Walang KaParis: Movie Review

Walang KaParis Movie Review: Hearty and Dramatic Laughtrip

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Back in 2017, "Kita Kita" surprised everyone and catapulted the unlikely pairing of Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez into the limelight. The charming and distinct chemistry between the leads, beautiful scenery and direction from Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, and the simple yet refreshing narrative gave us all the feels. It's more than half a decade after and "Walang KaParis" delivers on the same beats. What we get is another rollercoaster ride of emotions and a narrative, while predictable, 

Jojo (Empoy Marquez), is a Filipino artist in Paris who hasn't found his soulmate yet. His mind is constantly bombarded by thought of the mysterious and beautiful muse in one of his paintings. Even though a figment of his imagination, he is held captive by this woman with no name and no history. But by chance, he meets a woman named Marie (Alessandra De Rossi) who claims to be the woman in the painting - a reality that at first Jojo rejects but eventually accepts. Has Jojo finally found his long-sought after soulmate?

One of our biggest grievances for "Walang KaParis" was it just felt a little bit too familiar and a bit too safe. The narrative might be slightly different but it felt a little too close with "Kita Kita". Notwithstanding that it features the same director and the same leads, the film features a scenic dream destination and a character with a condition that becomes the anchor to which our love story revolves around in. And there's no denying that it became quite predictable after a certain point. But beyond its penchant to use local film tropes, what makes "Walang KaParis" shine were its lead stars Empoy Marquez and Alessandra de Rossi. The film ebbs and flows with their emotions as the first half of the film feeling awkward and unnatural and the second half a whole lot more fun, funny, and emotional. Even with the film's faults, we found ourselves fully invested in these characters because these actors just gave a performance that felt real and tangible. Another strong point for the film was its execution and writing. We did say that the film was predictable but the specific narrative elements littered around its story was well-thought out and well-connected from each other. Simply put, it didn't have any wasteful or throwaway elements that felt out of touch or out of place. Overall, the trio of Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Empoy Marquez, and Alessandra de Rossi once again delivers. This is a strong follow-up to "Kita Kita" and one with its own dramatic and emotional touch.  

Rating: 4 reels

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