How sweet the thought of being mutually in love with someone! Admittedly, experiencing the so-called “true love”? at such a young age is something that each one of us wishes for. Almost all of us will fall in love as we go through the teenage stage of our lives ”if not at least get infatuated ”and that is something natural. This movie is about how two young individuals fell in love with each other despite their backgrounds. “Talk Back and You’re Dead ? was originally an online novel written by Alesana Marie.
It was first published and posted on an online writing community called Wattpad on March 26, 2011 and was later published and mass-produced by PSICOM. The book ”which got the attention of the general public, specifically the teens” also did not escape the eyes of interested film producers, which led to its movie adaptation. The film was released on August 20, 2014 and was directed by Andoy Ranay under Viva Films and Skylight Films.
The movie was majorly a mish-mash of scenes, jumping from one situation to another, with a lot of kilig-moments inserted in between. It tried to cramp a 30-chapter book into a two-hour film, which, of course, was not enough, thereby resulting to the overall rushed feel of the movie. Subsequently, it tried to feed the audience more than they could accept. Due to the fast pace of the movie, the audience was bombarded with countless information and revelations in order to build in their minds the framework of the whole story.
It showcased the typical Filipino-style conflicts that are often seen in our own televisions every night in teleseryes, wherein the typical cool guy falls head over heels in love with a girl with an exceptional beauty but has a deep dark secret, family and business rivalry, having a supposed amnesia from the beginning, parent disapproval, and arranged marriages. Ideally, in order for a film to be a great success, it must present something unusual to its target audience.
People are starting to get tired of the typical and cliche’ storylines, and so, they are searching for something new to the taste and a breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, one fresh concept was presented through the infusion of the concept of gangs in the story, considering the social status of the characters. According to Siegel & Welsh, the causes of delinquency are often rooted in the social forces that are found solely in lower-class areas: poverty, unemployment, and social disorganization.
However, it might be related to some non-economic factors like intelligence, personality, socialization, family dysfunction, educational failure, or peer pressure. (2008) The writer used this to her advantage to create great scenes, events, and conflicts. Conflicts were presented one after the other without even resolving the former one clean. Some scenes left the audience hanging, because they left the conflict without explaining why it happened, and how the next scene came to place.
Taking this as an example, there was a scene wherein TOP or Timothy Odell Pendleton (Portrayed by James Reid) got seriously mad at Miracle Samantha Perez (Portrayed by Nadine Lustre) and Jared “Red ? Dela Cruz (Portrayed by Joseph Marco), TOP’s best friend, for having been arranged for marriage. TOP said a lot of hurtful words which were below the belt and even cursed the two of betraying him, and walked out of the scene afterwards. It was very surprising, then, that the next scene showed was TOP and Sam being sweet to each other.
The actors’ acting skills can also be a great factor towards the overall impact of the movie. Reid somehow got in character for TOP’s foreign speaking rich kid character considering that he is one himself. In contrast to that, his portrayal of being a delinquent was somehow sloppy and unconvincing. It might be because of his body built which is not suitable for that kind of role. The scene that he fought 10 men double his size and won the fight alone is not something that will happen in real life, even he is a real “master of martial arts ?. It was all for aesthetic purposes, after all ”to give the book a lead dream guy.
Lustre, on the other hand, did not possess the rich kid aura expected of her character, and the way she spoke English did not represent someone who grew up in an environment wherein everyone prefers English to Filipino, which most rich families do. In terms of acting, she was excellent, although sometimes, she went a little overboard of her character. Again, it can be attributed to time-constraints that they failed to build up the characters’ emotions and feelings. The on-screen chemistry of the two lead roles cannot be doubted. The two of them complimented each other, which helped the romantic scenes become a big success for the movie.
The cheesy kilig-worthy scenes were very evident in the movie despite of the ups and downs of the rollercoaster flow of the story in which they succeeded ”taking into consideration that it is, in fact, a romantic film. The occasional jokes also made the drama less intense and less heavy for the audience to handle, which is a good point for the movie. It was a very big challenge for the crew to remain faithful to the book while trying to sum up all the events in such a short period of time and, it was evident in the released movie that they had a hard time doing so.
Since it was based on a book, many of its audience were the ones who got hooked by the book series. They, more or less, expected something more from the movie that would give justice to the story, and stimulate all the emotions they felt while reading the book ¦ and it seems that this movie missed the bullseye. To sum it up, it was a film that would only be appreciated by those who have read the book. It might have been a better TV series than a movie. Nevertheless, it was a big hit to the Filipino moviegoers.
Siegel, L., & Welsh, B. (2008). Juvenile delinquency: the core (3rd ed.). California, USA: Cengage Learning, Inc.