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REVIEW: Till I Met You premiere is one captivating, thrilling spectacle

Gerry Plaza August 30,2016 09:37 AM

Captivating you like a dreamy, giddy lovestruck teen wondering how it all happened, the premiere telecast of Till I Met You truly makes you feel even more thrilled and electrified.

It was a story well told from the beginning, all from the point of view of one responsible, caring kid named Iris (Nadine Lustre) who narrated the travails of her mom Cass (Carmina Villarroel). Hurt and traumatized by past failed romances, including one with Iris’ unfaithful father (Jay Manalo) and her first love philanderer Nestor (Zoren Legaspi), Cass went on to love and marry the man of her dreams, widower Oliver (Richard Yap). She told Iris that she knew Oliver was Mr. Right because she felt and even heard her heart beating when they get near.

Blissful friendship

Through it all, she had a blissful friendship with Val (Angel Aquino) and Agnes (Pokwang), who were behind her all the time. Agnes herself found her “destiny,” the military officer Greg Nicolas (Robert Sena), with whom she has a son, Ali (JC Santos).

As they enjoyed their bountiful blessings as a family, Oliver dies of a lingering kidney ailment, which drained their resources and forced Cass to fend for herself while taking care of Iris and her half-siblings Paolo and Zoey.

Iris helped by selling art pieces made by her mom, aside from being dutiful and obedient—and an achiever in school. Ali was also there by Iris’ side protecting her from school bullies and helping her out in selling Cass’ decorative items.

Because Ali showed his “gallantry” of defending Iris from those “bullies in school,” his “sir dad” Greg rewarded him with one poster of an action hero he should choose from his collectibles and place on the wall of his room. After browsing through, he saw one that fascinated him: that of James Dean, which may have been inadvertently placed in Greg’s collection. And this choice, he surely made known to his bewildered father, who thought that the striking attractive male icon of yesteryears was no “action hero.”

Best of friends

Truly, Ali and Iris were the best of friends, and as they went up the stage for their high school graduation, they both got top honors, Iris being the valedictorian, and Ali, the salutatorian.

Who else could go on a date to the graduation ball than these two childhood besties? They had fun, joked and exchanged banter until the “King and Queen” of the ball were announced. It was them, who must have the last dance.

As they danced, they slowly get caught by the moment, feeling their intimacy and closeness. And Iris suddenly heard her heart beat, a sign told by her mom that she has found Mr. Right.

Iris thought Ali was him, but her debonair date hasn’t brought out his feelings towards her out in the open yet. All she knew was that they were friends and that if Ali would indeed court her, it would be definitely worth the wait.

Obsession

And, as Ali was preparing to leave for the Philippine Military Academy to study to become an officer just like his dad, he retreated to his room and opened his laptop. Showing that he has indeed a certain “obsession” for anything James Dean, he scoured sites related to the Hollywood icon. There he came across videos of James Dean look-a-likes.

There he watched a video of a hot, stunning and really good looking Dean dead-ringer also traversing the road in a bike, which so mesmerized him. The video description named him as “Basti” (James Reid).

The premiere truly defines what a terrific pilot should show—well laid-out introductions of characters, brilliantly written and edited story flow, exceptional acting performances, delectable camera play and production design, and an impish, playful frolic with the senses that includes witty, fun twists that truly delights not only those giddy fandoms but also the stern novice rom-com viewers.

Ideal pacing

The story’s pacing was ideal, given that those “connect the dot” introductory scenes and childhood moments were done in one episode.

Now people are eagerly anticipating the next exhilarating turns in the story—an exciting prospect well created and executed by directors Antoinette Jadaone and Andoy Ranay. Nadine Lustre was always her lovely, gorgeous self, naturally enchanting viewers with her winsome persona and effective characterization of Iris.

Carmina Villarroel is a great addition to the cast, as she consistently offers deeply felt and astounding portrayals, this time of the resolute and endearing mom Cass.

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