Movie review: Romance on the run in 'Ikaw at Ako at ang Ending'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Aug 13 2021 06:26 AM | Updated as of Aug 14 2021 12:15 PM

Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles in 'Ikaw at Ako at ang Ending'
Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles in 'Ikaw at Ako at ang Ending'

Martin (Jerald Napoles) just stole a bag full of cash from his employer and was on the run. He decided to hide from his pursuers in a resort way up north in Ilocos Norte. Upon checked in, Martin's attention was immediately caught by Mylene (Kim Molina), one of the housekeepers there. The two immediately hit it off with each other, and shared their life stories as they get more intimately acquainted. However, it soon became evident that their time in their corner of paradise was about to end so they had to get going and move on. 

The story is a variation of the familiar "you and me against the world" type of love story. They met each other when they were at a critical crossroads in their respective lives that did not exactly make romance a feasible option for either one of them. However, as they say, love will find a way. Martin and Mylene both wanted to turn their backs on their broken old lives. Fate intervened for them to meet and made it possible for them to hope for a new life together, even when dire circumstances were not exactly in their favor. 

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Real-life lovers Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles just headlined the film "Ang Babaeng Walang Pakiramdam," a bittersweet romcom which was just recently released two months ago. It was the powerful chemistry of Molina and Napoles together that saved that film from the ignominy of ridiculing the hyponasal vocal quality of people with cleft palates. 

Here, the two of them are back together again, this time in a much grittier romantic drama, and that electric chemistry is still very much there to buoy things up from their characters' miseries.

Writer-director Irene Emma Villamor first drew my admiration for her cinematic talents in 2018, when she had two excellent films that year, foreign city-based romances both -- "Meet Me in St. Gallen" and "Sid and Aya: Not a Love Story." Both were in the list of my Top 20 best Filipino films that year, the latter in the Top 5. In 2019, she had "Ulan," and in 2020, "Of Vodkas, Beers and Regrets," both of them also had Villamor's signature poignancy and intelligence in the screenplays that she translated so well into memorable cinematic images.

Compared to her former works, "Ikaw at Ako at ang Ending" had a decidedly more indie vibe, stripped down to the most basic production values. The screenplay had melodramatic turns, yes, but the Molina-Napoles partnership did not allow their characters to wallow in them, fighting through all the way. 

As Mylene and Martin drove along the scenic winding Patapat Viaduct to the tune of "Hatid" by The Juans, Villamor and Kim-Je team had weaved a local COVID times Bonnie and Clyde tale we can all root for.

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