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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Movie Review: Northern Lights: A Journey to Love

Image courtesy of www.wikipedia.com

Main Cast:  Piolo Pascual. Yen Santos, Raikko Mateo
Director: Dondon S. Santos
Released by: Regal Films, Spring Films and Star Cinema
MTRCB Rating: PG

Each family has a story to tell.  “Northern Lights: A Journey to Love ”  is a simple story about family relationships, of love, struggles and compassion.  

Charlie Sr. (Piolo) lives a free-spirited, bachelor life as a Filipino immigrant in Alaska. His life takes a turn when he is suddenly charged to care for his estranged, young son from the Philippines, Charlie Jr (Raikko), whom he left after a major clash with the boy’s mother, Joyce (Maricar Reyes) when she was still pregnant with him.   

Shot both in New Zealand and Alaska, the movie is a visual feast showcasing the snow mountains and the mystical and world famous Northern Lights. This is a plus as not any local movie gets to be shot in Alaska owing to the physical limitations present.  

When Charlie Jr. arrives in Alaska, father and son bond and struggle to renew the lost years between them. Angel (Yen Santos) gets into the picture when she went to the country for her school training - and unbeknownst to her family - to look for her long-lost mother there, too.

The plot could have been leveled up ‘though for more depth and interest to the viewers. The physical make-up of the icy environment  further adds to the coldness and weariness of the story as a whole. Some good conflict can be squeezed out even from the simplest of stories. Takes creativity and execution.

Yen Santos does better in comedy scenes with Piolo but is anemic in her drama scenes, specifically that of her cringe-worthy dramatic encounter with her mother (Glydel Mercado). It would have made a difference, too, had the director exhausted a bit to bring out more in Glydel who is known for her acting spunk.  

Likewise with the adorable Raikko Mateo. Wonder why director Dondon failed to squeeze out the child’s acting mettle as he had shown when he was much younger and became television’s darling in “Honesto”.

For the most part, perhaps it was only Tirso Cruz and Sandy Andolong as Piolo’s parents who do not disappoint. They are your regular grandparents who act normally as loving and doting to Charlie Jr. every chance they get which overwhelms the heart without trying.

Piolo on the other hand is neither dull and convincing as a playboy Charlie. Fortunately at times, his to die for good looks alone can make up for the acting mediocrity that is not new to him. Worth some good mentions, too, are Jerald Napoles’s and K Brosa’s effortless performance as Piolo’s close friends.

On the technical side, the flawed editing is quite obvious, too. Character development is quite amiss, especially on romance between Charlie and Angel. There was no real courtship to speak of in the beginning to justify the seriousness of their tears that suddenly culminate in their bed scenes together.

And wait till you see the confusion in the final scene. It is supposed to be a major spectacle with the full video screen of the Northern Lights as backdrop to boot, but unfortunately again - acting, execution and editing.

Yet, despite the flaws, there is something to like in the movie - the fortitude of a family as a unit despite the distance and circumstances. It shows both the human vulnerability and strength of heart as displayed by the dying Joyce (Maricar Reyes) when she chose for the two Charlie’s in her life - both her precious one and the man she wronged – to live together for the rest of their lives.

Northern Lights: A Journey to Love is now showing in cinemas.

73 comments:

  1. Yen..... Is still a nobody. πŸ˜•

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    Replies
    1. Kaya nga gusto pasikatin itambal daw kay Piolo e Ano ngayon lalo sya Di nakilala ��

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  2. In other words, FLOP.

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  3. Not worth watching.

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    Replies
    1. Kita ko plng ang poster parang walang sigla.

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    2. FLOP to. I was at Cinema last night and walang nanunuod nito sa Alabang

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  4. overrated naman si piolo di naman talaga sya magaling umarte saka never talaga ako naguwapuhan kay piolo lalo na sa itsura ni piolo nung nag uumpisa palang sya di naman sya kaguwapuhan nuon

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    1. di lang yon. nagpa nose job pa

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    2. Tama ka. di nga siya kagwapuhan nuon, but what sets him apart from the rest is his good heart. Iba siya.

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    3. True. Overrated as always si Piolo. No acting improvement. Parang he finds it hard to speak in his normal voice. Ipit na ipit kasi.

      Nadala lang sa hype na "the most guapo" daw in showbiz plus the fact na mabait siya sa lahat ng tao. Acting wise, hope he continues to improve. If consecutive ang flop ng seryes and films, alam na what the problem is about, di ba?

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    4. Akala ko ako lang may ganyang opinyon. di ko gets bakit ang daming gwapong gwapo sakanya.

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    5. Same opinion here. Not saying he's ugly. Di lang talaga gwapo para sa akin.

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    6. Masyado kasi hinype ng ABS-CBN. Homegrown talent and bankable actor before but hindi na ngayon kasi dumami na ang mas gwapo at talented kesa sa kanya.

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    7. hiyang-hiya naman si piolo sa mga itsura nyo!

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    8. Ewan bakit wala siya appeal sa akin. Type ko kasi yung fresh and neat looking. Pansin ko wala sa mga new generation actors ang kaya magdala ng film na gaya nila Christopher De leon and Philip Salvador before na sila ang bida pero kumkita ang film.

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    9. He also doesn't look like he's half German. Silang mga siblings, parang Pure Pinoy tignan lahat.

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    10. 12:51 homegrown ba talaga? I read somewhere that he was once a part of thats entertainment.

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    11. 2:06 bakit naman? Everyone is free to have an opinion, including piolo. Wala naman sinabi na pangit sya. At hindi naman mababawasan yung pagkatao mo pag may nagsabi na di ka goodlooking.

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    12. Very true. He really hasn't grown as an actor. His "acting" is still the same. Pacute.

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    13. Gwapo si Piolo pero para sa akin walang appeal.

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    14. Sa generation nila Piolo, si Dennis ang most versatile actor. Better than John Lloyd. Carlo Aquino is even better than Piolo

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    15. @1:51 nakita mo ba si Carlo sa serye niya ngayon? Nilalampaso sya ni JC de Vera sa acting. That's saying something.

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    16. Kung makapagsalita kayo as if naman nakita niyo na si Piolo in person :)

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    17. @115 agree ako na si dennis ang most versatile talaga. At ang gwapo pa nya maliit nga lang sya.

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    18. obviously, you havent seen him in person.

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    19. Piolo is so handsome in person.

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    20. See him first in person baka mapanganga kayo sa kagwapuhan nya :-D

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    21. Nakanood ako live ng ASAP last year. Gwapo sya! Sobrang gwapo.

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  5. This film is about TRUE LOVE ... Not just the romantic kind, but spiritual love. Real love that changes and heals people and puts them on the right path again.
    They say that when we die our souls get to do a life review and only one question is asked -- DID WE LOVE WHEN WE WERE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO LOVE? Or did we let those opportunities to love pass us by? Because when we die the only thing that matters is that we loved.
    The story of Northern Lights captures this essential life lesson perfectly.
    This movie is a game changer and is ahead of its time. I will cherish it in my heart always.

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  6. Flop talaga eto walang ingay ang SC sa gross. Sayang c papa P. Bakit kase c yen. Lol

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    Replies
    1. Sino gusto mo? Ikaw? E di mas flop pa sa flop ang bagsak.

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    2. Hi 11:33, hindi naman kailangang si 9:32 ang partner, pwedeng ibang artista instead of Yen. Maka-"sino gusto mo? Ikaw?" ka naman.

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  7. YES! Visionary movie.

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    Replies
    1. You mean visual.

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    2. The script is good but the whole movie is baduy.

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  8. Watched it yest, wala a kaming 20pax inside the theater.

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    Replies
    1. Kami nga mga friendship ko nanood after work aruuu ang lamig lamig sa sinehan 12 lng kc tao.

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  9. Pilit kasing nakikipagsabayan sa mga pabebe loveteams... tanda na. 40 na dapat play your age.

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  10. Pilit kasing nakikipagsabayan sa mga pabebe loveteams... tanda na. 40 na dapat play your age.

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    Replies
    1. You are right about that he should play his age. But he still wants to be partnered with the younger generations. He even refused to be the father of JB in teleserye?

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    2. Exactly. Pabebe parin nasa 40's na siya. Hindi niya matanggap na matanda na siya. Mga partners nya nasa 20's lang.

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    3. Kahit nga 40s na pa flirty2 p rin s mga girls.

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    4. Naalala up yung time na tinawag siya ni Liza na Tito Piolo, hahahaha!

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  11. Kht sino p pair ky piolo d kkita muvi kz boring trailer p lng grabeee na ang ahhhh #yawn

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    Replies
    1. Agree. Hindi pa convincing na chicksboy-playboy sa trailer.

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  12. What happened to piolo? Dati ang galing nya specially when he was acting alongside judy ann. Parang di na nag level up acting nya in recent films.

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    Replies
    1. Good observation and I completely agree. Somehow, he has just settled. Yung acting niya in every project is all the same now.

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    2. He was so good in Esperanza and Don't give up on us. Puro raw emotions makikita mo sa kanya in those films. Parang di na sya challenged sa mga projects nya now.

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    3. true! iba sya dun sa movie nila ni juday na musician sya! galing nilang dun!

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  13. Siempre iba parin kung sikat ang kapartner na girl, mas kikita ang movie.

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  14. Ang daming sikat na babae sa abs siya pa ang kinuha eh di nag flop. May fan base ba itong si Yen? Dapat inisip din yun sayang pera na ginastos sa movie....

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    Replies
    1. Eh ano ba apelyido ni Yen? Diba Santos? Yun na!

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  15. Highest paid actor pa naman si Piolo ng abs.... Sana pinag MMK muna sila ni Yen para pang testing kung patok

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  16. title pa lang waley na

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  17. Si Piolo puro pa cute lang ang facial expression.

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  18. Agree on this review. Amboring, grabe!

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  19. It's horrible. Nothing works.

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  20. Piolo needs to grow up. He is doing the same stuff over and over again. No improvement, no growth.

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  21. Don't waste your money folks.

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  22. Lugi tuloy SC at Regal. Walang dating ang movie #fact πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚

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  23. All his movies and teleserye are not making money because he's already too old to be paired with young actresses. He's already 40 years old if he can't move on to playing father roles he should just retire because there are a lot of news actors who are more multi talented and younger than he is. Young actresses won't shine being paired with him because he's not as hot as the new generation actors and his wrinkles are already evident onscreen. I don't know why the management still gambles with Piolo instead of turning to the more in demand multi-talented young actors. It's always a risk to give him the leading man role because his time is over. He abused his reign it's time to let go ang give the younger actors their turn to shine.

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    Replies
    1. Piolo Pascual is Piolo Pascual. You cannot do anything about it. Wag mo na ipilit un iba, kasi hindi sila si Piolo. Ang nega niyo naman. Hindi naman kayo pinilit manuod e. Hindi na nga nanuod puro hate comments pa. Kaloka. As if naman walang movie si Piolo na hindi ka kinilig. Haters gonna hate!

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    2. Kaya hindi kumikita mga pinoy movies kasi may mga nega like you. Choosy ka pa halos star cinema na nga lang gumagawa ng magagandang pinoy film. Analysis paralysis! Konte lang pinoy actors as good as Piolo, like sina Aga, etc. As if naman madami kang choice.

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    3. Seryoso ba ung STAR CINEMA gumagawa ng magagandang films...

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  24. Mukha namang mabait si Piolo in real life kaya popular sya among his fans and colleagues pero acting wise meh lang sya. Tapos si Yen pa kasama nya. Wrong move SC.

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  25. Piolo was good before. Ngayon, he should act his age para hindi pilit.

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  26. He is middle-age man but still acting like a teenager. Just wrong.

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  27. Mga inggit lang kayo!!

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    Replies
    1. 🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣 FLOP!!!!

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    2. walang dapat ikainggit dahil super flop yung movie

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  28. In the movie he had a son. And he was single. So anong kelangan? May anak sya at dapat syang magseryoso? Edi kayo na maging scriptwriter. Lol

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  29. May fans pa ba si Piolo bakit kaya di nyo panuorin yung movie or magpa block screening kayo puro kayo dakdak mga wala naman yata kayong pera pampanuod ng pelikula ng Papa P ninyo

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  30. parang movie din nila nuon ni locsin yung Land down under flop din.

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