After 26 years, one of Philippine cinema’s most memorable films featuring the one and only Diamond Star Ms. Maricel Soriano, returns to the big screen. Celebrating it’s 26th anniversary, Carlos Siguion-Reyna’s 1992 classic “Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal” is brought back to life in glorious digitally restored and remastered form by the ABS-CBN Film Restoration.
The restored classic had it’s premiere night last April 18, 2018 at Trinoma Cinema 7. The premiere night was graced by the film’s director Carlos Siguion-Reyna; writer Raquel Villavicencio; cast members Guila Alvarez, Richard Reynoso, and Maricel Soriano; musical director Ryan Cayabyab; production designer Raymond Bajarias; and dubbing supervisor Lucy Quinto.
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The film was restored from the film elements, mainly master negative and sound negative supplied by Reyna Films. The negative was scanned in 4K resolution and restored in 2K.
The most prevalent damages in the material were bumps, splice marks, image instability and mold. The image stability posed a big challenge and required the most number of restoration hours. Other damages included heavy black debris, grain, flicker, color shift and missing frames.
The film, an adaptation of William Wyler’s 1949 classic “The Heiress”, follows Adela (played by Maricel Soriano) a plain, painfully shy woman whose emotionally detached father, Maximo (Eddie Gutierrez), makes no secret of his disappointment in her. He is terribly bitter about the loss of his charming and beautiful wife (played in a surprise cameo by Dawn Zulueta), whom he feels fate replaced with a simple and unalluring daughter. Adela is devoted to her father despite the mistreatment. When she meets the charming David (Richard Gomez), she is immediately taken by the attention he lavishes upon her, the attention she so desperately seeks from her father. Adela falls madly in love with David with the help of her Aunt Paula (Charito Solis), and the couple plan to marry. But Maximo believes that David is an idler who is courting Adela only to get her inheritance.
Despite being released more than two decades ago, the digitally restored and remastered version of “Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal” (Only Love) looks and felt like a film that was shot recently.
The picture is very clear and the colors are very crisp and lively. ABS-CBN Film Restoration did a wonderful job in restoring this classic film despite all the prevalent damages in the original material. You can’t see (or maybe barely) any graining, flickering or even any missing frames. The film also sounded glorious with it’s remastered form.
As per the film itself, I really enjoyed this Carlos Siguion-Reyna classic. The story may be a bit old-fashioned but the material was handled with care by its writer, Raquel Villavicencio and director Siguion-Reyna.
Its sweeping drama was brought to life with Villavicencio’s poetic writing. Outstanding performances of it’s cast brings this script to an effective realism. Eddie Gutierrez’ portrayal of Maximo, Adela’s strict father, was very effective. This was partnered with Charito Solis’ convincing performance as Aunt Paula. Richard Gomez looks dashing in his role of David wherein he was able to provide a believable portrayal of the said character.
Finally, Maricel Soriano is unstoppable is her powerful performance as Adela. Her character goes through the biggest change in the story. And watching her go through all that metamorphosis from a timid, weak girl to a strong, vengeful woman was so glorious to watch.
She is memorable in her portrayal of Adela, with one particular scene that will surely leave a mark in your heart as she breaks down under a thunderstorm, crying the lines, “Darating siya! Kailangang dumating siya. Kailangang kunin niya ako. Kailangang mahalin niya ako… Mamahalin niya ako para sa inyong lahat na hindi nag-mahal sa akin.”
In the end, the film teaches us different lessons about love, family and finding happiness without the need for other people which everyone can definitely relate to nowadays.
With it’s glorious digitally restored and remastered form, sweeping drama, powerful performances, with Ms. Maricel Soriano shining in one of her most outstanding roles on film, Carlos Siguion-Reyna’s “Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal” is a true classic of Philippine cinema that deserves to be seen again on the big screen.
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible
Catch “Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal” and other classic films at Greenbelt Cinema 1 and TriNoma Cinema 2 from April 18 – 24! Regular tickets are 220 pesos while tickets for students are 180 pesos. You may buy tickets at the ticket booth or online via https://www.sureseats.com/movies.