It was just typical Filipino love story but the twist; it is more real and practical as I’ve seen. It is ‘kilig’ at some point but in general, it taught me how commitment to ideal love and marriage was defined in a way that it can be relatable and can gave various morals to the viewers.
A Second Chance film was a normal love story with a cute boy and girl journey to happy ever after followed by obstacles that brought challenges to them up to the point that they will fall apart and ended with a resolution that they still are together because of strong ‘love’ to each other. I believe that’s how the typical Pinoy love story goes but this film directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina set asides itself amongst the others.
Indeed the story concept and scripting differs it from all. A Second Chance was never the film who will make the “I love you” line an answer for all the problems that the couple may face. Though it revolves to the love of Popoy and Basha (it is a love story after all), but it simply showed how real husband-and-wife life would be given the instances that they are facing basing on the individual decisions that they are making. In terms of dialogues, I find it very cheesy but sounded more real (with so not many times they say I love you to each other) because either parties have their own ‘hugots (motif)’ in their minds or should I say each have their stand to a certain issue they face. The lines were sweet complemented by sour moments and salty tears, producing a whole new taste for the viewers.
Looking deeper at the story, it is very overwhelming (take it to my own personal perspective) as I have seen Bea and John Lloyd’s acting is near to reality that their character explained it all of why they do this and that. Everything put in the scene has a reason from how the ‘Thursday barkada’ enters to help resolve their problems and where the main couple should be together and not. The couple really internalized the characters and their reason why they exist.
I also liked the transition of the film’s color grading and how it appeals to the emotions the characters portrayed. It was keenly directed, though few frames have surprising (from dull to immediate bright) transitions. I find it effective as if you were just sitting on their window seeing them how they live their life. The lines were often sweet and very faithful but not too teeny in terms of the maturity of their actions and how direct the lines without sugarcoating it (like the “I’m just a sh** in your eyes, Basha” and “Trust not in his words but your love to him”, with reservations Haha).
In terms of cinematography, though I expect more epic frames like that of the film Everyday I love You, it was just practical and it fits most of the scenes. The close-ups answered all the passion their line suggests and it moves smoothly of how candid and shaky the frames started and how it flowed throughout the duration of this almost two-hour film. Thanks to these extreme close-up shots that made Popoy and Basha’s tears worth it.
In terms of design, we can see the tight and secluded locations in their not-so-dream-house home obviously saying that there is no space for alien invaders, complementing the bitter continuity of their story in the middle of the film. Even a child that they want cannot be spared. The design was very brainstormed and detailed up to the contents of the fridge (for example), whenever Basha opens it. The dim but not too dull lighting adds to the effect of as if their relationship is failing during their confrontations. It justifies itself that this is more mature to its prequel film, One More Chance.
Symbolisms like the Polaroid camera, the church, tower peanut butter sandwich and among others didn’t miss its role in making the audience be more involved in the story build-up made. We saw how these things that have been with the couple resemble to make harmony out of their story and its effect to the frame continuity of what is there present as of the moment.
Alas, all of it was all laid to the good directing by Molina. From the entrance of the sound and music to how the editing sweetly interpreted the kind of emotion the script suggested, the director never failed the viewers to be enlightened of what a typical and real story should go. Kudos to the systematic and very detailed look of each and every element found in the frame, making it more remarkable and worth remembering. Molina indeed prove herself that she is a veteran director when it comes to telling a love story to every Filipino who is watching her masterpieces.
A Second Chance was a reality of those hugot lines and that Pabebe moves thrown in social media or even in simple coffee conversations. This film made all of this love and marriage idealisms into a reality and why chances should be given to each and everyone, even if it deals to selfless motivations just to make our love ones learn to love even more and continue on living their lives. The film showed the value of sacrifice, commitment, trust and the importance of marriage through the power combo scripting and framing Popoy and Basha’s sweeter twists and turns.