Kung Paano Siya Nawala (How She Left Me): Movie Review

"Kung Paano Siya Nawala" ("How She Left Me") surprisingly had a lot of depth and substance when it came to the real issues of its characters - may it be a lifelong ailment or their past sins. But dramatically and narratively, it was paper thin and it's another film that puts its potentially great premise in limbo with so-so writing.

Lio (JM de Guzman) has been struggling with face blindness his whole life. Since he is unable to remember anyone, he finds it impossible to connect with other people outside his family. But when he meets Shana (Rhian Ramos), he learns that love and memories are not only defined by what you see with your eyes and your mind but what your heart has made you experience and cherish.
The first half of "Kung Paano Siya Nawala" was jarring but in a very good way. We were seeing what Lio, our main character, was facing day-to-day. He couldn't remember faces and the film was able to translate the chaos and confusion of Lio's condition marvelously. We loved how it changed the actresses from time-to-time playing certain characters to let the audiences experience it first-hand. On top of that, we can say that one of the film's stronger points were its visuals and cinematography. It had a certain pop and clarity that made scenes a little bit more colorful and interesting. The chemistry between Rhian Ramos and JM de Guzman was rocky at first but found its groove eventually. Unfortunately, the film misses heavily on its narrative and character development. For example, the relationship between Lio and Shana was life-changing for both and we won’t deny that but we barely cared for each character if we're being honest. We wanted to know more about Lio’s dad and mom or Shana’s family and her drinking problem. Each had their own past and present deep issues that obviously shaped how they reacted or how they loved the people around them but these issues were presented abruptly and developed and explained sparingly. If the film was able to convey Lio’s condition perfectly, it failed to grab us dramatically. If the premise was great, the execution was just okay - which ultimately feels like a waste.
Rating: 1 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the acting was actually great
- it was able to convey the condition of Lio marvelously

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- failed to grab us dramatically
- the execution was lacking
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