THERE WAS NO WAY to review ‘Bride For Rent’, the new comedy flick starring Kim Chiu and Xian Lim without comparing it with their first movie together, ‘Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo,’ which was released in August 2013.
In most cases, the second film suffers from the standards or the success bar set by the first one. But I think ‘Bride For Rent’ is one of only a few exception. It is actually better than the previous one.
While we enjoyed ‘Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo‘ (check out our movie review here), we pointed out some loopholes in the drama that was infused in the film plus the monologues present in almost all Star Cinema films. Glad to know that these elements were eliminated in ‘Bride For Rent’.
Though the first film’s success banked on the ‘Kakikayan’ of Chiu like we pointed out, the new one still included Chiu’s comedic charisma but she did it here differently, plus she portrays a more mature character that fits the film’s ‘wedding’ theme perfectly. Chiu is as charismatic as she is in real life and her comedy is getting stronger. If we saw a great chemistry with her and onscreen (question mark here) partner Lim before, it is a lot stronger here as the two were able to showcase strong bonding, and a deeper relationship in real life maybe. Did we mention that Lim is even hotter now? And Chiu, even more beautiful?
The once hesitant-for-kissing-scenes Chiu, has offered a lot of herself kissing Xian in this one, which has made the film more believable, and yes, more ‘nakakakilig’ for their fans and followers.
The family drama they added here plays a significant part, especially that Dennis Padilla played the role of Kim’s father perfectly. Though I still couldn’t understand why a family of grown-up boys is needed to be financially supported by a young lady in all their family needs. Why the hell, in almost all Star Cinema films, the lead female characters needed to work her ass off just to provide for them? Plus, the use of the ‘poor girl to marry a rich boy’ formula is indeed sickening. Would the film not work should she not be a poor lady breadwinner? Here’s hoping they could give Chiu, a fast becoming good actress in her own right, a different role or background to play with the next time. Star Cinema writers can do better than that.
If we would praise the writers though, it would be for the hit lines, that speak clarity without being overly done. The use of dramatic lines without being so melodramatic yet hitting the ‘tear button’ in every viewer’s heart. I, for one, have cried a lot of times inside the cinema. The feeling of having no one sitting beside me has helped a lot in allowing myself to cry without hesitations. Yeah, mababaw talaga ang luha ko. They just did those dramatic scenes with timing. Kudos to that.
Add to it the film’s focus on one subject alone, which is ‘wedding’, and playing good with the subject, especially that the recent hit Filipino films banked on the issue of infidelity in the most recent past, ‘Bride For Rent’ is a success.
Director Mae Cruz did the film well as a whole. Though it won’t give her an award for direction, it is better than the other Star Cinema films of heavier themes. Maybe a big help is her being so passionate about the subject, as she herself a soon-to-be-bride, which she confessed during last week’s blog conference that I attended.
With ‘Bride For Rent‘, the Filipino viewers, especially the followers of its lead stars, are treated with a feel-good film without banking on its stars popularity and the subject’s marketability alone. They offer more than kilig, comedy and drama but deeper values that surround wedding, marriage, and love in general. Here’s a wish though to explore further, risk more, and use untested formula with the charismatic Chiu and Lim in their next films. Who knows, this love team could just break the norms.
Photos from Star Cinema.
Ely Valendez is an award-winning blogger-journalist based in the Philippines. He handles several social media marketing projects for various brands in his home country as well as for a US-based IT/e-commerce company, PCM where he works full time. He uses his spare time doing financial consultancy for a UK-based company. He also sits as member of the Board of Directors of the Philippines Communication Society and serves as a web manager and resource person of the Philippine Press Institute.
August 13, 2014
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