REVIEW: One More Try   15 comments

One More Try

Star Cinema’s solely produced film in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival is the heavy romance slash drama One More Try starring the quartet of Angel Locsin, Angelica Panganiban, Dingdong Dantes, and Zanjoie Marudo. This emotion packed film is from the same director who gave us the box office hit No Other Woman last year, Ruel S. Bayani.

In the movie, single mother Grace (Angel Locsin) is off to find the father of her son from a short lived fling years before. Their son (which the father, Edward (Dingdong Dantes), was not aware of) is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant in order to survive his condition.  Edward is now married to workaholic Jacqueline (Angelica Panganiban) while Grace is now with boyfriend Tristan (Zanjoe Marudo). The kid’s condition will connect these two couples, as we witness how far Grace will go for the betterment of her child.

I find the premise of the movie really interesting though at times, some scenes were too contrived to give more tension an to the four characters. It definitely is not lacking in drama; as a matter of fact, there’s a lot of effective emotional punches that appears every now and then. I like how the film was motivated enough to go back to its primary focus: the lengths that a mother can go to in order to save her child. It is within this facet where the film’s greatest strength lies.

Among the four characters, I liked how they wrote Grace the most. It’s probably because I felt that she was the most human. She was vulnerable but determined; she can be desperate but is persistent. One can question her, yet another can also see the reason behind her actions. The rest of the foursome weren’t really that bad, but I just felt that Grace has the best writing. On the other hand, characters of Carmina Villaroel as the unprofessional doctor and office mate Agot Isidro were annoying and unnecessary respectively.

The acting of the four leads in the movie was quite impressive. Dingdong Dantes is a leading man in every sense. With this and Tiktik, he managed to carve out interesting characters to play. Zanjoe Marudo was given the least to do, but he was given lots of money scenes to work on to. Angelica Panganiban for the most part was good; the only times I did not like her was with her earlier scenes with Agot Isidro where both seemed to be rehearsing for their first full English play. Carmina Villaroel was too perky to make me believe she was a convincing professional. Oh and did I say she was the most annoying character in the movie?

But the one who was the best in show in the film was Angel Locsin. While I’d say that having an interesting and well written character helped her, I still think that she helped the characterization of Grace to feel human and organic. It speaks a lot when I say that despite liking her in In the Name of Love and Unofficially Yours, I can still see patterns of her doing “OMG Actressing” in those movies. The same can’t be said with her compelling and expressive performance here. It’s somewhat regretful that she’s competing alongside the ethereal Nora Aunor (in Thy Womb), as I think Locsin also deserved trophies for this performance. Oh well; at most, I can say that it says more when your performance is now compared to La Aunor.

For the record, I’m not keen about the highly dramatic third act and the predictable ending. It’s just lazy. Giving characters closure does not always have to be happy or peaceful. But for the most part, I was hooked and contented with what I saw. Definitely one of the better movies this  filmfest.

Grade: 3.5/5

Here are the reviews of the other Metro Manila Film Festival 2012 entries:

El Presidente
Shake, Rattle, and Roll 14: The Invasion
Si Agimat, si Enteng, at si Ako
Sosy Problems
The Strangers
Thy Womb

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

15 responses to “REVIEW: One More Try

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  1. This is a nice blog!

  2. Pingback: REVIEW: Thy Womb « TIT FOR TAT

  3. I agree with your review and I would just like to add my comments about this movie “One More Try”.

    This film looks like a teleserye to me. One of the damning information that I read was that the story was copied from a Chinese film “In Love We Trust”. Now what can we say to the festival judges and the MMFF/MMDA for a film like this to win the best movie award? Anyway, I’ll just treat this as if it’s totally original.

    Here are the following comments I have for this film:

    – Angel Locsin should have won an award for her performance here. Ate Guy should won something like a Hall of Fame award and Angel for the best actress.

    – The role for Grace’s character definitely fits Angel and I can’t imagine any other actress currently.

    – The central problem of getting his son cured from his illness was obscured by her mother’s need to get pregnant.

    What I meant was getting herself pregnant became the main problem instead. The urgency for the child to get the cure wasn’t even specified. It was really mind boggling why they concentrated on the details for her to get pregnant. Is it for the producers and filmmakers to take advantage of the talents to show skin? All the four actors got to get naked here–to some extent. Considering the life and death situation of her son, what person (or audience) would get the satisfaction of seeing the characters take their clothes off and witness what they called the only “cure” for a sick child to survive? It’s really crazy– And when she finally got pregnant, everything else fell into place without the benefit of the story to make a scene that will give the answer (or solution) to the main problem of the story–which is to get the cure for the child. The three scriptwriters, the director and the producers didn’t seem to understand what story was all about. They gave too much emphasis on the process for Grace to get pregnant. Yes, it became the ultimate end–for Edward and Grace to procreate and forgot a very crucial part which was to offer a scene after the result of that baby-making scene– they made the cure but they forgot to use it: to get the freakin’ bone marrow from the baby! Yes, yes it’s already given–that when she eventually get pregnant the story is over. Of course the title said so–which I really find awkwardly appropriate and very, very cheap. It’s like asking a drunk for a title–a no-brainer indeed!

    – I agree about Carmina’s role as the unconvincing pediatric doctor. Totally one of a kind, brainless, for movies only character. She explains sex better than what the child was experiencing or what he’s going to go through or the gravity of the situation. We have to assume (or deduce) it’s really not that urgent ‘coz this silly character made us assume it’s more than nine months. Duh!

    – I hate Agot’s character here–hate it meaning she’s an out of place character who speaks better English than Jacq but with bad acting direction in all her scenes. She was supposed to be a supportive character but she adds to the confusion–which creates conflict (that the movie needs) but she seemed more of an improperly used character for her lines were distorted. She always wrinkled her forehead when she delivers her lines–also a confused character as Jacq.

    – This film is really awkward– the most awkward film I’ve ever known. Two characters were in a awkward situation: Jacq and Tristan. In some films (or stories), there is what they called a sacrificial character who is good to be dead and that is Tristan. The filmmakers didn’t kill him but he gets dumped by Grace. I was expecting for him to die or at least disappear. Of course it’s because this was planned to be a feel-good movie. Yes, very Star Cinema-Feel-Good-Movie.

    – Predictability

    I don’t know but I may have learned too much about story-making or maybe just plain intuitive. It’s more of expecting the expected to unravel before your eyes and see how they will treat the events that will unfold. There were dead moments or slow moments that didn’t help too much for the audience to empathize to the characters or better understand the characters. I think the most affected character here is Tristan then followed in kilometers by Jacq. They are caught in a situation that are not just awkward but if considered real could be very painful. The filmmakers didn’t use that opportunity to make the story more dramatic and heart-breaking. Instead, they resorted by making these characters cry buckets of tears but it wasn’t just that effective.


    Yes, I agree that the way the story was made seemed like contrived. For me it’s called manipulative storytelling; it will force you to cry. The characters are crying so you should cry as well. The characters are forcefully placed in a supposedly tear-inducing scene but for me it failed. I’ll watch an episode of MMK and it will succeed for me to get very emotional. Why? Maybe because of the film’s underlying theme of betrayal instead of charity. They emphasized on betrayal which is more “exciting” over charity which is in the field of storytelling would be “boring”. In the end they’ve used both which was a compromise –they’ve compromised it instead.

    -Very Feel Good Movie

    Yes, you mentioned that–a Star Cinema ending! Can also be a trademark ending but they don’t have to be that way here. It’s like one big family in the end. The sick got cured, two wives got babies, a wedding ring, a happy boyfriend, what else? Tying loose ends don’t mean there’s a picnic scene with all the characters in the end! Oh well, maybe this is what really sells a typical Filipino movie to the masses–and to the MMFF judges.

    What I liked about this film?

    Curiosity. I’m just intrigued in seeing Angel Locsin in a movie so I watched it–first time to see her. I’m still looking for that pinoy romantic/drama film that I can say is done right. But for a copycat that could have done it better, the search is still ongoing I guess… It’s an O.K. movie, nothing great about it except its awkwardness but it’s worth watching.

    • Hi! I agree on a lot of your points. Thanks for spending your time to comment here. 🙂

    • jacq character is really confuse kung papayag ba sya ipahiram ang asawa o hindi! sa pagsasalita ng eglish ni angelica katanggap tangap its not a big deal eglish is not our native language mga latino european and other asian countries at russian may ibat ibang accent nga dont expect angelica to talk in english slang like american! i salute angelica’s performance its so effective how she deliver her lines perfect subtle or hysterical acting perfect she nailed it effortless she is very convincing actually angelicas character is more difficult to portray its totally opposite to her personality angelica’s character as jacq is carer driven intelligent powerful woman who is insecure confused loving wife forgiving and strong woman! naibigay nya lahat ng emotions na yun! while angel locsin’s character is a simple loving mother der you go the word simple!

  4. Pingback: One More Try « Pinoy Rebyu

  5. 10 years ago, i read an article in readers digest where the woman needs to be pregnant to save their daughter’s life, the problem is she is old and her husband has undergone vasectomy, anyway all of these were solved, the baby was born, donated the bone marrow and saved the life of her Ate

  6. angelica is the best actress for me kung wala si nora malamang si angelica ang best actress angelica’s character is the most kawawa everybody understands angel’s pain but most of them is rooting for angelica kasi sya ang kawawa sa movie kahit sya ang strong at fierce how can u portray such and convince pipol with that kind of character ang hirap sobra kung hndi ka magaling na artista! panu mo kukunin ang symphaty ng tao kung ikaw ang mayaman matalino matapang panu mo babaliktarin ang sitwasyon na ikaw ang kawawa at nawalan ng mahal sa buhay angelica did a brilliant job for me she is way better actress than angel locsin angelica really standout in this movie!

    • Hi! I’ve learned about that, and I actually wasn’t that bothered with it (as compared to others). In this day and age, “copying” in any way or form has been so rampant, I’m actually surprised that this one got the ire. For Christ sake, the blatant copying even the scenes in Clash of the Titans of Panday 2 is more bothering. I’m actually convinced na Star Cinema is not actually innocent, but in this time and age, what else is original (among mainstream films)?

  7. I like what you said when it comes to getting ourselves to take action, I have found for myself that to be drawn towards something is often a lot better than to be be motivated away from something. Going towards something we want rather than away from what we don’t want. Probably has something to do with what we’re focusing on thus creating in reality. Thanks a lot for the post, it got me thinking 🙂

  8. I was surprised to find out that originally even the tentative title of the movie was the same as the original.——at least, in the end Star Cinema thought of changing it to ” One More Try” though the plot is still basically the same.

  9. One of the best Movie I watched this year. Galing!

  10. I Love the film especially Dingdong Dante and Angel Locsin

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