When college best friends Harold and AM (short for Amihan), given heart and soul by Paulo Avelino and Janine Gutierrez, respectively, in Prime Cruz’s Ngayon Kaya, reached that point of being less than lovers but more than friends, the bigger question that needed to be asked was what’s going to happen next.
This romantic drama from T-Rex Entertainment with WASD Films as co-producer, penned by Jen Chuaunsu, gives us the many events and scenarios why the platonic relationship that Harold and AM share take a perplexing development with the two feeling bewildered and confused as to what heart strings to push and pull to.
Yes, that being just friends, even if the qualifier they agree on is the “best,” is commendable and healthy but it cannot be denied as well that what they share is already so ripe to be more intimate and romantic.
Harold’s realities need more than a strong man with big dreams to hurdle. The fact he must contend with, AM belongs to an affluent part of the society, with a set of friends who waste themselves and do not care about the future since they are rich anyway. His domestic problems are bigger than the juvenile pursuits of AM. Even if the feelings he has for his best friend have grown leaps and bounds. Not wanting to ruin and sacrifice the friendship for something mushy, fleeting and unsure, and taking into account the many givens in his life and that of AM’s, Harold decides to keep his feelings at bay.
When the best friends meet again at a common friend’s wedding, the manner in which they confront their past, how they enjoy the present and cherish its limited hours and the bleakness and uncertainty of their individual futures, continue to hang making the motion picture more potent in it’s a depiction of a love that has its chance but the people who are in it blew it big time.
It’s refreshing that Avelino and Gutierrez portrayed Harold and AM with no melodramatic excesses. They definitely nailed it especially when each character shows the many ways of dealing with pain and the scars, it gives audiences more reasons to relate with them.
Avelino and Gutierrez played Harold and AM as if they were not actors, and they are not acting. There are just so many moments in the movie that you will feel bad and sad for Harold and wonder why he never grabs the opportunity to be honest with how he feels for AM. Avelino looks at Gutierrez with a longing and resignation that this lady, even if I love her so, I cannot and will never have, written all over his eyes. When he cries because of AM, you cry with him and boy oh boy, you feel and carry the weight of his pain. That is how effective Avelino is as Harold.
As AM, you understand her ways, the rainbow-colored dreams, the looking at the world with optimistic and tinted spectacles, Gutierrez is no damsel in distress, but a young woman who is both fatalistic and grounded. When she panics and accepts that she might have made the wrong choices, you want to tell AM that “there, there! This too shall pass” and “girl, go for it!” while there is still an iota of a chance.
Also, the soundtrack of the movie is most helpful in conveying to the believers of Harold and AM their innermost feelings and desires. Ngayon Kaya features songs by Mayonnaise, Typecast, Ang Bandang Shirley, Shirebound and Busking, and Johnoy Danao.
Ngayon Kaya, and the wonderfully woven story of Harold and AM, portrayed with the right amount of reserve, intensity and conviction by Paulo Avelino and Janine Gutierrez deserves the attention and appreciation of Filipino cinema movie goers.
Let us give it all our love as its theatrical screening begins on June 22.