—Angelica Panganiban, Dingdong Dantes and Paulo Avelino in the lead cast with multi-awarded film and TV international master filmmaker—Maryo J. Delos Reyes as the director; will open on Wednesday, November 16 in theaters nationwide.
Panganiban is Anne, a young woman who is stuck in her traumatic childhood past about love. Such inhibitions developed into reservations after she had her own marriage to the man she loves the most—Geoff portrayed by Dantes. And in every love story, it is most effective that if the damsel-in-distress, there is a knight in shining armor in the person of Bryan, breathed by Avelino.
After nine years, the said film marks the reunion of Panganiban, Delos Reyes and Valdez when they first collaborated in a Star Cinema film via ‘A Love Story’ back in 2007. Also, Direk Maryo returns to the said film outfit after his last project via ‘I’ll Be There’ in 2010.
According to Direk Delos Reyes, “I’m very excited to doing this film. It is a test of my skill on how to tell a story about relationships. ‘The Unmarried Wife’ is a different. It’s very timely and at the same time very important to be discussed.”
Together with Star Cinema, Direk Maryo along with Vanessa and the three powerful and equally intense actors—Angleica, Dingdong and Paulo; the film promises to change the way people perceive men being cheaters and women failing to be faithful in relationships.
Avelino in a bloggers’ conference mentioned that what makes the film different from other relationship-centered movies, “It is organic. It is like being a witness to conversations between couples; very at the moment.”