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Reasons to Watch ‘Starting Over Again’, Again and Again and Again

‘Starting Over Again’ is a material that is nothing new, but given the ‘twists’ created by the writers-Carmi Raymundo and Anj Persumal with the impressive performances of the cast members led by Piolo Pascual, Toni Gonzaga, Iza Calzado, and Lito Pimentel—it has made this one film with so much ‘interesting’ things to talk about as well as more reasons for people to camp in their theaters just to watch this over and over again.

The latest Valentine offering of Star Cinema that brings together the ‘dream-come-true’ partner of Toni Gonzaga—Piolo Pascual in one movie is already phenomenal.

The chase scene where the character of Ginny Gonzales (Gonzaga) was shown; as she goes after (just to find that ‘one chance’ to either ‘flirt’ or ‘win back’ the man he used to love) Marco Villanueva (Pascual) was already done in previous romantic comedy flicks from Star Cinema, very similar is the one with 2010 film ‘My Amnesia Girl’. However, what made it worked is the actors’ capacity to connect with their audience on how it is to fight for love. In fact, this device or ‘struggles’ incorporated in stories was also done in the 1997 film ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’.

Putting the three lead stars together in this project is another powerful move. As an actress, Toni has really matured in her craft. She may be considered the local Julia Roberts or the Meg Ryan of today. Pascual on the other hand always shines through especially in the famous confrontation scene between him and Gonzaga, where he did a litany of his pains and demanding explanation for what the woman did to him in the past.

Iza Calzado tackled her character Patty De Guia with such ease and sophistication. No other actress today can match the one she displayed. Her short moments and her confrontation scene with Gonzaga were perhaps going to be another ‘quotable lines’ or ‘unforgettable lines’ in Philippine cinema. I disagree that there should be another actress who can figure in to assume the role. Calzado’s face is the most charming and the most innocent-looking face there is that can erupt with ‘grace’ even in the most unlikely difficult scenes.

Lito Pimentel’s scene is one of the most memorable ones in the film. He as the father of Ginny was able to reflect a character that valued the loss of time and not spending it to the fullest.

‘Starting Over Again’ does not promise ‘happy endings’ that most romantic films resort to just to make its audience ‘feel good’. It was successful enough to provide a more practical and not a fairytale-ish kind of ending. It is but most fitting to say that Ginny indeed deserves to be ‘happy’ and she did have her ‘happy ending’ with the man destined for her. That being said, it is a piece that would guide audiences on what to do in a ‘breakup’ and how one chooses to move on, and learn to not give up to love again.

Apart from its commercial appeal, Star Cinema was able to capture issues about love—the ‘ifs’, the ‘buts’, and the ‘what must have beens’. There really is no such thing as un-loving someone just like as un-friending someone. The film teaches how to embrace reality and take whatever past hurts has given someone and use it to an advantage to be a ‘better person’ someday.

Directed by Philippines’ known romantic director Olivia Lamasan is still showing in theaters nationwide, it has a good casting, has good storytelling, and a film that is empowering for moviegoers.

‘Frozen’ with Fear

(A Review on Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures’ 2013 American computer-animated musical fantasy film)
In every story, the most common subject and successful element in pushing the characters forward is LOVE; and that is what Elsa, the cursed queen that has the voice of Idina Menzel was frozen all her years of growing up—enveloped with fear.

Queen Elsa couldn’t control her powers and turned the Kingdom of Arendelle into a winter ghost town as opposed to a wonderland. This happened when Elsa couldn’t manage her elemental abilities to create and control ice, frost and snow altogether when all the dignitaries in the world have come to witness the summer crowing of the Elsa as the new queen. The rift between the two sisters Elsa and Anna (Kristen Bell’s voice) ensued when the Queen didn’t allow the marriage of her younger sibling to Hans (Santino Fontana). Because of the Queen’s fury—she shocked everyone in her kingdom by turning it into a cursed winter place.

The film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’, but writers Jennifer Lee (screenplay), Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Shane Morris (story) have successfully made the story closer and identifiable to its modern-day audience. It has effectively referenced several landmarks in Norway like the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Bryggen in Bergen. Other typical cultural Norwegian things were also included in the film, such as a Stave church, a Troll, Viking ships, reindeer and the equipment used to control these, clothing, and lutefisk.

The directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee did a marvelous tandem in this particular inspiring tale of two sisters and a story of true love.

Like in scriptures, it mentioned that the opposite of love is fear. Thus, Elsa is living in fear; as she has chosen to shut out her younger sister and became distant in the process. Though the film underwent several story treatments for several years prior to seeing the light to be filmed in 2011, the screenplay written by Jennifer Lee, and with both Chris Buck and Lee serving as directors—came out to be the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era as the critics have given their approval, too.

One of the many reasons why this film worked after it went into several revisions in the past years—is the casting of Menzel, a Broadway veteran and Bell as together they proved their singing powers to be totally endearing and engaging. Two of the most popular songs in the movie are—‘For the First Time in Forever’ (a duet of Menzel and Bell) and ‘Let it Go’ (a solo by Menzel). The addition of Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, Alan Tudyk as the Duke of Weselton, Santino Fontana as Prince Hans, and Josh Gad as Olaf have provided more impact and appeal to the latest version of Andersen’s problematic story on ‘The Snow Queen’.

Given that it earned $134,253,666 at the North American box office and $55,900,000 overseas for a worldwide total of $190,153,666 when it ran during the Thanksgiving weekend; it was also second place to ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and beaten ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ at the box-office records; there is no wonder that it would have a stage musical production in the near future. And perhaps, this can be re-titled as the ‘The Snow Queen and the Sunny Princess’?

Related Article

Philippine Stagers’ take on the Life of Andres Bonifacio

[Note: This is a Press Release]

MANILA, Philippines – After making some buzzes on their many productions—the all-original Filipino musicals like ‘Ako si Ninoy’, ‘Enzo… Santo’, ‘Cory ng EDSA’, ‘JOE: A Filipino Rock’sical’, now comes their first offering for their 2013 Theater Season—‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’, which is slated to have a Grand Press Preview on Friday, July 19 at Tanghalang Pasigueño in Pasig City.

Vince M. Tañada as Andres Bonifacio. Photograph by Niel Tayao and Artwork by Mark Miranda.

Vince M. Tañada as Andres Bonifacio. Photograph by Niel Tayao and Artwork by Mark Miranda.

Multi-awarded director and playwright, Vince M. Tañada, who at the same time is the artistic director of the said company is breathing into the role of the misunderstood Philippine hero—Andres Bonifacio.

According to Tañada, the character of Bonifacio is his most difficult role ever.

“The understanding of Bonifacio’s struggles as well as his great love for the country; his willingness to die for it even if it cost his tragic death—is already taxing to tackle onstage,” he shares.

“It is challenging. I would like to believe that even my co-stars are even challenged to portray their respective roles. Let us not include the physically-wearing choreography that San Antonio has done for the musical.”

2011 BroadwayWorld.com Philippines awardee for Best Set Design, Jeffrey Ambrosio also have executed 1890’s scenarios through his designs and successfully transported the audience to the said Philippine history.

Since the company is composed of mostly young actors—it has not hampered them to portray mature roles.

“Direk Vince has been helpful in motivating us to know deeply the characters assigned to us,” 2012 BroadwayWorld.com Philippines awardee Cindy Liper reveals.

‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ has Pipo O. Cifra as the musical director and John B. San Antonio as the choreographer, respectively.

Its July run are on July 20, Saturday (8am, 11am, and 2pm), July 21, Sunday (8am, 11am, and 2pm), and July 27, Saturday (8am, 11am, and 2pm) at Cinema 1, SM Centerpoint, Manila; and on July 28, Sunday (8am, 11am, and 2pm) at Tanghalang Pasigueño, Pasig City. The August shows are still yet to be announced.

For more information, please send an SMS to company’s publicist at +639273913447. Tickets sales and show schedules, contact: +639272009225 and look for Elaine Coronel or +639174770452 and look for Chris Lim.