Insta-like. Definition: When you see a status on Facebook (or basically on any social media site), and you like it within one minute of its posting.
I guess this would be the best word to describe how I felt after watching Regal Film’s latest movie offering this 2018. From award-winning director and writer Jason Paul Laxamana, the same guy who broke out hearts with this 2017 box-office hit “100 Tula Para Kay Stella” comes another love story, with a millennial twist.
Kapamilya stars Jameson Blake and Janella Salvador teams up together for the very first time in the romantic comedy flick “So Connected”, also starring Paulo Angeles, Krystal Brimner, Cherise Castro, Ruby Rodriguez and Rolando Inocencio and is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
In “So Connected”, we follow the story of Karter Calma, played by Jameson Blake, a video editor for a web channel. He is currently in a relationship with the girl who serves as the host of their web channel. For his birthday, she gave him a smartphone as a gift.
Unfortunately, it got stolen which caused her to go berserk on him and eventually, breaking up with him. Heartbroken, he tries to find a way of tracking down who stole his phone through an app installed it called StoreBox, which automatically uploads files on the phone (photos, videos, etc) to an online backup storage, much like Google Drive and iCloud.
With this app, he discovers that his phone went into the hands of a girl named Trisha, played by Janella Salvador, an independent young woman trying to support herself. Through her photos and videos of her daily life (that are all automatically uploaded to the internet without her knowledge, of course), Karter slowly gets to know and like her, eventually feeling a connection he has never felt with anyone before.
Realizing his true feelings for her, he decides to track her down and find her. But will Karter be able to convince Trisha that they have a genuine connection and win her heart?
Director Jason Paul Laxamana, who started out in the indie film scene has already made a name for himself with his dark, often bizarre stories. From the coming-of-age film 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (which he penned) to the black comedy Mercury is Mine (both films were my favorites), his stories are witty and peculiar. But he proved to everyone that he is also capable in creating stirring and heartrending stories with his blockbuster hit “100 Tula Para Kay Stella”.
With his latest feature, he goes back to his roots and delivers another entertaining work. “So Connected” is a glossy, colorful love story, but behind all the glowing neon lights and sweet moments lies a really dark story about today’s internet generation of today’s millennials and Generation Zs.
The film is a sweet and romantic portrayal of young love on the outside, but if you look past that, you’ll find a bit of a stalker’s fantasy as the character of Karter takes advantage of Trisha’s obliviousness of her daily life being watched by a stranger online. It is a satire on today’s youth, where each and every one of us has become a bit of a stalker ourselves as we follow and watch each other’s lives on social media sites. We judge one another based on what we see on our computer and mobile screens.
The film is a reflection on the negative side of the internet to how we treat one another. This is what set’s Jason Paul Laxamana’s romcom from others that we have seen in the past.
Karter Calma is a lonely, young man who finds hard connecting with other people, including his ex-girlfriend. So when he “meets” Trisha through the help of StoreBox, he instantly falls for her. And his instant liking is somewhat lying between love and obsession. This is evident in one of the darkest scenes in the film where he breaks down in his home.
This is where the stars of “So Connected” shines. Their characters were written as normal people, they’re all flawed characters with each of them trying to run away from a terrible past. Their characters commit actions that may seem abnormal to some, but they still did it all because of love. “Nagmahal lang naman ako, eh,” just like what Trisha said in the movie.
Their characters are faulty and imperfect, and their characters demand the actors portraying them to have a great grip on the roles for them to be effective. Luckily, both lead stars proved to be very capable in handling their characters.
Jameson Blake, who started out as the other half of the Synder brothers from “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” has been all over the indie and mainstream movie scenes these past two years. I personally have seen his growth as an actor, from “Nabubulok”, “Nay”, and “Haunted Forest” (plus there’s another upcoming romcom slated this year that were yet to see), Jameson has already improved so much, proving that he is more than just simple looks and swag. His acting prowess is very evident in this movie, much like in “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” because his character Karter demands a lot from and he is able to give it all for the role. His breakdown scene was one my most favorite. You don’t get to see any of that in any local romcom nowadays. His performance here proves that he has earned his status today as a movie star with his great acting prowess.
Janella Salvador is also given an equally-challenging task in bringing Trisha to life. Her character, a hardworking girl with a bright and bubbly personality, is not what she seems to be at first glance. Behind all the smiles and laughs lies some secrets of her own. Her relationship with his boyfriend isn’t perfect. She’s running away from all the embarrassment that her past actions have brought her. She is burdened with humiliation from the society that she used to be part of. This is probably her most challenging role so far and she portrayed it very well. She has been stuck with the same roles before, but with her offbeat role in “So Connected”, she is given a platform to show her capability as an actress, and she nailed it with flying colors.
I must also note that “So Connected” is one of the most gorgeous local romcoms recently. Every scene and frame are all Instagram-worthy. Every shot is designed and well-thought-out. There’s one particular scene in the film that I really loved, wherein Jason Paul Laxamana and his team used neon lights to convey the emotion of one of the characters.
I thought it was really genius and it was quite refreshing to watch. Aside from that, the film also used it’s great settings and locations to its advantage, from the localities of Pampanga to the historic sights of Corregidor Island.
I have to say, my jaws grew a bit tired after watching the film. And it was because I was smiling the whole time, from the start until the end of the film. I was smiling because of so much kilig and joy. Jameson Blake and Janella Salvador looked so great and adorable together on screen. The cameras loved them.
And every scene they’re together is full of oozing chemistry between the two leads. This just proves that they don’t necessarily have to be romantically involved with each other to have an undeniably palpable chemistry onscreen. Though their character’s ending could have been done in a more effective way as it will really leave hanging and wanting for more.
This is a movie that millennials would definitely appreciate, with its portrayal of today’s youth and obsession with social media. It’s a peculiar love story – part fantasy, part satire mixed with romance and comedy. It’s an unusual mix, yes. But this made the film highly entertaining and totally unpredictable.
It’s a rollercoaster ride of laughs and kilig that a lot of people can definitely relate to. By the end of the movie, one thing’s for sure: you’ll feel “So Connected.”