Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain): Movie Review

Beautifully shot and acted, "Belle Douleur" unfortunately lacked substance where it needed to have one. The premise had potential but the actual narrative and story had no surprises or deep takes. Instead, the film decides to grab onto the easiest and expected route that one would have taken given its material.
Elizabeth (Mylene Dizon) is a self-made woman in her 40s. She has given her youth and life to take care of her parents but after her mother passes from an illness, her friends inspire her to be more care-free and adventurous now that she has no one to take care of. Eventually, she meets Jon (Kit Thompson) who is 20 years younger and who shows her that love knows no age. They embark on a hopeful but tumultuous affair but will be eventually tested by the physical reality that Elizabeth cannot fulfill all of Jon's dreams.
"Belle Douleur" actually had the components to make it a powerful film. The premise itself, of a 40 year old woman falling head over heels for a guy two decades her senior, had potential to be ripe full of conflict. While the film eventually delves into these topics, the end result falls flat lacking any emotional or character foothold whatsoever. Simply put, the film feels safe, convenient, and nothing new. What's more frustrating is the fact that the film had outstanding performances from Mylene Dizon and Kit Thompson. The chemistry between the two actors was undeniable and in particular, Mylene Dizon fit perfectly into her role but the narrative and writing just doesn't have enough punch to support them. Asides from the acting, the film was a wonder to behold. Director Joji Alfonso had a great and creative eye making every scene pop. But like-wise, eye-candy alone cannot salvage the film. Overall, "Belle Douleur" is still a good watch. It has the elements to make it at least enjoyable but we feel really bad for its wasted potential.
Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- great acting and great visuals

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story just lacked character
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