What If review – Alessandra De Rossi, JM De Guzman
Here’s my What If review starring Alessandra De Rossi and JM De Guzman and directed by Emmanuel Quindo Palo. Now streaming on Netflix.
The film follows the honeymoon of newly weds Jecs (De Guzman) and Isabelle (De Rossi) in the island getaway of Panglao which coincides with a typhoon that ravages the island. During this time their marriage is put to the test as various issues arise. Set amidst a lush island locale the film focuses on the common marriage problems and issues ranging from possible infidelity, jealousy, having kids, childhood trauma and more.
Alessandra De Rossi continues to prove that she’s a powerhouse in acting. Isabelle’s life, its revealed throughout the film, is one mess with only her relationship with Jecs being the really solid thing to live by. She was going through a lot even before she entered wedded bliss and that continues to factor on in her life. This is brought into the spotlight expertly well with De Rossi’s performance. And honestly, seeing that scene where she’s filled with jealousy and rage I have to commend her fully.
JM De Guzman‘s Jecs had a good take as the musician / husband. His problems both as a career musician, a husband and a son can be relatable to some extent. But if you can relate to his acting and to the way his character was written then this is also a wake up call. Acting wise, it’s pretty OK. De Guzman has already crafted his own little niche when it comes to acting and he’s an established actor too so there’s really nothing much to say.
The story’s pretty standard with a beautiful backdrop and to set up the story. I did like the allusions to the storm being the same storm that will rock their marriage and put them to the test. There are a bunch of things that will hit really hard not just for newlyweds but also for spouses living together. The film captures the essence of these problems and ends not with a “one ending to rule them all” but rather an ending that perfectly captures married life. That was a big plus for me after a seeing this film.
The problem with these films with tiny cast is that if you’re script isn’t engaging, viewers tend to drop it especially in streaming services like Netflix. For What If, it tended to go that direction but thankfully the acting is what really helped me power through. The problems that were presented have also been done to death like the aforementioned “selos” moments wherein they pull their aces.
What If was presented really well and it looked really great but the subject matter and the topics at hand are all formulaic. Not bad, just something we’ve seen a thousand times over. Even the subgenre has been used a number of times. The duo really did make the film work. Plus its those little moments in the film like those dialogues and monologues that really gets me.