<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 15, 2016

Everything About Her Movie Review: Vilma Santos Does Not Disappoint And Humanizes Her Caricaturish Character

IF YOU THINK “Everything About Her” is a very serious drama about a dying woman, you have another think coming. Ate Vi was right when she told us “it’s something very light. Ayaw na raw ng mga tao ng sobrang drama.” But for drama fans, there are still tearjerking scenes where they can surely make use of their hankies.

The comedy is done at the expense mostly of the character played by Angel Locsin as Jaica, who is a college graduate but often behaves like a jologs ignoramus. She is a hardworking nurse who dreams of going abroad for her family and comes highly recommended by a top physician to be the personal caregiver of Vilma as Vivian S. Ribaya, the president and CEO of a big real estate company who reminds everyone that she has an honorary doctorate degree in the humanities. Ribaya, who treats everyone like her personal doormat, is diagnosed with cancer.

As may be expected, she has a hard time getting along with Jaica, who accepts the job only because she gets paid with a huge monthly salary that she can use to help her always needy siblings. But actually, Jaica is meant to become the go between who helps mend the huge gap between Vivian and her estranged U.S.-based son, Albert (Xian Lim), who she calls up and convinces to come home for his mom.

That is the major conflict in the story. But since Angel Locsin is also a lead star, she has to be given her own mommy issues. Jaica also hates her mom who left their family to work abroad. She hates her mom so much that she named her dog Nanay. At one point, the dog goes missing and her dad asks her if she’s looking for their dog or her real mom.

And yes, she’ll be given her own resolution to her own personal conflict, with Shamaine Centenera (real life wife of her dad Nonie Buencamino) appearing in one wordless crying scene. Something we think is unnecessary. But it’s a reminder that the Her in the title does not refer only to Ate Vi but also to Angel as she is also given one big emotional scene where she barks at her siblings and orders them to eat pancit.

How she manages to reconcile Vivian and Albert is convincingly presented on screen. This starts with them being awkward and detached, with so many things left unsaid at their first meeting until the time that the dam finally breaks and there’s so much tears and recrimination. This is then followed by forgiveness between mother and son in that very moving scene in the hospital.

Vilma Santos diehards will not be disappointed as Ate Vi handles her role with much understanding. At first, the character is almost caricaturish, with people she interviews shown breaking down or throwing up after talking to her. But Ate Vi knows how to humanize her Vivian with little knowing nuances here and there. Even in her heaviest dramatic scenes, she shows an intrinsic understanding of Vivian by not resorting to histrionics. Hindi na niya dinadrama pa ang mga dramang eksena, even in that scene where Angel is expecting to be fired and she just says quietly: ‘Kunin mo ang putanginang gamot ko.’

And she is so generous to her co-stars in their scenes together, allowing them to shine on their own, especially to Xian Lim in that hospital where he delivers a long aria of how much he hates his mother. Honestly, we were feeling uncomfortable for Xian on how he’d handle that scene of a son haunted by an unhappy childhood, but in all fairness to him, he manages to acquit himself quite well.

Since this is a production of Star Cinema, you can expect a feel good happy ending. There is the obligatory fairy tale romance between the caregiver and her boss’ son. In photos, they’re even shown being wed and having a baby. Needless, as far as we’re concerned but, hey, the movie has to be very family friendly. So give escapism a chance. We’re sure Director Joyce Bernal was told to treat it all with levity. And that’s exactly what she did. If you want a more serious film about a dying woman, watch Ate Vi’s similarly themed classic film directed by the other Bernal.