There is no finding a happy medium between keeping the woman he needs and living with another who needs him, for the love-hungry man in director Maryo J. Delos Reyes’s award-winning film “A Love Story.” Fine acting, well-written screenplay, and melodious music have given the film the punch to convey the feelings and thoughts surrounding its theme.
Ian Montes’s (Aga Muhlach) partner Joanna Villanueva (Maricel Soriano) caught sight of him in a cosmetics store with Karyn Torres (Angelica Panganiban), a young, career-minded, free-spirited flight attendant he had come across during his business trip in Macau. Joanna was quite devastated; and yet, she decided to meet up with Karyn that she might know what’s what. Hence, we see her getting out of a cab and heading for a cafe at the very start of the film even as we hear a tuneful music playing.
Maricel Soriano conveys sort of mixed feelings in the opening scene, with her facial expressions. If we had no idea about what exactly she’s there for, we would wonder even for a moment who would arrive next, until we notice another woman coming. Apparently, though, something is eating at her. Cast as an ex-wife, a sibling, and a partner, Soriano effectively plays her character, which calls for her acting skill in drama. Her scenes throughout the film are either plain serious or fairly emotional apart from some that are mostly in the first thirty-five minutes. The movie is a cross between drama and romance, and with the help of fitting background music, the transitioning of scenes between the two genres all throughout the movie is smooth. Musical director Jesse Lucas is worthy of kudos.
The film becomes full-on romance when Karyn tells of how she and Ian met. Before that, we see some side issue and some personal problems, and get an idea that it does not deal only with the affair problem itself. Angelica Panganiban plays the role of an engaging 22-year-old woman willing to become involved with an older married man. Immediately she mentions Macau, the romantic quality of the film starts becoming greater. Panganiban’s portrayal of her character is excellent.
The sequence of the scenes reveals gradually how the main characters got into the problem, which is in part how the film keep viewers interested in the story. We appreciate the settings of some scenes (beaches, restaurant, Macau), the soundtrack, and the dialogues — in other words, “A Love Story” is a good film. Vanessa Valdez scripted the film in such a way that the lines of the actors alone could evoke the same emotions that they convey with their acting.
Aga Muhlach’s portrayal of a romantic husband, a sincere lover, and a visionary developer, who plays “Never Ever Say Goodbye” well on piano is also good. His character is the most interesting in the film. Occasionally, we see him turn into an unhappy, guilt-ridden son of businessman Sergio Montes (Dante Rivero). “Who am I?” he says, showing his displeasure at what his father said. “You don’t know me?”