Director Antoinette Jadaone’s (SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION FROM LILIA CUNTAPAY: 2011) latest film is a satire on a society blinded by its superficial standards on Beauty. It is an entertaining, yet a critical look at how we crucify ourselves, for a sip from the fountain of eternal youth. Though at some point the film diverts to a familiar formula from Star Cinema Hell, the film delivers quite a remarkable feat in our local comedies. It is crisp, side-splitting, and undeniably memorable.
BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE (2014) follows the story of three women, all from different and separate lives, but with almost synonymous insecurities. Vilma (Assunta de Rossi) faces a new challenge at work when a new comer threatens to steal her opportunities in a marketing firm where she has proved her worth for years. Estelle (Angelica Panganiban) was once a star with killer looks. But when the results of a depression took over her, she lost control of her image and weight; a critical showbiz requirement. Judith (Angeline Quinto), tries to overcome her insecurities whenever faced with the thought that her boyfriend, who comes from an rich clan, cannot accept her because of her looks.
Casting for comedies can be such a challenge, especially if a director wants to dig a deeper theme and convey a message that we can bring home. Jadaone, however, faced this challenge and selected three actresses who brilliantly brought three characters that will keep you glued for more fun. De Rossi returns with her ability to create a character who is lovable without dismissing pity. Quinto is a terrific treat! Her funny and sparkling Judith made me laugh like I was the only one inside the movie house. Panganiban is, as always, a continuing phenomenon in contemporary comedy. Her Estelle goes beyond her Stefanie in HERE COMES THE BRIDE (2010). She literally commands the audience with her hysterics, and yet quiets them down with her silences.
It’s amazing how the director magically inserts her agenda without sacrificing the laughs. It is also astonishing to see Vicky Belo, performing a supporting role in a film that deconstructs her own identity. I admired her more for that.
BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE is a satire that digs deep into an ugly norm that the society has horrifyingly imposed on itself. Our trivial standards on Beauty has already gone a long way, that even our own minds have substantially embraced a disgusting pretence. It is a film that openly disillusions our self-imposed standards, and presents an inevitable tragedy that awaits us, unless we find our way out while there is time.
Don’t just look at the film’s poster. See the beauty inside, and don’t forget to watch it with friends! Happy friends!
Nakakahiyang tumawa ng malakas, lalo na pag mag-isa. Promise.
4 STARS OUT OF 5!