The real beauty in ‘Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi’ barely resides in its interestingly bizarre love story. Charming and gentle, albeit formulaic, this teenage love triangle manages to generate a generous dose of sweetness, enough to sidestep everything it lacks.
Here, themes and characters imbue life to this fairytale book, and they make a beautiful cover.
In the film, certified nerd and loner, Aries (Jameson Blake) is smitten with Norma (Sue Ramirez) whose off-the-wall charisma makes not falling in love practically impossible. Though hopeless romantic, Aries never really had the grit to reveal his feelings, and it becomes even harder to do so when he finds out that Norma is actually in a relationship with his older brother, Leo (Markus Paterson).
When Norma develops a rare illness that makes her hypersensitive to electronic gadgets, things get a little more favorable for Aries who now sees an opportunity to express his affection. It gets complicated, however, when Norma and Leo’s relationship eventually falls apart. Realizing that Norma, being completely in love with Leo, may not survive a break-up, Aries decides to save her from the fall and pulls off a weak but persuasive deceit: pretending as Leo in love letters (at least, until she discovers it).
A mix of an unconventional concept and beautiful characters makes ‘Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi’ soar, and it drives the story further to getting to more exciting places amidst some deficiencies, that may have pulled the narrative down, had it not been for the oozing chemistry between Ramirez and Blake. And this chemistry becomes even more interesting when the characters literally pull away themselves from ‘technology,’ making every ‘offline’ moment a rare chance to make these characters, connected.
James Blake is extremely admirable. His character is outright two-dimensional, to be honest, but there is just an irresistible appeal in Blake that still makes it massively work. He employs an incredible amount of passion and sentimentality and it turns Aries to someone anybody would swoon over.
Markus Paterson’s character is arguably weaker, but there is one moment towards the last few minutes of the film where he rips hearts apart—a tender, but heartbreaking moment, which he surprisingly manages to deliver with ease.
Sue Ramirez’s mindblowing charm is inescapable. She imbues Norma with a lighthearted quirk that even in moments she is actually meant to be annoying, she dazzles. There is radiance in her beauty which makes falling in love with her, at first sight, completely possible.
‘Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi’ has all the ingredients of a great film, and while Jun Robles Lana handles them with a flawed maneuver, some spontaneous verve and wonder in his direction, stitch the proceedings decently, and makes them salient, in spite of their extreme predictability. There is an affectionate charm that thrives in the film’s breezy warmth and youthful vigor and it lends the narrative an ineluctable allure. There is a wonderful message about relationships and life, in general, embedded within the film’s delicate narrative, one that youngsters of today and hopeless romantics, won’t have a hard time to crack.
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible
An official entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, ‘Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi’ is now showing in cinemas, nationwide.