‘Open’ review: Sultry and sincere eye-opener

Andoy Ranay’s Open uniquely brings a storyline that enlightens a relationship that could or couldn’t work.

Open tells the story of Rome (Arci Muñoz) and Ethan (JC Santos) who have been together for 14 years. They are each other’s firsts, and to their family and friends, they are the perfect couple. When the two begin to feel that their relationship has gone stale, they explore the idea of being in an open relationship. It’s something that Ethan wants to do, and it’s the only way Rome thinks she can do to keep her man. The agreement is, they’re allowed to have a no-strings attached sex with strangers. In the end, they learn the importance of the very thing they have been blind to – a relationship without trust will eventually crumble.

The film gives us a unique storytelling. It makes viewers not only grasp the idea of being in an open relationship but see the importance of having a firm grasp of individuality. It is a well-thought and creatively crafted drama; you’ll love how it’s able to show the advantages and disadvantages without heavily favoring on one side. It doesn’t encourage its viewers to be in an open relationship as it justifies not to give up easily on someone you love. Rome will really hit the audience’s empathy big time while Ethan is a mess who will ellicit some facepalms from the audience. You’ll be surprised how everything turns out – the relatable scenarios, lines and masterful acting are spot on. The ending, as expected, might be a bit heartbreaking but it is so powerful (paired with a great song finale) that will surely be an eye-opener to those who would or wouldn’t want to give in to that kind of relationship.

Open is no doubt a rollercoaster ride that will take you to the ups and downs of a long-standing relationship and the risks of being in an open one. The plot is simple yet within its story and character development the film is superbly great. Those flings, sex scenes, and steamy shower scene will put you in a sensual vibe but the film is much more than that. It provides a lot of insights about nurturing one’s relationship and not taking one’s partner for granted. There’s a lot of lessons that can be applied in real life after watching the film.

Arci Muñoz and JC Santos both succeed in giving life to their characters. Rome and Ethan is seen as conflicted yet empathetic individuals that Arci and JC succeed in portraying. Arci delivers a performance that’s remarkably and genuinely much more than her beautiful face. Her take on being Rome is as refreshing as she inhabits the role and makes it truly hers. Her psychological breakdown scene was just damn heartbreaking. JC does an amazing take on his role as Ethan by being bold enough to take a role of a man who has a raging sexual drive yet viewers will still feel sorry for him by the end. JC’s Ethan is not that kind of Ethan in Hello, Love, Goodbye so hopefully he wouldn’t be the most hated man in his third run in PPP right now.

Open is a great, honest film that audiences would really appreciate. It’s a fun and heartbreaking eye-opener and one of the best films in this run of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. It deserves a re-run in cinemas as it wisely puts the pros and cons of entering in an open relationship.

Open is a film by Andoy Ranay starring Arci Munoz, JC Santos, Ina Raymundo, Sofia Andres, Vance Larena and Ivana Alawi.

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