Presented by Viva Entertainment, directed by Irene Villamor (Ulan, Camp Sawi) and starring indie darlings Bela Padilla and JC Santos, ‘On Vodka, Beers, and Regrets’ is PH cinema’s latest foray in the twisted world of love and dating.
The film revolves around washed-up celebrity Jane (Bela) and budding musician Francis (JC), whose lives are entangled after a night of – you guessed it – vodka, beers, and regrets.
Seeing everything through Jane’s lens, the film presents her not as a cautionary tale/plot piece but an actual fleshed-out character. On the other hand, we don’t see much of Francis’ inner workings aside from his devotion to Jane.
Despite the uneven portrayals, it’s still a refreshing take. The leading lady is more than someone to be saved and the male lead isn’t Prince Charming out to solve everything. They’re just two people trying to get through life’s BS together – flaws and all.
Another lowkey driving force of ‘On Vodka‘ is Bela and JC’s off-the-charts chemistry. Given they’ve worked in 4 movies together, the pair have pretty much figured out what makes audiences tick and exhibit that raw authenticity that keeps all eyes on screen.
Brilliant direction, simple approach
Villamor equally deserves the spotlight, as her notable direction and cinematography can make viewers feel drunk and out of the loop just like its characters through the use of close-up and blurred focus.
For a film with alcohol as its main theme though, ‘On Vodka”s take on alcoholism ironically isn’t the most realistic. Save for a few heartbreaking scenes showcasing her acting chops, Bela constantly looking fresh and immaculate doesn’t exactly mirror the total devastation that comes with the addiction.
Despite the dire consequences not feeling too heavy considering its ending – at its core, ‘On Vodka‘ does its job of leaving viewers intoxicated with the premise of a realistic love, with just a few twinges of regret after the high.
Verdict: ‘On Vodka’ isn’t a stand-out in the growing array of romantic films, but its direction and talents make it a knock-out
‘On Vodka, Beers, and Regrets’ is set to drop in PH cinemas nationwide tomorrow, February 5.