Thursday, December 27, 2012

One More Try (Ruel S. Bayani)

Try and try and try...

I thought it will be different. I thought that, with this film, Star Cinema would temporarily veer away from their uncontrollable obsession for infidelity. I thought that, for once, here's something that will infinitely be more sensible compared to the said film outfit's recent products. But no, "One More Try", an official Metro Manila Film Festival entry, has merely used some medical excuse in the form of severe aplastic anemia so that they can push forth their mouth-foaming inclination towards anything extramarital and morally questionable yet again. 
But before we move on with the review, the obligatory synopsis first: Dingdong Dantes' Edward is happily married to Angelica Panganiban's Jacq. Along then comes Angel Locsin's Grace, a woman who had a brief romantic relationship with Edward and is now mothering the fruit of their love (they had a child, alright) somewhere in Baguio, asking for Edward's help. 
The child, much to the very motherly sadness of Grace, is inflicted with a kind of life-threatening illness that can only be cured by bone marrow transplant and Edward is the only possible donor. But the catch is this: Edward is incompatible to give his marrow and the only other cure is to get it from a second, still non-existent child. To conceive the baby, they first tried in vitro fertilization but it failed. The only remaining option, as what Carmina Villaroel's irritating 'Doctora' character has stated, is for Grace to be impregnated through the 'natural way'. Meaning, Edward and Grace must have sex once more, much to the complication, of course, of their respective relationships and their lives. All four main characters (including Zanjoe Marudo's immaterial character Tristan: Grace's beau)
While the establishment of "One More Try's" scenario is quite provocative, the film, as it goes along, transitions from interesting to slightly plausible to idiotically preposterous. Sure, the film has raised certain moral questions regarding this very difficult psycho-sexual predicament, but the way the characters were realized is so irrational and obtuse that they ultimately looked ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious despite of the film's self-serious tone. 
Okay sure, some may argue that "One More Try" is indeed a cinematic essay about the idiocy of love, and I may be missing the point. But be informed, the idiocy of love is really different from sheer simple-mindedness. Specifically, I am pertaining to Angelica Panganiban's character who, despite of her being an epitome of an intelligent career woman, has quickly allowed Grace to enter their married life, knowing that situations will subsequently conspire against her. 
From where I look at it, I think that "One More Try's" ultimate flaw is not on the direction (by Ruel S. Bayani) or the performances. In fact, the performances range from good to great. It is, in actuality, on the screenplay itself, which has allowed its own characters act upon a crucial situation with sheer lack of logic and thought. 

And then, after much emotional despair and lots of tears, all of a sudden, the film jumped into a heavily sugar-coated happy ending that's ever-characteristic of every Star Cinema films. Plus, I found out through research that there's an alternative treatment for severe aplastic anemia other than the bone marrow transplant called immunosuppression, which has little to no 'early mortality' rate. 
Well, if that's the case, the whole dilemma raised by the film is all for naught. We have been fooled, it ultimately seems. Carmina's doctor character may have been the one needing some hair-pulling and bitch-slapping and not the main characters. But medically-speaking, is there really a need for conflict? 

(Note: As I'm writing this review, I just found out that the film has won the Festival Best Picture. Congratulations, but the film could have been better or, if my research will prove to be quite right, even easily invalid.)



  1. i don't agree with some of the "medical" side of the film, but neither do i agree with your immunosuppresive "research".... again its your "research", and there's a better way of addressing such dilemma!!! Just a very simple consult!!! Are you sure that suppressing the immune system (or selectively inhibiting it), is the DOC/TOC (Drug/Treatment of choice)for them to get rid of the conflicts assayed in the movies?

    1. The information about the immunosuppression that I was able to dig out was quite relevant mainly because, realistically speaking, it automatically counters the characters' seemingly 'no other alternative' sexual desperation. Plus, I don't like how the film has attacked Carmina Villaroel's role. I really don't. A definite miscast or poor writing, I don't know. Something's just wrong with that particular character.

      Anyway, I'll definitely check out the film that you have mentioned... Just reading the plot of that 2007 film on IMDb gives me the saddening chills.... Walanghiya gayang-gaya yung basic synopsis.... And they say that "One More Try's" plot is something fresh and new...

  2. BTW.... there's a movie, "In Love We Trust", check it out...:) It won the Silver Bear Award (screenplay!!! how ironic!!!)in the Berlin International Film Festival 2008 (58th). Tsk Tsk this is disgusting.. MY PHILIPPINES, Oh MY PHILIPPINES!!! Guni-guni, then soap operas with korean plots... MVP - most valuable plagiarism , sotto-ing.. imitations, plagiarism, cloning, copy-paste, xerox, call it whatever you want, but to duplicate the act of bestowing an award to such movie... thats too much.... "ang salapi ko pampanuud ng sine hinde basta basta mauubus, peru ang pasensya ko sa katangahang ito - konting konti na lang"... ginaya na yung pelikula, pati pagbigay ng award ginaya den!!! nakteteng oo grrrrr

  3. im telling you, the immunosuppresive idea that it can solve the conflict is not that simple, nor its advisable for that young child... still, the transplant part is much better, im not into that doc portrayal of Carmina, im not knowledgeable enough for that... but still, base on my xp's, there are some doc like that - unethical ad infinitum. What get my attention is the in-vitro part, and the time frame - they are obviously lacking in time ( the transfusion treatment for the child is also not advisable in the long run - Carmina is right - when the time that transplant becomes available, the recurrent procedure itself will pose an immune and incompatibility problems, its either the body reject it or the immune system act on it).Angelica agreed to angel's proposition of "natural" way with certain "reglamentos" of her own, it proves futile and Angelika came out with her own version of a contract... adoption, and a treatment abroad. This time the burden of affirmation was on Angel, and she angrily dispose the idea (this is for someone who would move heaven and earth to save her child - i would rather have sex with your husband "unli", be a dog in such sex act, no result from such, a dead child as a result but AT LEAST i have my child - pure non sense). I dont know, but when i learned of bout the movie mentioned above? Tsk tsk tsk i felt i just wasted 2 hours of my life, 175.00 php, err make it 300, since i bought some food, and a few more minutes posting in your blogs (and fb and web sites) about this stupidity - hinuhuli nyu mga pirated peru ginagawaran nyu ng karangalan ang isang higit na mataas na uri ng pagnanakaw intelektuwal - maybe the last part is not a waste, at least im able to forewarned future viewers (unless it become more of promoting it than warning them). good blog, good ideas... keep it up, and happy new year.

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