The catharsis of ‘Exes Baggage’ is never defined on the basis of two characters falling in and out of love, but the small nuances that come in between those pains.
It follows a familiar narrative: two people meet in a bar, get to know each other well, make out, become partners, releases one’s insecurities, and chaos ensues.
The story is never really new, but director Dan Villegas and writer Dwein Baltazar want to establish the romance as less of a fairy tale and more about the individual flaws that create the complications when it collides.
And on that note, the film felt authentic. On and off-screen, it is known that the two actors playing the lead couple Nix and Pia, Carlo Aquino and Angelica Panganiban, once became an actual couple. The meta-approach of their pairing somehow didn’t appear to be gimmicky and becomes the film’s biggest strengths.
Aquino and Panganiban’s performances are undoubtedly great, and their pains and smiles seep through every frame.
‘Exes Baggage’ has really nothing to hide. It knows that its main conflict isn’t some high stakes drama, but some pretty close-to-nonsensical feuds, which is perhaps its most realistic aspect.
Fighting over insecurities are no joke, but they may be on the other partner. The film paints pain in the form of two imbalanced analogies. The film is one of Villegas’ best works to date, and his control over such emotions are well refined.