Directed by Jerrold Tarog
Official Selection, 2013 Busan International Film Festival
Best Film, Director’s Showcase, 2013 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival
Filipino cinema surely knows ridiculous, over-the-top drama, but rarely does a Filipino film portray love in a way that is refreshingly earnest in all its tragic irony. IF ONLY does exactly that. The film practically swept the awards at the Director’s Showcase of this year’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, and shows us that Filipino cinema is ready, and able, to step up its game.
It is the day of Andrea’s wedding to Robert, who possesses the golden trifecta of in-law acceptance: he’s handsome, powerful, and, most importantly, wealthy. Yet, she is clearly distracted. Dennis, the wedding videographer, arrives to shoot some pre-wedding interviews and it is clear to Andrea, and the rest of us watching, that Dennis knows a little too much about the bride-to-be. More questions about Andrea and Dennis begin to arise, and slowly her secret past is revealed and we begin to learn exactly why Andrea is so unsure about her pending marriage.
As the bride, Lovi Poe is spectacular in her honesty and absolutely glows on-screen with each of her three leading men. While the film is non-linear, the story itself is refreshing in its simplicity. Director Jerrold Tarog (Senior Year, SDAFF ‘11) captures love and excruciating heartbreak effortlessly without ever needlessly delving into melodrama. This is, simply, a love story for the lovers. –James Paguyo
Co-presented by: FilAm Fest