Louise Delos Reyes gives all the feels in ‘My Bakit List’

If you were to make a list of all your “whys” in life, what questions would make it on top? Would it be something like the “Bakit List” of this woman named Dess?  

Dugo. Pawis. Lablayp. Sexlayp. Pati tulog at pahinga binigay mo na, ikaw pa rin ang may kasalanan. Bakit?!!

Regarding her job

Regarding her relationships:  

Kinarir mo nang magpaka-nanay at tatay kahit ate ka lang, ikaw pa ang may pagkukulang. Bakit?!

Regarding her relationships

Pitong taon mo siyang minahal, pero nawala siya nang walang pasabi sa isang iglap. Bakit?!!!

Regarding her relationships

Dess, played by Louise Delos Reyes, is a relatable character in “My Bakit List”, a movie co-produced by Viva Films and BluArt Productions. At one point in your life, you may have known someone like her or you may have experienced some of what she goes through.  

In her late 20s, Dess is a breadwinner who earns a living as head writer of a drama anthology. When the pressure at work gets way too much, she quits her job.  

Getting no sympathy from her family whose only concern is how her current status would affect their lives, Dess goes all the way to Ilocos Norte with her best friend Brutus (Prince Stefan) to take a breather.  

This momentary escape from her toxic life might just be what she needs to find the answers to her questions. But when she accidentally comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend Ejay (Ivan Padilla), she refuses to listen to his explanation as to why he left her without a word. Dess is in dilemma if she should open her heart to him again. Will a second chance at love be the answer to all the “Whys” in her life or will it just create more questions in her mind? And if everything comes down to one question:“to hold on or to move on”, what will she choose?

Early this year, Louise Delos Reyes also played a woman who was in a complicated relationship in “Hanggang Kailan?”, a film by Bona Fajardo, the same director of “My Bakit List”.  

For Direk Fajardo (I Found My Heart in Santa Fe, Kahit Ayaw Mo Na, and Iliw), the story itself is the one that determines which actor/s is/are suitable to portray the lead role/s. *(“Naniniwala ako na ‘yung istorya ang pumipili ng karakter, ng aktor.) And once it’s been determined, it’s important that the preferred actors would also believe in the characters for the project to get going. (“Ang importante maniwala sila sa karakter para pumayag sila na gagawin nila ang project.”)

*Louise once revealed that she had been blinded by love towards a former boyfriend. Having that kind of experience, not to mention being a good and dedicated actress, she has fully embraced the role of Dess. Aside from believing in the character, she said that it’s also important to have complete trust in your co-actors. This is the first time for Louise to work with Ivan Padilla. Witness their chemistry as they play an ex-couple who are still not over each other.  

Ivan Padilla co-starred with Cristine Reyes in “Maria” last March and was the leading man of Alessandra de Rossi in “12” . His acting experience includes appearances in Hollywood shows such as *CSI (Crime Scene Investigation, in the NY, Miami and NBC episodes), Lucifer (Fox), Castle, ER, The Closer, Criminal Minds and Dexter (in six episodes).  

Another thing to look forward to in the movie is Louise’s rapport with Prince Stefan (Working Beks, Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend) who accompanies her in her soul searching journey. 

The movie’s official soundtrack is “Sanay Naman Ako” by singer-songwriter Jo. E.  

Viva Films and BluArt Productions invite you to include watching “My Bakit List” in your To Do List this Christmas season. It opens in cinemas on December 11, 2019.  

Anong Ganap Exclusive interview with Bona Fajardo  
Funfare – Ricky Lo, January 21, 2019
Conversations – Ricky Lo, May 5, 2019

‘Hanggang Kailan’ review: Finding love in goodbyes

Bona Fajardo puts the chemistry of Xian Lim and Louise delos Reyes
into something unexpected in the feel good film Hanggang Kailan .

Hanggang Kailan opens on the first day trip of Donnie (Xian) and Kath (Louise) in Saga, Japan, the two celebrating their second year anniversary while trying to think of a convenient solution to their forbidden love affair. After one passionate night, their relationship finally starts to crack as Kath is reminded of the impending doom of their relationship. So instead of looking forward to spending more years together, both Donnie and Kath agreed on having this trip as their last, despite having lingering feelings for each other. But before they completely part ways, both of them make a final effort to settle their issues. Needless to say, tears will be flowing and hearts will be breaking for the rest of the film.

Hanggang Kailan redefines the romance genre by showing a feel-good story set in the picturesque Japan, despite having a bittersweet themes on the grim ending of a relationship. At its core, the film is painful and heavy – it’s quite different from all those romantic films that we often patronize because the love of its characters and the difficulty of letting go heavily weighs on you. The film makes the viewer realize that with goodbyes, a person can only hold on to old memories and no longer create new ones. Throughout their four day trip, the film takes us to their process of letting go, with different memories and confessions encountered each day. What strikes the most is their ultimatum goodbye scene that is undeniably a tough pill to swallow for viewers. It leaves the viewers feeling pitiful and hopeful for the two characters who seem to find enough consolation in their agreement should they bump into each other again in the future.

The overall feel of the film is both pleasing and painful to the senses. It has an engaging mix of humor and drama that never loses sight on what it has to say about the tragic relationship portrayed. The casting also helps in making this film feel more watchable. Xian makes a likable screen presence by showing his vulnerability and weakness, most identified with his character’s dramatic breakdowns. Louise, on the other hand, might be your typical pretty go-getter but she’s also able to show her acting prowess from the rollercoaster of emotions that the script demands. Together, their chemistry blossoms in ways that the viewers won’t expect.

More than being a melodramatic love story, ‘Hanggang Kailan‘ takes you to a heartfelt and resonant experience of a couple ending their relationship on such a refreshing and positive note.

4 out of 5 stars

Now showing in cinemas nationwide, Hanggang Kailan is produced by VIVA Films, BluArt Productions and XL8. Directed by Bona Fajardo, and starring Xian Lim and Louise delos Reyes.

Xian Lim, Louise Delos Reyes paired for the first time via ‘Hanggang Kailan’

What if you had one last trip to be with the person you love before you end your relationship? How do you say goodbye?

VIVA Films, the producer of 100 Tula Para Kay Stella and Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story), in cooperation with BluArt Productions and XL8, continues to redefine the romance genre in Philippine cinema with its special pre-Valentine offering, “Hanggang Kailan?”

Xian Lim and Louise Delos Reyes star as Donnie and Kath, a couple who’s celebrating their second anniversary.  But instead of looking forward to more years together, they agree that this is going to be their last even though they are still very much in love.  

Before they totally go their separate ways, Donnie and Kath take a 4-day/3-night vacation in Saga, Japan.  Amidst picturesque landscapes, new memories will be made, hearts will break. And they’ve always known that this is bound to happen.

Bona Fajardo, the man behind noteworthy films such as I Found My Heart in Santa Fe, Kahit Ayaw Mo Na, and Iliw, is the director that brings this screenplay by Onay Sales to life.  In a past interview, director Fajardo had encouraged audiences to keep watching movies to discover stories to your liking.  “’Pag nagustuhan mo ang sine ituloy-tuloy mo na yan… kung ano ‘yong hinahanap mong ganda, kung anong istorya, nandiyan naman lahat ‘yan, makikita mo ‘yan.”

This is the first time for Xian and Louise to work together.  

Aiming for longevity in show business, the Kapuso-turned-Kapamilya actress says she’s willing to try different roles to keep honing her craft.  On TV, Louise was last seen in Asintado.  Her last movie project was Para sa Broken Hearted  (October 2018).  It’s interesting to see how her  team-up with the Chinito Heartthrob will bring out a side to her that her fans haven’t seen.  

Meanwhile, Xian’s involvement in this movie goes beyond acting. The XL8 mentioned above is his new venture.  Like Louise, Xian is not afraid to try new things.  Last year, he started his basketball career, playing for Mandaluyong El Tigre in MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League).  Around that time, he was also part of the box-office hit movie Miss Granny.  

“Hanggang Kailan?” opens in cinemas on February 6.

‘Para sa Broken Hearted’ review: Fresh take on ‘hugot’

If ever you seek validation that you’re not alone with the grief your dealing with, Digo Ricio’s ‘Para sa Broken Hearted’ is there to sob with you.

Para sa Broken Hearted (For The Broken Hearted) kicks off with a montage of random people coping with the anguish of heartbreak – in its background, After 5’s cover version of ‘Pers Lab’ is played for satirical purposes. It promises to be an ode for all the fallen soldiers of love, but with it comes an implicit caveat: this film may reopen old wounds.

The title might feel alienating for those who are inexperienced, but come to think of it, heartbreak comes in different forms right? The film/source material, however, misses the opportunity to explore that facet and restricts the scope to romantic love. Anyway, if you’re a masochist who finds gratification in this form of mild torture, or simply a casual viewer who has not yet reached the quota for ‘hugot’ films this year, feel free to embrace this and be comforted to know that it all ends with a silver lining.

Set in a bus station – a metaphorical place of limbo for all the broken hearts waiting to get fixed – two kindred souls, Jackie (Shy Carlos) and Kath (Louise delos Reyes) quickly befriend each other and share their stories of heartbreak. This film does not bog you down with a somber tone throughout. In fact, the first half of it is much lighter. Jackie’s story is the most accessible as it touches on the subject of puppy love. A woman who’s a firm believer of the philosophy “If you want something, go get it,” she does everything to win the affection of her crush RJ (Marco Gumabao). The feels are all too familiar because we’ve been there before – the butterflies that starts circling in your stomach once you receive a reply from your crush or the squashing pain that you have to endure upon seeing him/her with another potential lover. To hook you in, director Digo Ricio employs escapist elements like dance numbers as an extreme visualization of Jackie’s emotions.

On the other hand, I was left frowning most of the time on Kath’s story. Founded on an unrealistic meet cute, the heartbroken girl embarks on a road trip with another heartbroken boy Dan (Sam Concepcion) who she acquaints in one fateful night. More unrealistic plot points (and some plot holes that I can’t discuss) come into play – by then the script feels sloppy because it could’ve easily fixed these narrative stretches by making up plot devices. Also, without spoiling anything, Dan’s motivation seems inconsistent while Kath’s basis of grief in the present feels shallow.

Though pulled out of thin air, the most melodramatic of all is Dan’s ‘other’ story. This one operates in a timeline before she meets Kath. During his long hair phase, Dan is a peerless nobody who gets noticed by a popular girl named Shalee (Yassi Pressman). They develop feelings for each other and eventually change each’s life perspective for the better. However, unforeseen circumstances causes them to part ways, leading Dan to the spot where he first meets Kath.

What easily sets this film apart from the current landscape of romance genre is its retrospective style of narrative. Taken individually, the stories are redundant cookie-cutters of its genre but with Ricio’s dynamic direction, along with an aesthetically pleasing cinematography, these seemingly disparate anthologies tie into a neat, overarching structure. The world is filled with broken hearts and one way or another, Para sa Broken Hearted shows that they’re all related in the grand scheme of things.

But the film has its own share of faults too. It banks so much on familiarity that sometimes viewers will feel for the characters due to the universality of emotions in display and not necessarily because the film does a remarkable job in fleshing out the stories. It’s kind of a cheat code that the film uses to get away with its shortcomings. Another common problem for tricky ensemble pieces like this is the tendency to paint one-dimensional characters. Although he’s more of a supporting character, RJ has the thinnest characterization here.

The performances are good but the script’s preference to ‘hugot’ driven dialogues get in the way of the actors’ authenticity. The film could have opted for a more vernacular approach since it has already a great arsenal of songs to begin with – Janine Teñoso’s ‘Ang Awit Natin’ contributes much to the film’s catharsis. Having said that, it’s still a decent work considering that there are far worse things that this film successfully avoids.

Para sa Broken Hearted is more interested in evoking general emotions of elation, sadness, grief, etc. rather than telling remarkable and heartfelt stories. Ricio has plenty of personal touches here to make it look inspired but the style occasionally overpowers the substance. Nevertheless, it still delivers to its title’s promise. The film finds redemption in Marcelo Santos III’s quote dropped as a voice over realization by one of the characters, “Life is a game. Some will win. Some will lose. But in the end, everyone learns.” I guess that’s the biggest takeaway here, even if it’s not entirely earned.

3 out of 5 stars

Directed by Digo Ricio from a screenplay written by Rinka Sycip, ‘Para sa Broken Hearted‘ stars Yassi Pressman, Sam Concepcion, Marco Gumabao, Louise de los Reyes, Shy Carlos, Katya Santos, Andrea Del Rosario, Lander Vera-Perez, Christopher Roxas and DJ Durano. Based on a novel by Marcelo Santos III. Run time: 92 minutes

Marcelo Santos III’s best-selling novel, ‘Para sa Broken Hearted,’ is now a movie

The much-awaited movie adaptation of “Para sa Broken Hearted”, the best-selling book by renowned young “hugot novelist” Marcelo Santos III, is all set to stir emotions on October 3, its nationwide theater release from VIVA Films and Sari-Sari Films.

Yassi Pressman, Shy Carlos, Louise Delos Reyes, Sam Concepcion and Marco Gumabao give life to the characters of Shalee, Jackie, Kath, Dan, Alex and RJ.

Shalee (Yassi Pressman) is a bubbly photography enthusiast who is battling with a heart ailment. She has had feelings for Alex (Sam Concepcion) since their younger days.

Alex is also into arts, but his favorite subject to draw is that of monsters. Everybody treats him like he’s invisible, but Shalee’s attention and affection changes his view about life.

Jackie (Shy Carlos) is an absolute go-getter, believing in girl power as she was raised by her mother and grandmother. She falls for RJ (Marco Gumabao), and does everything to get close to him.

RJ is a varsity player and a smooth-talker which is a solid combo to attract girls. He is used to girls falling for him, but promises Jackie that he would never do anything to hurt her.

Kath (Louise Delos Reyes) is an adventurous gal who is tough on the outside but soft on the inside. She meets Dan during a time when she’s mending a broken heart.

As their stories unfold, see how the characters go from being blissfully in love to failing miserably in keeping their happiness last. Discover the connection of their lives through their broken hearts, and how it will pave the way to acceptance and moving on.

Marcelo Santos III expressed his approval on the actors’ portrayal of their characters. He was present during the film’s shooting, and he’s happy that the vision of director Digo Ricio coincided with how he saw his book to be interpreted on screen.

Giving more feels to the movie is the theme song entitled “Ang Awit Natin”, sung by Janine Teñoso, composed by Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola, the winning tandem behind the hit song “Di Na Muli”.

Don’t miss this compelling movie about love and its tragedies. Para sa ‘yo, para sa ‘kin, Para sa Broken Hearted.