“A Second Chance” is the much-awaited sequel to the cult classic “One More Chance.” Set eight years after the first movie, we witness Popoy and Basha’s fairy tale wedding, and their life together, happily(?) ever after.
Sequels are always a gamble. How do you top (or at least equal) the first movie, especially something as well-loved as “One More Chance”? I had my own misgivings (and predictions), but at the same time, was excited to see Popoy and Basha again. I am a Bea-John Lloyd fan, and it’s been a while since I’ve gotten a kilig fix. I have nothing against the current loveteams, i.e. LizQuen, Jadine, Kathniel but they are just too young for me (Tita alert! 😛 )
Production-wise (and I will get the bad points out first), the film had the same flaws as its predecessor: long-winded, over-the-top scenes, grating soundtrack, distracting product placements (they are less obtrusive this time though). Additionally, some ASC’s references to previous OMC’s lines felt forced, even rhetorical. Conflict resolution was also never a strong point of Star Cinema movies (and ABS-CBN soaps). Even OMC suffered from the same weakness; I actually preferred ASC’s conclusion compared to OMC’s Popoy-suddenly-showing-up-after-2-years-of-being-in-Qatar-and-asking-Basha-out-for-coffee. (At least they did not resort to footnotes, i.e. “After 2 years, nagsilang si Basha ng kanilang unang anak. Nakabangon ang negosyo ni Popoy, at naipatayo nya na ang kanilang dream house. Naging si Anj at si Chinno..” 😛 ).
And yet more than the resolution–the “destination”–it has always been the “journey” that has defined Popoy and Basha’s relationship in both films. If “One More Chance” demonstrated the anatomy lof a breakup, “A Second Chance” showed how married life is past the honeymoon stage. There is only so much available material for stories involving married couples (you cannot go “young love, sweet love” anymore) and I would like to credit the writers for NOT turning it into a kabit film, or giving one of the leads a terminal illness just for dramatic effect. The issues presented in the film are more commonplace, i.e. starting a family/dealing with childlessness, financial worries, male-female roles in the household especially when both partners have their own careers, giving up/pursuing one’s passions, etc. It is the common-ness of Popoy and Basha’s lives, the familiarity of their problems, their similarities to our current state, that has endeared them to us, both in OMC and ASC. (Personally, I was able to relate to Basha having to give up her career in order to start a family, having gone part-time myself since becoming a mom.)
John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo have always been effective in their roles as two people in love. Whether as teenagers experiencing the thrills of first love, or two consenting adults in the throes of a forbidden relationship, or a tired married couple stuck in a rut, they are always so convincing in their portrayals, you cannot help but ship for them. 😛 Cathy Garcia-Molina (no relation to me 😉 ) is able to further hone their characterizations and highlight the little nuances so that they impact powerfully in the film. In fact, the most affecting scenes in the movie weren’t the “loud/crying/talk-y” ones, but the silent symbolisms: Popoy twiddling with his wedding band while Ara chattered about her success, was more powerful than all the “What if? What if?” dialogues; Basha’s broken phone mirroring the cracks in their marriage, her bad hair (wig) probably a manifestation of how crappy she feels inside; the building collapse signaling Popoy’s downward spiral, ultimately being emasculated when Basha denies him in bed.
I had high hopes for this movie, but tempered my expectations. I loved “One More Chance” so much, I was so nervous that the sequel might negate everything the first film has established. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. 🙂 Popoy and Basha have grown up, along with the generation that first watched them get (back) together 8 years ago. Their story likewise has evolved, becoming less ideal and romantic, and more realistic and relatable. There may be less hugot lines and kilig scenes this time, but it is a most fitting sequel. 🙂