Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is the necessary drama movie this MMFF. Jun Lana’s entry is a family drama that has issues that made things more complicated than what they actually are. The family is headed by now disabled TV tycoon Donald (Ronaldo Valdez) whose eldest daughter Mariel (Maricel Soriano) heads the TV company. She’s now annulled with her former husband Gary (Gabby Concepcion) who is now married to Charlotte (Carla Abellana). Mariel’s daughter Eunice (Eula Caballero) is close to Charlotte and that irks Mariel big time. Her younger brother, Jacob (Jericho Rosales), is married to Lori (Lovi Poe) who gave up her dreams of being a singer after she got married to him. Now Donald’s new family involves wife Agot Isidro and daughter Selene (Solenn Heusaff). Agot’s boy toy is Derek (Dennis Trillo) who is the apple of the eye of Selene as she wants to ditch her current squeeze, Vincent (Paulo Avelino). Sounds tiring already? Well of course it is. Then add to the drama, a tragedy that affects them all and changed all of their lives instantly.
To be fair though, despite all the complications of the various situations, the movie’s not that hard to follow. It’s very straightforward and easy to understand. Character 1 does something, character 2 gets mad about it, then character 1 gets even. And then they cry. It’s a big mix of chopsuey characters that either you’ll feel pity for them, or you’ll get tired seeing the same mistakes over and over again. The situations are somewhat contrived and predictable; it’s a screaming cryfest after all. But what makes me feel less for this movie is that despite the melodrama that you know will happen in the movie, it still topped itself by bringing a more exaggerated melodrama than one can expect. It seems that director Jun Lana is stuck in the 80s type of drama since everything that one can expect is here. A baby? Check. Death scenes? Check. Slapping confrontations? Check.
I also want to say that the tragedy instantly reminded me of Babel, as how a single incident affected many lives in the process. However, in this case, it seems as if there’s only one family who was the most affected by it. The way the characters were written leans more on the pathetic side instead of the human one. A movie character making a stupid mistake (that one saw from the beginning) does not make him/her more human, it makes the writers look lazy and uninspired.
Nevertheless, the acting in the film is still the movie’s biggest (and only) selling point. Headed by the very versatile Maricel Soriano, one can’t help but notice how she’s still acing it all these years. This is far from her best performance, but she delivers when it is needed, and she still does it in top form. Other top players include Agot Isidro, who’s one of the most versatile character actresses we have, Lovi Poe, who keeps on getting better per every new movie released, and Carla Abellana, who has to be the receiving end of Maricel’s character. Jericho Rosales and Dennis Trillo are somewhat hit or miss; Jericho overacts in some scenes while Dennis has been stagnant and has nothing new to offer. The rest are not remarkable enough to get special mentions.
In its entirety, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is a family drama that offered nothing new. It has some of the most pathetic characters in current movie dramas, and one can’t help but feel apathetic more than sympathetic with them. It is understandable though that it’s target audience are mothers who will be all over it. In that regard, the film is successful. In case you decide to watch it, do it for the superior performance of Soriano.