NOTHING COULD MAKE the ‘Northern Lights: A Journey To Love‘ shine as a film even during this time when we’re longing for good Filipino films to watch. Not even the well-loved (yet controversial) Piolo Pascual.
Though the film is not without a good story to tell as its conflicts are enough to run a two-hour film but a lot of faulty lines, not-good-enough acting, and flawed story telling make ‘Northern Lights‘ just another commercial film.
Synopsis: Charlie Sr. (Pascual) is a Filipino immigrant in Alaska who is living a carefree life. His life suddenly changes when he is tasked to take care of his estranged son, Charlie Jr. (Raikko Mateo), whom he had left behind in the Philippines. As he struggles to become a real father to his son, Charlie crosses paths with Angel (Yen Santos), a quirky Filipina who went to Alaska to find her lost mother.
Directed by Dondon Santos,‘Northern Lights’ has great values to offer, yes, but it failed to penetrate deeper within its viewers’ hearts what it is trying to convey.
Should. There. Be. Viewers.
For when we watched the film during its second day’s last full show at Trinoma on Thursday (March 30), there were only five of us inside the theater. It was too empty for a Piolo Pascual film. Much for a Star Cinema-Regal-Spring Films-film.
Was it the timing? Was it the lack of charisma? Was it the tandem? We don’t know. But after watching the film, one thing is sure: ‘Northern Lights’ is far from being a good Filipino film worthy of raving about.
Much as we don’t want to mention star power for we are more into looking at the acting abilities more, but it is safe to say that Yen Santos wasn’t that good enough for her role. Santos is pretty, and there were moments that you’d love her here but her acting wasn’t as flawless as that of Pascual and Mateo. In almost all the scenes, they lack the chemistry that we’re expecting. There were times that they even failed to connect with each other’s characters.
The film has its moments. Great moments of love, hate, and unresolved conflicts. Those frames showing the father-and-son characters of Pascual and child actor Mateo are its jewels.
Mateo, whose character is the core of the film, did very well in this one.
Maricar Reyes was stellar and most of the support characters are good. The location is perfect but not even Alaska and the beautiful northern lights per se could make one love the film.
The build up was good but it seems to falter in the middle, and failed to end strong.
If there’s one thing ‘Northern Lights’ has successfully done, it is influencing its viewers to want to visit Alaska for the views, and yes, experience the majestic Northern Lights themselves.
Will this film be loved by the Filipino viewers? We are yet to see this coming weekend.
Rating: 5/10 stars
Verdict: Watch but don’t expect too much.