First of all (I have to be defensive about this but…) I’m NOT a fan of Daniel and Kathryn’s love team and I was really hesitant when my partner asked me to watch it, but what changed my mind was that this film was directed by one my favorite directors which gave me one of my favorite Filipino films of all time: One More Chance and she is Cathy Garcia-Molina. Yet, the fact still remains that it was a KathNiel movie still bugs me a bit.
But after watching She’s Dating a Gangster, I could say that it was a “WOW”.
But first let me break the bad, okay, good and the WOW elements in the film.
STORY, MAKE-UP, PRODUCTION AND COSTUME
Story-wise, the film started with the pa cute effect Daniel and Kathryn was destined to do. A bit shallow, confusing, corny and cheesy and to be honest, the costume they wore that’s supposed to be on the 80s were a bit off and discombobulated to the real fashion of that era. They were too pretty and too handsome. Was it maybe because of the High Definition camera used? Or was it really poor in production? In that sense, it never captured the 80s feel. But I don’t think any Pinoy films nowadays have captured a past era using costumes and make-up.
Anyhow, as the story progresses and when we got into the middle part: I realized that there’s a depth that captures my attention and gives focus to the story itself. The entire confusing introduction made all sense and you want more answers in the upcoming remaining minutes of the film. And also, I can see the effort of building a good movie on that moment.
And at the very end, it all sums up to giving you an entire emotional bittersweet love affair that will surely crush your heart into pieces.
It captures a love that is sacrificial and deep that in the end will always have a happy end no matter what. The story is just good.
There were really some fun moments in the movie but nothing beats the KathNiel fans that whenever Daniel appears to look pa cute on screen, everyone around is just going wild which gave my partner and I a noisy but hilarious cinematic experience.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting for Daniel Padilla to improve and be an effective character. I was shocked even on the first few minutes of the film; he already showed intense characterization that even my partner and I did not fathom.
And to Daniel’s mini-brilliance comes Kathryn’s mini-annoyance. Well, probably because she has to be quirky and all and it’s just so regular of her to do that and that maybe is the reason why we can’t see any improvement in her. But then, she’s still good when she shed’s tears (evil).
A RICHARD GOMEZ AND DAWN ZULUETA MOVIE
Yes… when you get to the ending, the part where Richard and Dawn’s characters did meet: they stole the scene from everyone including Daniel and Kathryn even when it’s just seven minutes long! The buildup of the story up to that specific ending makes you think that this film is not just some typical teen movie that you watch and puke right after but it’s the movie you should give focus to and wait for the very heartbreaking yet satisfying ending.
And it was all because of Richard and Dawn’s chemistry and pure acting. Maybe it’s because they’re veteran (they should really be good at it by now) and it was just so believable that it made me cry which I really did not expect to.
The scene where Richard and Dawn’s character meet eye to eye, and everything else was in slow motion, captured the real emotions of bitterness, confusion, loneliness and happiness… everything was just good until Dawn spoke of a one-word liner: “GANGSTER” that made everything in the movie fits like a puzzle which tugs your heart and will bring you tears to the eyes.
Another TBH, I am a CharDawn fan… die hard. UGH!
And because of this, I think it’s about time that ABS-CBN should produce a CharDawn film with great, great, great story and has to be handled well by a director like Garcia-Molina because it will surely be a huge hit not just for matured people, but also for young adults out there.
Overall, the movie is really good because it has a deeper sense of storytelling that differs from every one generation storyline films we’ve seen and Cathy Garcia-Molina definitely knows how to pull our heartstrings.
She’s Dating a Gangster is produced and released by Star Cinema and was directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina. Starring Danieel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo with Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.