Stranded: Movie Review

There's something different about "Stranded" that made it stand out against the typical local romance comedy experience. The basic premise works and the performance between Arjo Atayde and Jessy Mendiola is a definite highlight. But the sudden shifts in its writing ultimately limited the film's quality.

In the film, When a typhoon hits Metro Manila, Julia (Jessy Mendiola) finds herself stuck in her office. But she is not alone as Spencer (Arjo Atayde) also finds himself stuck in the premises trying to deliver food for Julia's colleague. Due to the severity of the typhoon, rescue is impossible overnight and the two bond are forced to together as a way to pass the time.
Being stranded is a major part of Filipino life and it's a perfect vehicle to weave a tale of love using that premise. It mixes the concepts of love at first sight, serendipity, or even destiny - but at the risk of being cliched or formulaic. "Stranded" surprisingly almost escaped this folly feeling different and fresh especially in its first half hour. We were even contemplating if the film will actually turn into a full-on disaster film - which would have completely blown our minds away. Unfortunately, the film devolves into a predictable and formulaic film in its middle portion. The two characters of Julia and Spencer suddenly falls in love with each other in a span of hours of just being stranded together - is a pretty hard thing to swallow even for local standards. Admittedly, the story had potential especially in the context of the character of Julia and the conflict between her extremely planned and laid out life versus her real and hidden dreams and her true happiness but the film failed to grab it with its rushed character and narrative developments. The saving grace for the film were the performances of Jessy Mendiola and Arjo Atayde. They had great chemistry and totally made the film interesting more than it should have been.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the acting and chemistry between Arjo Atayde and Jessy Mendiola saves the film

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- The middle portion of the film was problematic
- Rushed narrative and character developments
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