‘Dito Lang Ako’ review: An overlong commercial
Even with its feature film length, its formulaic love story, and all the movie stars that lent their talents to grant the project a semblance of credibility, Roderick Lindayag’s Dito Lang Ako is barely a movie meant to be paid for by audiences.
It really is more of an overlong commercial for an auto supply superstore that financed it.
Anachronisms and inconsistencies
While it isn’t strange to see products being peddled in films, what Dito Lang Ako does is entirely different. The product placements here are not just integral to the plot, it is the downright cause of the movie’s many anachronisms and inconsistencies.
A discussion of the plot is needed to prove this point.
Essentially, the movie, written by Harvie Aquino and Hannah Mile Roces, is about a Lola Nelia, played by Boots Anson-Roa, who every day would make her way to one of the auto supply superstore’s outlets in Timog where she, carrying a plastic bag of hopia, would patiently wait for the arrival of her long-lost love.
Through a stream of flashbacks, the movie showcases how such devotion came to be, displaying a younger version of Nelia, now played by Michelle Vito, being courted by a persistent young man, Delfin (Jon Lucas).
There’s nothing new with the love story. Eventually, there’s a love triangle with one of Nelia’s co-workers (Akihiro Blanco) and a tragic event that will tear the two lovers apart.
The thrills are belated, with the movie essentially beating around the bush with all the characters either shallowly flirting or quarreling before getting to the meaty bits. By meaty bits, what is meant are scenes and sequences that would actually move the plot forward and not delay it to the point of ridiculous exhaustion.
There is really nothing meaty about Dito Lang Ako because it’s concept of true love is nothing more than inexplicable sacrifice grounded on sweet nothings.
The flashbacks are clearly set in the '70s, with the characters donning all the costumes from that era while mouthing dialogues whose ornate style overtly places them in a bygone time.
What is totally unacceptable, however, is how the auto supply superstore found itself, including its very current products, also in the '70s. It is almost as if the movie is throwing all logic, common sense, and good taste just to make way for the shameless product placements. What very little pleasure that can be derived from the formulaic romance is immediately stripped away and the overall feeling that remains is of being cheated of good money for watching marketing materials that would otherwise be free, if not a complete distraction, on free television.
Lindayag’s direction, when not completely lazy, is serviceable. The performances strive to be cute and syrupy but end up being forgettable and generic. The music swells unbearably, while the visuals are lackluster.
Doesn’t belong in cinemas
Simply put, Dito Lang Ako just doesn’t belong in the cinemas. It belongs in an LCD screen within the auto supply store’s premises, where its viewers are free to leave when things get dodgy, knowing fully that they didn’t waste well-earned cash just to be advertised to. – Rappler.com