‘Hindi Tayo Pwede’ review: Unchained malady
Joel Lamangan’s Hindi Tayo Pwede is a ridiculous romance, but that isn’t exactly its problem.
Its problem is that it’s a lazily executed movie, one whose likely avenues for kitschy pleasures are squandered for the sake of stubborn conventionality.
Beyond the grave
The movie takes its cue from Jerry Zucker’s Ghost (1990), with its conceit hinging on love extending from beyond the grave.
Gabby (Lovie Poe) and Gabriel (Tony Labrusca) are engaged to be married. After a fight, Gabby goes to Dennis (Marco Gumabao), her best friend who she doesn’t know has secret feelings for her, for comfort. Guilt-ridden Gabriel chases after Gabby but figures into an accident in the process, killing him, and turning him into a ghost who grief-ridden Gabby can only see and hear.
Unlike Ghost, where the titular character is a charismatic and selfless martyr who only seeks to protect his beloved woman from troubles, Hindi Tayo Pwede is ridden with toxic characters, whose world seems to revolve around noxious relationships and problems of the privileged.
Lamangan’s movie is difficult to get into.
It has a multitude of elements to make its romance seem more profound than it actually is. Its central trio are advertising creatives who are pining to finally make films, probably in an effort to infuse its hopelessly romantic youngsters a semblance of ambition apart from the ones connected to their hearts. However, the movie never makes an effort to do anything with the characters’ filmmaking dreams other than to turn them into lousy plot points to forward a romance of dull convenience.
Thirsting for sophistication
This isn’t a case of a movie that is thirsting for sophistication.
In fact, if Lamangan exerted more effort than just stringing together slackly directed footage, it could have been something less disposable. The storyline has opening for camp and kitsch, with its outrageously incredulous love triangle involving hormonal yuppies and a soul. There are opportunities for humor. However, Lamangan goes for the lowest hanging fruit, which is vanilla sensuality, making use of the illuminated naked bodies of Poe, Labrusca and Gumabao in supposedly sexy montages to aim for some sort of edge.
Sadly, Hindi Tayo Pwede is far from edgy.
The sensuality it exudes has all the excitement of a wake. The romance it conveys has all the charm and amiability of a wraith. The adoration it has for cinema has all the believability of a ghost story.
Middling and muddled
Hindi Tayo Pwede is middling and muddled.
Its storyline, while grossly convoluted, unknots itself too easily. The conflicts are immature. The characters’ concerns are disposable. The performances reveal the movie’s unbridled shallowness. It’s an awful waste. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass.