This could very well be KathNiel’s best film yet. Here’s my full review of Cathy Garcia-Molina’s ‘The Hows of Us’.
The film has a simple story in its backbone. George (Kathryn Bernardo) is living with Primo (Daniel Padilla) in the ancestral house given to them by her late grandmother. They lived together and built their whole lives in this house, but Primo ends up letting go of himself and starts forgetting his responsibilities in pursuit of his passion. George eventually gets tired of carrying Primo in her shoulders, and asks him to leave. Two years later, Primo returns with one goal in his mind: to right his wrongs and get back the woman he loves.
It’s a pretty common plot. We’ve seen many stories similar to this in recent years, but to their credit, they make it work. Huge thanks to the acting prowess from the two leads. Daniel Padilla has always had the talent when it comes to acting, and he once again delivers in this film. On the other hand, this may be Kathryn Bernardo’s best performance to date. I’ve never been a fan of her acting, but here, she outgrows her teeny-bopper stage and delivers the intensity and emotion needed for her character. She carries most of the meat in the confrontational scenes, as the emotional conflict of the film leans toward her character’s side.
Most of the film deals with Primo returning to George’s life. How all the weight George already got off her shoulders when Primo left could come back once she puts her trust on him again. There’s some pretty compelling stuff in there, and again, it’s all effective thanks to the authenticity of Bernardo and Padilla’s acting. Every scene feels genuine, which makes it all the more relatable.
The thing I’m not so fond of though, is the way they dealt with this conflict. A lot of the most common romcom tropes were used here, but the chemistry between the two leads make them work. The film is at its best when it focuses on Primo and George, where their magic shines through the silver screen and onto the audience. But at the end of the day, this is still a Star Cinema film, and as expected, all the excess baggage of a Star Cinema film are present here.
There’s a huge chunk of the film that focuses on a side character with an illness, and an unnecessary trip to Amsterdam in search of a relative. They’re scenes that make the film longer than it should be, as they never really help the story move forward. It all feels forced, as you never really care about this character, and suddenly they shove about 30 minutes worth of screen time to a subplot that won’t really matter in the end. Honestly, it would’ve been a much better film without all this.
The Hows of Us might very well be KathNiel’s best film yet, and it also showcases the best they have to offer. It hits all the right marks and tugs a few heartstrings, but the overused romcom tropes and the unnecessary arcs in the film drag it down a bit. It would’ve been a better, much more affecting film if it was reduced down to its simplest form, but the film we get now is not bad at all.
My Rating: 8/10
Here’s the full trailer for ‘The Hows of Us’: