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Monday, July 21, 2014

She's Dating The Gangster

When Star Cinema sees a potential, they grab it. Sadly, they did not get the success first. Diary of Panget was the first film to be based on a Wattpad entry and actually made money. So when young teens and teens at heart are ready to pay the ticket, why not turn a popular YA Filipino novel into a film. And to add more income, why not put in the hottest teen stars to date. That may be the formula for a sure hit movie, but will the standards be amped up?

She's Dating the Gangster is no doubt one of the most successful Filipino book to date. Since its success, it spawned a number of other Wattpad stories to be published and the rest, shall we say, is history. It follows the tragic love story of Kenji and Athena as they embark in a love so fake it is somehow true enough to be fought for.

(Note: Athena-K is Kathryn and Athena-S is Sofie)

Kenji is a known gangster in their school while Athena is the unknown, that was until Kenji sends messages to Athena which is supposed to be for an another Athena who is his girlfriend. When Kenji knew that he was sending the messages to the wrong person, he forces Athena (Kathryn) to be in a fake relationship to get his ex-girlfriend back. As days went by, this playful act became as real as they can imagine and they indeed became lovers. Here's the thing, Athena-K has Dilated Cardiomyopathy and (Spoiler Alert!) Athena-S has Gastric cancer. Double the sickness, double the fun.

This love story is told by Athena-K's niece and Kenji's son in an unusual encounter during a flight incident involving Kenji. These two characters are also portrayed by Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, which is a bit confusing at first too.

Daniel and Kathryn are indeed teen king and queen of this time considering that they have enticed a great number of followers screeching when Daniel smiles, talks, walks normally, skates in slow motion, skates normally, winks, and ultimately, undress. Kathryn's quirky character is a joy. Her moments are well delivered. Daniel is good in the film but somehow fails in one where Athena-S' mother, marvelously portrayed by Rio Locsin, is asking him for a favor. He seemed disconnected on that part.

Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez comes in as the adult Kenji and Athena-K. They are the showstoppers of the film. They are reminiscent of their love team back in the 90s just like the star-crossed lovers in Hihintayin Kita sa Langit. When the frame ended with Richard and Dawn sitting on a bench watching the horizon indicates that this is their film. This is Dawn and Richard's story.

She's Dating the Gangster is a film for teens of this age. If you are a movie enthusiast and you are looking for Filipino films with this type of content, Blue Moon has more solid storytelling and characters. But if you are a teen, might as well give this a shot.



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