Irene Villamor is probably one of the most promising filmmakers in this generation. If producers get to respect her vision for a particular project and give her the free reigns in telling her story–her film will surely be a good one. Take the case of her latest romance-drama flick On Vodka, Beers, and Regrets. Who would ever think that this film attempts to tackle something sensitive as addiction to alcoholism?
The film tells about Bela Padilla as Jane Pineda, a washed-up actress and former child star in rock bottom situation meets JC Santos’s character Francis, a band lead singer at the lowest point of her life. The film masquerades as a romantic-comedy film. This piece turns out to be as serious as the American 1994 film When a Man Loves a Woman, starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia.
Taking back from its previous comparison of the film to Notting Hill (1999), the film is much more of the Ryan-Gracia starrer and the bittersweet feeling of La La Land (2016), which has Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as stars.
It probably has the semblance of the last two films. It has the right mix of heavy and silly moments.
Seeing Padilla anew in a film with Santos is something that the audience has been waiting for, probably. Their tandem onscreen has something their followers and supporters are thrilled to see. It may seem giddy and gibberish; surprisingly, it’s grippingly good.
One would appreciate every detail, every shot that goes into Villamor’s film. Each of which contributes to building up a particular tension or emotion. She knows when to behold her audience and take them to where she wants them to see her vision for the movie.
Two scenes could make the viewers hold their breaths. It was when a broken wine goblet gets a focus and the close-up of a chubby cat with a sound of broken glass. She knows when to behold her audience and take them to where she wants them to see her vision for the movie. It’s one bittersweet love story.
Padilla manages to shine in every scene she has. Santos’s charms work well with the tandem’s chemistry. However, Matteo Guidicelli is noticeably effective as the sordid, antagonist Ronnie.
The beauty of this latest film that Villamor wrote and directed is the sense of hope it conveys to its audience. It didn’t paint a forcing-through conclusion. It prefers to have a close-to-reality denouement.
On Vodka, Beers, and Regrets is not the typical love story told by any filmmaker in years. That’s what sets Villamor apart from today’s filmmakers. It opens today in cinemas nationwide.