NO SPOILERS: A Second Chance is a Worthy Sequel5:10 AM
Cathy Garcia-Molina paused and then smiled before she requested the members of the press to take it easy on "A Second Chance", the much anticipated sequel of Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz's iconic romance movie "One More Chance". I felt the caution from the director at last week's press conference. It took the excitement one step back.
After watching the movie at a full-packed opening day midnight screening in Mall of Asia, I see why Direk Cathy was worried. It isn't a smooth finish. After almost 110 minutes of exploding dramatic emotions in a consistent pace, there is a sudden shift to cheesiness in the final 10 minutes. Just like that, the conflicts are gone. And all the drama disappears into thin air.
But no, the movie isn't bad. In fact, I consider it better than the first. Or maybe, it isn't a good idea to compare both since viewers' taste change over time anyway. They say that endings are everything but let's take this movie an exemption. After all, this is about our favorites Popoy and Basha who execute a very intimate and honest exploration of a young marriage.
What makes me so forgiving about the insipid ending are the triumphs of the first 90% of the movie. Ironic since I'm complaining about the disconnect in the sequel's final stretch, there is this solid continuity between the first and the second movie. The secondary cast are all the same familiar faces, each in the same character on who they are suppose to be from 8 years ago. And each representative of what our friends are like in real life; the supportive, the motherly, the outspoken, the hilarious and the skeptic.
But if there's one thing so brilliant about "A Second Chance", it's the script. For a very relatable and familiar piece, or at least it's us insisting that we experienced one of Popoy and Basha's dilemmas at a certain point in our lives, what could be dramatic than honest and very sentimental words. So many quotable quotes here.
The arguments and exchanges are smart and complex but without the exaggeration. As the first film, the discussion in the sequel dives deep on the issues that are often covered by more practical husband and wife problems or are neglected just because we think they're unnecessary or we don't have the courage to converse about them; how do we deal with stress, the need for sex, and deciding on the appropriate words when we talk to our partners.
Of course, what will words be without the actors. John Lloyd and Bea shine anew. To share what I heard from a guy sitting with his girlfriend behind me: "Tang*nang John Lloyd and Bea ýan". There is no questioning the chemistry and there is no questioning the acting ability between these two. The confrontation scene at the stairs where Popoy returned home drunk is something to look forward if you have not watched the movie yet.
"A Second Chance" can't be considered a romantic movie. It's more of an accurate mirroring and a guide to a baby marriage. It distances itself from a the regular kilig film. It's actually more mature than its cast and the generation who supports it. For the local movie industry, it's a proof that we don't need a mistress to make a dramatic love plot interesting.
Then there is the discussion if the sequel is a good idea. Not just to provide Star Cinema a gold mine at the box office but for the purpose of giving our viewers a good movie, I would say conceiving the second film is worth it. But no to a third movie please. Popoy and Basha can only take some much.
*Photos are taken during the grand press conference held at the Dolphy Theater in ABS-CBN on November 19th, 2015.