In the Name of Love: A Review

The trailer of the ABS-CBN movie “In the Name of Love” enticed my brother enough to bring me and my mom to watch the latest Aga Muhlach starrer. “In the Name of Love” also features Angel Locsin and Jake Cuenca.

I left the theater with mixed emotions about the film. I can’t really say that I liked it but I can’t say that I hated it.

“In the Name of Love” is a heavy drama about lovers who sacrificed themselves countless times for each other. The movie is told in both the present and the past which made for good surprises for the viewer. I felt, though, that some parts of the movie did not need to be shown. Two hours of a heavy drama was just too much for one person. The movie had its brilliant moments, though, specially in its portrayal of the realities of OFW life and the politics and poverty that is very much entrenched in Philippine society. To keep this review spoiler free, I’ll focus my thoughts on my impressions of the performances.

Aga Muhlach’s performances had a lot of hits and misses. I really feel that the role of a dancer just does not fit the matinee idol. He is just a bit too old to be a dancer. Nonetheless, he delivered his drama parts very well specially in scenes with his son and Angel.

I was never a fan of Angel Locsin. This is actually the first Angel Locsin movie I watched. She was…ok. I fail to see the wow factor. My mom and brother think she’s very pretty, though. I think her performance can improve but she did have some very good scenes where she was able to subtly express the inner torture of her character.

The biggest surprise in terms of performance is Jake Cuenca. Even in a supporting role, he delivered his repressed politician’s son (nasa loob ang kulo) role to perfection. His subtle change from “idealistic son” to “traditional politician” is incredible to witness. I feel that he stole the thunder from the other actors specially in the last parts of the film.

Given the chance, I probably will not watch “In the Name of Love” again. The themes are just to painful for me to witness a second time around. Still, I think it is worth seeing for the realities it evokes and the issues it tackles. There is an obvious courage in the writers and director in going against formulaic stories. “In the Name of Love” surprises the viewer with its story and treatment.

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