charliekoon from Philippines
1 October 2008
If sincerity, ideation, and passion for writing are the basis of a
film's triumph, I will praise Eddie Romero and his tandem Rica
Arevalo's endeavor in retailing a story which is nearly conceived as a
taboo even in our generation. Unfortunately, I was not even
half-impressed with the film itself. Teach Me to Love makes me feel
giddy when it comes to its storytelling. Its camera works is not even
minimalist, rather it is dull. I am baffled if this really is directed
by Eddie Romero who is a National Artist for film by the way. Teach
Me to Love is an utterly boring film.
The synopsis and the trailer of the film found in most sites tells
roughly of the entire movie, (except for its last scene). I would
fairly talk about the film's incoherence and dialogues that lead to
mockery. The film started with a flashback until the climax and another
flashback from its remaining scenes. Anyway, the story structure is
disjointed and is confusing. It did try to develop the characters until
they get older, but it is still simply lame and awful to see.
There are too many elements in the film that look like frivolous
distractions to what is supposed to be focused on. Mark (Nathan Lopez)
has a huge crush on her Physics teacher Connie (Maui Taylor). It's
supposed to be sparkling romance between a teacher and a student, but
it was not able to solidify to be able to back-up its climactic moment.
Yes, its efforts to confound their personal backgrounds are admirable
but it looks contrived. For more than a decade of Mark's existence, is
it only now that he would apprehend his mother's affair with another
woman? Surely at this point in time, they have patched major issues in
the past. Connie is having an affair with a married man. The wife has
doubts with her husband's fidelity after seeing a jewelry receipt. She
actually hired at some point in time (we don't know when) a detective
to grab hold of her husband's adulterous acts through photos. Based on
the story's progression, the incident in the photos happened before the
wife has doubts. Okay, if she has doubts before which is obvious, the
confrontation scene might likely happen earlier. The point is all the
scenarios happen at one fell swoop. This makes the story become truly
muddled. We have to be reminded of the plot, not to be too occupied on
the complexities of their characters. And it has a lot of loopholes.
Even with the aid of the flashbacks, I can't consider the film as
nonlinear as those two flashbacks is conspicuously chronological -
which is why it is a concern.
The dialogues in the film are leading to incomprehensibility. It is at
times redundant and contradictory. The dialogues sometimes start with a
doubt, as if the writer is at that time also asking what he is suppose
to write down. Almost all the characters sound mediocre in their lines,
except for Elsa (Sharmaine Buencamino), mother of Mark, whose lines are
I think quite natural. Buencamino is the only one who gave a fine
performance in her minor portrayal. The appearance of Lopez after seven
years is idiotic. Taylor looks like she reincarnated her role in
Torotot, with the same expressions and appearance. Alberto (Ricky
Davao) is entirely out of place in his lines, his passions, and sounds
unimpressive as a lawyer.
Teach Me to Love tries to capture the theme of love so most people
could easily relate. But its obsession in character layering and
complexity just adds confusion; loosing focus on it's supposed plot.
The dialogues have a messy reasoning and at times I can't help myself
cackle for the wrong reasons. Its execution is a complete mockery of
its theme. Eddie Romero who attained the title as National Artist in
Film will always be respected. His past works will forever have the
impenetrable vitality and artistic clout. The efforts in making the
film less pretentiously artistic and more accessible to the everyday
human soul is adequate. But Teach Me to Love is just not
groundbreaking. It is a direct indication of where we are heading. If a
National Artist can't make a superior film, then who will be enthused.
Add another review