Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
If you liked last year's Metro Manila Film Festival top-grosser "Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo", it's probably safe to say you'd like this one - albeit if not as much as before. Writer-director Joey Reyes' "Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo" may perhaps not be conceptualized entirely as a creative affair, but this sequel lives up to the parent film even if it doesn't have the same freshness or innocence as before.
It's easy to perceive beforehand that "Sakal, Sakali, Sakalo" is simply an obligatory follow-up since "Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo" raked in millions of pesos and this sequel was written and shot in a matter of less than a year. And initially, those doubts seem to be justified. The film gets on the wrong foot and rushes to the proceedings without proper introduction to the myriad of characters we are about to see on screen. This may be fine if you've seen the first film, but to anyone who missed out or who haven't seen the film again recently to have a clear memory, the lack of time to get into the couple's lives may lead to an awkwardly rushed experience. But once the conflicts get underway, it's immediately apparent that this isn't just a capitalist attempt at an erstwhile happily-ended tale.
As before, real-life couple Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos newlywed Jed and Angie, respectively. This time, they have to take care of their son Raffa with parents who are all too eager to share the job with them. Compounding the problems are Jed having to deal with a hypochondriac mother (Gloria Diaz), Angie having to deal with her mom (Gina Pareño) dating a "balikbayan" guy (Freddie Webb), and the usual jealousy problems hounding married couples.
It may lack the overall surprise of the original but it more than makes up for it in terms of realism and jabs at the Filipino culture hitting the screen. While the second film's portrayal of a newlywed life is not as fresh with some conflicts being rehashed, the problems still come naturally, and without overt manipulation on the part of Reyes. It's just unfortunate that the film still tries to cover a lot of area that it loses focus story-wise. The point where Jed and Angie go to Spain for a vacation creates a somewhat wider aim of skewering the Filipino culture abroad, but overall it seems as a random event that was merely added on a whim. But it does whet your travel appetite and the cameos by Reyes as a Filipino immigrant in Barcelona marks the spot. Haha.
Still, what matters is that "Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo" is ultimately entertaining. The chemistry between Agoncillo and Santos is still strong. Agoncillo in particular still can't keep up with Santos' acting prowess, but there are shards of improvement here. Pareño is still her hysterical self although her shenanigans are starting to wear off.
Overall, the comedic approach works here because it keeps the story of a couple grounded in reality, providing an insightful glimpse of their lives rather than merely making a fuss of it.
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