There is an easily recognizable depth in Star Cinema’s “Everything About Her”, one that isn’t necessarily cerebral, but one that is arguably, painful.
Vivian (Vilma Santos) is a multi-national bussiness magnate— a living embodiment of gods in the corporate world. She’s at the top of her career, fierce, goal-driven, ambitious. Nothing seems capable to topple her…except cancer. She takes Jacai (Angel Locsin) to her service as her private nurse, acting as a personal assistant, who then persuades Albert (Xian Lim), Vivian’s estranged son, to come back and look out for her ill mother.
The narrative is quick to make its focus clear, staying faithful to its title throughout almost its entirety, by sharing almost only everything about Vivian, while also allowing other key figures to seamlessly integrate with her story, and thus eventually become a part of who she is.
Whereas the film’s proceedings come across as yet another orchestration of a familiar film cliché, it strikes a chord by remaining adherent to a formula, that maybe too predictable at times, but nonetheless works because of its relatability. There is an affectionate charm in its humor and subtle comic attempts, and it massively works when injected on the film’s emotional moments.
It is barely a surprise how Santos pulled off Vivian with undeniable credibility here. She delivers her character and its layers with profound depth, believability, and artistry that probaly only someone with her caliber, could do. On her character’s most heartbreaking moments, Santos delivers exactly what a woman faced with the wrath of death, while also struggling to reach out for a son she might probably don’t have enough time to spend together with, would feel and look like, an act she easily carried out with searing capacity.
Locsin, on the other hand, has an equally impressive maneuver of Jaica, who on most occasions, is presented as the film’s comic effort, acting as one of the narrative’s heart and its very symbol of hope. The character is commendably pulled by Locsin with irresistible charm and affection, a capacity she maintains even on the character’s very own moments of breakdown.
But the biggest commendation, perhaps, should go for Lim, who emerges here, with an unfamiliar but convincing versatility. This is probably the actor’s strongest performance yet, having gotten across with the necessary power required by his character, whose wounds and struggles are equally as deep and excruciating as his mother’s.
The film’s director, Joyce Bernal, apparently, has surprisingly squeezed the best out of Lim. One more thing that is very worth-noting, is the surprising chemistry his character establishes with Locsin’s, adding another layer of oddly crippling charm to an already compelling story.
“Everything About Her” persistently stumbles over narrative defects and editing flaws, Bernal’s experimental attempts being palpably evident, and while that doesn’t render a sizable portion of the entirety senseless, it still gets me to think how everything would have turned out, if she had focused cultivating the depth and scope of her material.
At its core, “Everything About Her”, is a family drama that speaks for sentiments that aren’t necessarily new.
Most audience would not have hard time recalling its relatable set-up, because amidst its familiarity, the film digs a poignant layer at second chances at love and family, that probably everyone won’t fail to recognize, one that evokes catharsis and self-evaluation.
RATING: 3.5/4 (JE)
1 – Terrible
2 – Tolerable
3 – Good
4 – Excellent