What If Movie Review: A Lot of What Ifs

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"What If" offers a contemporary take on Filipino drama, delivering a fresh perspective compared to the typical genre offerings. The film delves into the raw, messy, and unexpected dilemmas faced by a newlywed couple, Billie (Alessandra de Rossi) and Jecs (JM de Guzman), as they embark on their honeymoon on a remote island. However, while it successfully captures the essence of real relationship struggles, it falls short in execution, leaving us with a mixed bag of brilliant ideas that fail to fully gel together.

The movie's rocky start gradually gives way to a captivating middle portion, where it momentarily transforms into somewhat a masterpiece. And completely takes a puzzling turn in its final scenes. The pacing plays a significant role in this inconsistency. The film begins slowly, only to rush through the couple's more profound challenges in its second half, resulting in an exhausting barrage of nonstop arguments between the newlyweds. "What If" becomes a rollercoaster of emotions as well as ideas, some of which remain underdeveloped and hastily executed. 

One of the film's notable shortcomings is the lackluster chemistry between JM de Guzman and Alessandra de Rossi. Their inability to establish a natural connection makes their already tumultuous on-screen relationship even more frustrating to watch. However, the film does redeem itself with nuanced direction and scenes that often serve as metaphors reflecting the couple's evolving relationship at various points within the film's runtime. In the grand scheme of things, "What If" falls short of being a truly compelling film. It wastes its potential to provide a deep and contemporary exploration of relationships, leaving viewers with a sense of unfulfilled promise. While it offers moments of brilliance, the overall execution leaves much to be desired.

Rating: 2 and a half reels

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