The crowd favorite from last year’s Cinema One Originals is finally getting a nationwide release. A film that is, in my opinion, one of the best Filipino films of 2017. Here’s my review of Dan Villegas’ Changing Partners.
At first glance, the film may look like your usual falling-out-of-love type of story, and if you think about it, it really is just that. The film delivers one clear message: Love is universal. So in essence, pain, betrayal, and heartbreak are also universal. This message is explored and depicted in a very unusual, ground-breaking manner, one that’s definitely new to many people, including myself.
The movie is shot through 4 different perspectives from different genders, but they all share the same narrative. This is probably the first time I’ve seen this in Philippine cinema, and it’s amazingly executed. At first, things might get confusing for the common audience, especially those with little to no background of the stage play this film was adapted from, but with the smooth flow of the story, it gets easy for everyone to catch up.
We’ve seen director Dan Villegas do these types of stories so many times already, yet he still manages to make this as new and as fresh as possible. Combined with the solid screenplay from Lilit Reyes and Vincent De Jesus (who created the stage play the film was based on), and the editing prowess of Marya Ignacio (who won Best Editing in the C1 Originals fest), the film is as well-executed as possible.
Let’s not forget that this is a musical, and it was wonderfully adapted from stage to film. But among all the songs in the film, only a few stayed with me after watching. I’m not that saying that the songs in the film weren’t good, they just didn’t stick with me, and it didn’t hit me hard enough compared to other songs from similar musicals.
The clear standouts of the film are the wonderful ensemble of Agot Isidro and Jojit Lorenzo, who play Alex, and Sandino Martin and Anna Luna, who play Cris. They’re also the actors in the original stage play, so more or less, they’ve already mastered how to navigate their characters, and it clearly shows in their brilliant performances in the film.
Changing Partners tells a story all too familiar, though it is told in a way that breaks the usual mold. It hits all the right notes, and touches all kinds of emotions. This is Dan Villegas‘ best film yet, and I’m truly happy that everyone’s gonna get the chance to see it.
My Rating: 10/10
The official trailer for ‘Changing Partners’: