Predictably Surprising (Sa’yo Lamang Movie Review)

8 Sep

The problem with a typical Filipino film is its tendency to be predictable. Given around five sequences, you will be able to guess the next scenes to happen or worse, the ending of the story without any challenge. Sa’yo Lamang is no excuse because there’s really nothing new with it. What sets it apart from the rest is the experience it offers while you involve yourself in the picture. It’s simply engaging.

Sa’yo Lamang narrates a story of a broken but seemingly happy family that is troubled one day by the arrival of the father, Franco (Christopher de Leon) who abandoned them for another woman ten years ago. Everybody seems okay with his return save for the eldest daughter Diane (Bea Alonzo) who assumed his responsibility as the head of the family when he left. Despite Diane’s objection, the mother (Lorna Tolentino) had to decide for everybody so Franco stayed. Unexpected events happened just after things started to get better that led to emotional outbursts and unraveling of secrets that will test their faith and the strength of the bond that ties them together as a family.

Sa’yo Lamang’s storytelling lacks a little of fluidity. Some scenes are inserted without a clear connection from the previous one and there are a number of times when characters shift from one extreme emotion to another extreme. It could be one disadvantage of having more than one scriptwriter. I remember one flashback scene with Lorna and Boyet which I found a bit ridiculous. I don’t really have issues with flashbacks but here, I think they could have stayed away from it or maybe they could have done it better. It was a scene that’s supposed to have the couple look 20 years younger but they didn’t appear to be like one.

Despite the flawed storytelling, the story in general is surprisingly heartwarming and inspiring. The story was definitely patterned after Tanging Yaman(2001) but unlike its predecessor, Sa’yo Lamang is more focused and  more specific as its story revolves around only one family. It gives more opportunity to build fewer characters thus the viewers get to know them fully and connect with their emotions easily.

The cast is the movie’s strongest point. Star Cinema has gathered talented lead and supporting actors whose acting can suffice and compensate for the unsound aspects of the film. Indisputably, this is Bea Alonzo’s film as she stands out among the rest. She has shown great potentials in her previous roles and as Diane in Sa’yo Lamang, she is simply overwhelming and astounding. Lorna Tolentino and Christopher de Leon have undeniably mastered their craft. They can throw emotions and shift from one to another effortlessly and watching them do it, you are carried away. The supporting ensemble is nothing but estimable as well.

Many would regard this film as one of those typical Pinoy films that’s predictable and boring. I differ to that because with Sa’yo Lamang, you know what’s going to happen but it’s a surprise how every scene and the characters’ emotions significantly affect your own.


8 Responses to “Predictably Surprising (Sa’yo Lamang Movie Review)”

  1. richell September 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    ` who is (Zanjoe Marudo) in sa ‘yo lamang &(Diether Ocampo)(Shaina Magdayao)(Lauren Young)(Empress)
    can you tel me who are their name in sa’yo lamang and their action .

    • Lestat November 4, 2010 at 12:04 am #

      Hi richell, Zanjoe and Diet are Bea’s love interest in the film. Shaina is Coco’s and Lauren has a special role in the movie. You should watch it.

  2. oliv2068 September 28, 2010 at 4:54 am #

    SA IYO LAMANG maybe BEA ALONZO’s Acting Vehicle and like what you’ve said … “Indispiputably, Bea Alonzo’s Film. However, I personally belived that it is “LORNA TOLENTINO” who managed to breathe her role(as AMANDA) in the MOST NATURAL WAY. Her is a kind of ACTING that is “MULTI-LAYERED” … a combination of Hysterical but Very Discipline without going over board and Her Famous Trade Mark which is “SUBDUED, SUBTLE and UNDER ACTING” kind of Performance.

    With this, it is SAFE to says the … LORNA TOLENTINO is the ACTRESS to BEAT for Next Year Award Seasons.

    BEA ALONZO is definitely HARD to IGNORE in her role as DIANNE but for me, it’s NOT really IMPRESSIVE because … people behind STAR Cinema tried their very BEST to give Bea a … “FULL SHOTS” – everytime she’s into the SCENE – it’s a “MAJOR-“MAJOR” emotions and you will have a feelings of … “HOY! PANG BEST ACTRESS ANG ACTING KO RITO!” – Too BAD because though it’s an acting vehicle for her … Her Performace is TOO ENGINEERED – Pilit PINALULUTANG kahit hindi masiyado kailangan sa ibang eksena.

    Well … that’s My HONEST OPINION and I HATE what STARCINEMA did to LORNA T. and CHRISTOPHER DE LEON by being DISRESPECFUL to them and … “ALLOWING” Bea’s name came AHEAD after the Films CREDITS Roll – “TAMA BA NAMAN YAN” !

  3. tin October 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Sorry, but for me, Sa ‘Yo Lamang is Bea’s film talaga. Sa totoo lang. simpleng iyak lang ni Bea naiiyak na agad ako. Pero nung si Lorna na, ewan di talaga ako nadadala, lalo na yung eksenang nagbabasag sya ng mga gamit. Hindi convincing masyado. Kay Bea kahit di naman masyadong madrama ang eksena, kering keri nya. Di ko paborito si Bea, pero dahil sa movie na ‘to, parang gusto ko na sya isama sa favorite actresses ko. Go, go Bea. Ajah!

  4. oliv2068 October 31, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    @TIN …

    I felt “SORRY” for YOU kasi umiral na naman ang pagiging “FAN MENTALITY SYNDROME” MO! How can you justify the fact na “KERING-KERI” ni BEA ALONZO ang role niya kung “PILIT” na pinalulutang ang “AKTING” niya!

    Doon anman sa sinasabi mong “PAGBABASAG” eksena ni Ms LORNA TOLENTINO … try to watch the movie again at masasabi mo na tama lang ang AKTING niya. Timpladong TIMPLADAO since She didn’t over do it. Kitang kita mo ang wide range of Her “EMOTIONS”. Naroong, suklam na suklam siya but then, pigil dahil alam niya na may itinaatago din siyang “SIKRETO”. Like what I’ve said, “LORNA T.’s MULTI-LAYERED PERFORMANCE” is really HARD to Beat kaahit na SUPER TUTOK pa ang KAMERA kay BEA ALONZO na “GIGIL na GIGIL” umarte.

    Sa eksena na lang kung saan nagpapaalam na si LT kay BEA … kanino ba nakatutuk ang CAMERA? Kay BEA ! But then, LT’s disciplined ACTING made it kahit na “NAKATALIKOD” … mararamdaman mo ang kanyang nais ipakita – that’s what “REAL ACTING” is all about.

  5. soloflight November 1, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    ang masasabi ko lang kahit pilit na pinalutang si bea.
    namumukod-tangi pa rin ang akting ni grandslam queen MS. LORNA TOLENTINO. baka ang iba dyan di marunong kung ano ang real acting hahahahahahahahaha! awa naman

  6. janekajoy November 1, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    sobra talaga ang galing ni ms. lorna . iyak ako ng iyak.
    soooo natural yung akting nya promise.

  7. cypherpsalm November 1, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Ms. LT’s delineation of Amanda’s character is simply amazing!! you can definitely feel her pain, anger and laughter… one good thing with Ms. LT is she never has insecurity.. when it is clearly obvious that she was just used to let somebody shine.. but to no avail….. she still managed to pull a string amidst one obvious manipulation of the script.As one film reviewer mentioned; Ms.LT is generous enough to give her co stars their turn to shine…. yet she could still run a gamut of emotion even just standing on the background… LT really mastered the use of body language, her eyes and facial expression..
    KUDOS to Ms. LT ; you’re the one neat on next year’s awards rites..

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