One More Try: Movie Review

Honestly, "One More Try" on paper sounds like any other romance-drama film the past year. Even worse, the moral dilemma being introduced feels weird, unnatural, unreal. But surprisingly, "One More Try" performs far from what we expected it to be. While the film had a tendency to resolve conflicts with shouting, cursing and crying, the morality of the character's actions and the choices they make will make you think hard and think deep. What we thought to be its weakest link turned out to be its greatest asset.

Six years ago, Edward (Dingdong Dantes) had an affair with a local Baguio girl named Grace (Angel Locsin). What Edward didn't know is that he bore her a child. Now, at present time, Botchok is now five and unfortunately, he has a fatal sickness that needs a rare donor - one that his father might be able to provide. As fate would have it, it turns out that both Grace and Edward don't have the necessary bone marrow for Botchok. Botchok's doctor tells them that the easiest and fastest way to get a compatible donor is for them to bear a new child. This is easier said than done as Edward is already married to his long time love Jacqueline (Angelica Panganiban) and Grace has a loving boyfriend (Zanjoe Marudo) by her side. As Botchok's sickness gets worse, the two and their partners must decide if they must do the ultimate taboo to save a child's life.

There are a lot of things that "One More Try" did that makes it an outstanding film compared to what we already saw. The film, even though a romance drama, was a relief. What it did differently was to actually look professional, feel well-made and just outright well-thought off. Never did we feel that the creators skimped on editing time (like most films do) and production feels and looks outstanding. It's this technical consistency that captured our eyes but we also got more than that. On a heartfelt level, "One More Try" also shines. This is no thanks to the superb acting by Dingdong Dantes, Angel Locsin and particularly Angelica Panganiban. Unfortunately, Zanjoe Marudo ruins perfection as he didn't feel and look as good and as natural as the others. As for the plot, we do feel that it still worked out to well in the end. But deep scars are suddenly fixed and the occasional cheesy one-liners (not all of them) do ruin some of the film's and plot's appeal. We also hated Carmina Villaroel's character (and her portrayal). Her character, a doctor that insists that sex is the only option, just doesn't feel right and laughable. Plus her mad demeanor is just downright jittery. "One More Try" may not be the ideal film that we dream and hope to see from the Metro Manila Film Fest but we must also face reality that every other entry has also done the same thing. In that case, this is one of the best you could watch in this year's festival.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it: - superb acting from most of its leads
- the plot will make you think hard if they really made the right decisions
- one of the better made films in terms of production in this year's MMFF

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- Carmina Villaroel's character should have been changed as it ruins the film with her mad demeanor and insistence on sex as the only option
- the occasional one-liner and fights ruins the film's effectiveness on some level