Admittedly, ‘Meant to Beh’ the film is Vic Sotto’s most decent after all those fantasy-comedy flicks he had in the past.
It is just refreshing to see that Dawn Zulueta and Sotto reunited after their stints in ‘Okay Ka, Fairy Ko’ series back then. In this film, they are still husband-and-wife–Mr, and Mrs. Ron Balatbat but are totally ‘opposites’; tryting to make their married life work even if they already have three children–Christian, Alexandra and Riley portrayed by JC Santos, Gabbi Garcia and Baby Baste, respectively.
For those who were used to watching Vic’s antics–this film is a farcry from his previous films that were really, at times slapstick and verging towards being boring to watch.
More Human than Cardboard Characters.
It can be noticed that Direk Chris Martinez succeeded in creating more human characters as opposed to cardboard characters.
Though the conflict between Andrea (Zulueta) and Ron (Sotto) aren’t really new anymore; the device used to tell the background story on how both characters ended up as married couple was creative enough even without speaking lines from the characters. By mere putting them in situations; in a series of static shots or in freeze frame setup is brilliant in itself. It is just to show or emphasize an important moment.
It’s good that the characters of Andrea Torres and Daniel Matsunaga were also penned as human as possible and not as cardboard characters. I cannot imagine the characters of Torres and Matsunaga as Agatha Bayona and Benjo Marasigan to be as the usual evil third parties; as the common depictions of such.
I am glad that Martinez took over because I am not sure if it was still under Tony Y. Reyes’s direction–the film might have gone a different route of course.
Chris Martinez’s Efforts are Just Enough.
Knowing how Martinez tells his stories as well as directs his films–he has the skills to explore the human side of his characters.
His ability to make his audience laugh is not to be questuioned since he has proven this many times with his previous films–the likes (some of which) of ‘Here Comes the Bride’ (2010), ‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila!’ (2012), ‘Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel’ (2013), ‘The Gifted’ (2014) ‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever is Not Enough’ (2016); but in this movie–I don’t blame him is Sotto is having a hard time from doing drama and shifting to comedy. Besides he is no the late Comedy King–Dolphy.
I felt that Vic pushed himself further to do a more family-centered flick this time; but his best efforts aren’t convincing enough still.
Or should I say–Sotto has reached his peak as an actor?
The Material is Ideal to be Serialized.
Let’s face it–the screenplay probably wasn’t designed to be serialized as a story. However, looking into the two loveteams in the film–there are potentials of exploring that part.
The film could have chosen to end it without patching up or reuniting again the Balatbat couple.
If a possible series could have been planned–then the love stories between Christian and Rihanna so as that of Alexandra and Diego–are great to be explored. And maybe in its third installment–it will be time that the Balatbat couple still realize that they are really meant for each other.
The way I see it–the film is having an identity crisis. It has great intentions of proving a new kind of genre for Vic, but it somehow fell short. Instead of the audience identifying with Sotto’s struggles as a husband and as a father–it gave a contradictory reaction.
Perhaps the saving grace in this movie is Baby Baste as Riley. His cuteness and his naughtiness carried the film in most parts.