Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review of SID & AYA: NOT A LOVE STORY: Stunning Scenery and Scintillating Stars

May 30, 2018

It had all the trappings of a romance on the surface, but this film, starring two of the most attractive stars in local showbiz, adamantly insists in its parenthetical subtitle that it is "not a love story." Its cryptic teaser trailer had Anne Curtis' mysterious character showing up in various places saying "I love you" to Dingdong Dantes' character. Public curiosity had been effectively tickled to find out exactly what this film by Irene Villamor would be about.

Sid is Luis Isidro Teodoro. He is a hotshot and ruthless stock broker, who did not really care whose toes he stepped on to get ahead in his game. Despite seeming to have it all -- posh condo, classy girlfriend, liquid assets and skyrocketing career -- Sid was a depressed, lonely insomniac who spent his sleepless nights hanging out in a 24-hour cafe just around the corner from his home.

Left to fend for herself by her mother who worked as an entertainer in Japan, Aya is a young woman who was always in desperate need of cash. This was so she can be able to support the medical needs of her ailing father and the education of her younger siblings. To do this she had to juggle three jobs -- a part-time clerk at a laundry, a performer in an amusement park and a waitress in the 24-hour cafe where Sid spent his sleepless nights. 

On one of these sleepless nights, Sid and Aya eventually met and made a connection with each other. However, as this film was "not a love story" as it claimed, things do not go all peaches and roses between the two. The couple will encounter challenging situations in their relationship, as captured by the stunning cinematography of Pao Orendain.

Anne Curtis owned this film as Aya. The camera loves her lovely face with all its quixotic charms. We can clearly see and feel how Aya swept Sid off his feet and changed his life. Because of Curtis's magnetic charisma, Aya can do no wrong. Even if there was money involved in her story, we never can judge her for her actions. This is Curtis's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," her Audrey Hepburn moment. 

Dingdong Dantes is a very capable actor, and he proves it here again as the moody Sid. While this film was told mostly in Sid's point of view, Dantes graciously allowed Curtis to take centerstage. In so doing, he allowed us to see Aya through his eyes and get mesmerized with her along with Sid. Because of Dantes' sincere performance, we also feel Sid's happiness when he was with Aya, and his misery when he was not. 

The film brings us right into the midst of age-old dilemma about relationships -- should it be about the right person, or the right time? It described Aya as Sid's "black swan" -- a random event with extreme impact (as expounded in the 2007 book by philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb). I suspect that this film will also leave a big positive impact on its viewers. 8/10. 

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