How do I ‘unlove’ you?
February 18, 2014 1 Comment
Let me start this piece with a disclaimer: I am not a film critic nor I pretend to be one. I am just among the many moviegoers who—in one way or the other—had experienced the emotional rollercoaster ride provided by the movie Starting Over Again.
Honestly, there’s nothing “new” about said movie. Its storyline is not an unexplored one; in fact, had it not been for the excellent narrative flow, this film would’ve ended as just another formula flick.
There is something about this movie—no, it’s not Piolo nor Toni… Joross or Lito, maybe… but I digress—that catches one’s interest: the unraveling of the story. Being a storyteller myself, I cannot help but be enthralled at how Direk Olive Lamasan took us inside Marco (Piolo) and Ginny’s (Toni) love story, giving us an overdose of “kilig” moments and introducing us to an unorthodox kind of courtship… and from that emotional high, Ms. Lamasan jolted us back to reality by giving us a peek at the couple’s eventual falling apart—reasons unknown— and how they found each other again. But contrary to what many would expect, we are presented with an unexpected twist. No, I’m not gonna spell it out here. I am no spoiler. Let’s just say that the Marco-Ginny affair is no Popoy-Basha love tale.
You see, what made Starting Over Again stand out from the other fall-in-love-break-up-reunite formula movies is that it did not follow that conventional flow. Instead, what the movie afforded us were peeks and glances into various episodes of the Marco-Ginny love story—each scene leaving us with questions, and more questions: “what happened” or “what did he/she do” or “why are they such-and-such”. There was nothing predictable about the movie. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, the next scene would shatter your “conclusions”. It kept us interested, at times, echoing the lead characters’ demand: “I deserve an explanation!”
Each scene—each confrontation, monologue and soliloquy—were well-thought of and presented in a very relatable manner, something that is not strange to the viewer. The contemporary language and dialog added to the impact of every scene—may it be laugh-inducing or tear-jerking.
Starting Over Again, as the title implied, is a story about second chances… about moving on… about finding closure—one that is with finality; a letting go of what once was. A closure that would usher in complete acceptance of what has happened and honor the transition away from what’s finished to something new. In other words, a closure with the ability to go beyond imposed limitations in order to find different possibilities.
The movie had indeed succeeded in evoking that bittersweet nostalgic feeling of finding that special someone whom we’d rather fly up into the scorching sun than get over with. It brought us back to our very own “demons past” that seemed unthinkable that time—where a lover leaves abruptly; runs you over like a train, as if you were just something to be left on the side of the curb like road kill. It reenacted our very own journey of finding closure with someone who headed for the hills and never told us why, reminding us how gut-wrenchingly difficult it was to seek closure within ourselves.
The ending of a significant piece of one’s life—a relationship, a job, a stage of life, or a way of thinking—may be difficult, yes, and even painful for many of us… but still, we cannot afford to lose hope and give up. Starting Over Again allowed us to remember the good and the bad times in our own lives, enabling us to assess these memories and just let the emotions flow: cry, laugh or jump around if we have to, but just let ourselves be. Some of these memories may still haunt and torment us, but the movie showed us that it’s just normal; and that we have to give ourselves a timeline. It can be weeks or months or ever years, but the bottomline is that: when that day comes, that will be the day when you must stop wallowing in self pity and angst and start life anew.