Movie review: Leads' charms, Bolinao's beauty lift 'Kunwari Mahal Kita'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Mar 19 2023 08:04 AM | Updated as of Mar 19 2023 10:14 AM

Joseph Marco and Ryza Cenon in 'Kunwari Mahal Kita'
Joseph Marco and Ryza Cenon in 'Kunwari Mahal Kita'

One night, Greg Soriano (Joseph Marco) saw his wife Cindy (Nathalie Hart) happily flirting with her boss. He confronted her when she got home, and this exploded into a major exchange of painful words between the couple, the worst one they ever had in their seven years of marriage. This argument reached a peak when Cindy announced with finality that she's had it with Greg's lack of ambition and was going to file for an annulment. 

The next day, a despondent Greg drove over to his cousin Gab's (Josh Colet) beach resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan to cool off. On the final turn of the road going to the resort, Greg unknowingly splattered mud all over Heidi "Hayds" Bolisay (Ryza Cenon), who happened to be the tour guide of Gab's resort. While Hayds and Greg did not have a smooth start, on Gab's instructions, they were going to be spending a lot of time together. 

Ryza Cenon does not exactly fit the mode of the typical leading lady in a romance film in the physical sense. However, she was able to delightfully balance Hayds's tough and feisty exterior with the unexplored romantic inside her. Joseph Marco was a charming and sympathetic Greg, a free artistic soul trapped in a demanding marriage. Its just that Greg's titular sudden impulsive announcement seemed totally out of his personality. 

Nathalie Hart's character Cindy was little confusing as written. Was she really a selfish woman, or was she just reacting defensively? Whatever it was, slipping sleeping powder in Greg's drink is as old as it gets. As Hayds' best gay friend Shine, Thou Reyes was a bit too annoying, shrill and loud to be funny. Josh Colet was just chill as the owner and manager of Chill Beach Resort, but his character was quickly written off and never mentioned again. 

The whole film was a compilation of interrelated melodramatic romance storylines we have all seen before. The main story of a naive young woman falling in love with a married man was hardly a new one. Similarly old is the subplot of an overprotective mother (Yayo Aguila), who had her own sad experience with a married man. Only the charm and chemistry of Cenon and Marco and the scenic beauty of Bolinao elevate this one from the usual. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."