SYNOPSIS: Real-estate mogul, Vivian Rabaga (Ms. Vilma Santos) is at the peak of her career. Thanks to her success-driven focus, fierce leadership and unaffected motivations. Everything is doing well until cancer strikes. Multiple Myeloma. Cancer of the bone marrow. Enter Jaika (Angel Locsin), an equally competent nurse practicing in the same hospital where Vivian’s doctor is a resident. She is personally recommended to Vivian to be the latter’s personal nurse as she undergoes her series of treatments. As Jaika struggles in keeping it up with her new boss, Vivian reconnects with her estranged son Albert (Xian Lim).
- Just by reading the synopsis or by watching the trailer, you probably know how it’ll end, yes?
- a BERNAL + VILMA ? Cancer. Almost equal. Most of the time, that is. Check out Ismael Bernal’s RELASYON (1982). Christopher de Leon has cancer and dies. Revisit Bernal’s PAHIRAM NG ISANG UMAGA (1989), and you’ll see Santos in one poignant closing scene from 80s cinema. This year, another “Bernal” directs Santos, and Bb. Joyce Bernal gives her cancer, again. Just saying.
- Bernal directs with experimented shots and unnecessary foregrounds, consequently sacrificing effective compositions. Nonetheless, the bravery is noted.
- Santos tries to be our own Miranda Priestly of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. It’s just that she moves a lot, talks a lot and swears a lot. The audiences love her. Just as we love Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
- Botox-filled Santos looks so beautiful here, it feels so photoshoped. Don’t complain. She’s playing the role of a CEO and a multinational tycoon at that. Vivian Rabaga can afford.
- Just before the three-minute mark, we see Santos, as Vivien, throw a couple of swear words that she obviously couldn’t throw well. I’m pretty sure Santos could have had a different conviction if Director Cathy Garcia-Molina was behind the camera.
- On another note, Santos manages to establish her interpretation of Vivian, and wonderfully executes a lovable unconventional character. That’s the Noranian in me talking. She has her moments, yes. And she made me cry here. Many, many times.
- One scene worth mentioning is when Vivian had her attack. Here, Santos – known for her undeniable charm, despite heavy scenes – orchestrates the moment with painful presence and charismatic depth. Bernal’s camera inconveniently pans in and out, but Santos magically steals the moment through her anguish and tantrums, making us cry and laugh at the same time.
- Angel Locsin really knows how to play jologs and still be wonderfully charming. It’s just that we saw this similar charm in her Alexandra Salazar in FOUR SISTERS AND A WEDDING (2013).
- Locsin can really be funny. Really. Her sense of rhythm is undeniable.
- Xian Lim is a shock. Even when on his back, he makes the audiences cry. I know, I heard my seatmates sob and sigh. Okay, fine. Ako rin.
- EVERYTHING ABOUT HER (2016) stayed faithful to its title. It is just mainly about Vivian; thus, making the rest of the subplots only as a convenient background. I like that.
- The film tells a story that we might already be so familiar with. The plot lines stayed true to a known formula, that we already know how it’s going to end. But we stayed still. Why? Because Bernal’s wit and her actors’ chemistry make the journey worth the time.
- Vivian’s story speaks to us about our own “deadlines.” For someone who was faced with something quite similar last year, I can’t help not to empathize with Santos’ character as she tries to make everything around her shine more brightly before the lights go out.
- 3.5 Stars out of 5.
- I’m glad that Vilma’s back in the game. Having her around makes Nora shine brighter. There, I said it na.
- And did I mention that the film comes with a beautiful theme song? Though also as inconvenient as it may seem, it works.