My Amanda Movie Review: An endearing tale of platonic love and more
This latest Filipino movie is a moving, honest ode to friendship, platonic love, and heartbreak
Imagine being on a beach under the starry night sky, with someone who makes you feel complete. I bet you are thinking of a romantic relationship. Does it need to be though? What about a deep friendship, a stormy relationship that isn't necessarily romantic, and one that has lasted your entire life? My Amanda is an ode to such an inexplicable relationship. The drama portrays the platonic bond between TJ a.k.a Fuffy (Piolo Pascual) and Amanda a.k.a Fream (Alessandra de Rossi), even as the two manoeuvre through personal relationships and other obstacles.
Director: Alessandra de Rossi
Cast: Piolo Pascual, Alessandra de Rossi
Streaming on: Netflix
The film begins with an establishing shot that brings you from the cosmos to the earth to show the two friends. This isn't a gimmick, and the constellation is more than just a metaphor. Like stars in that constellation, Fuffy and Fream have always stayed together, and yet, cannot get closer. Everybody sees it. Even they see it and make jokes about ending up together and kissing each other, but still, they keep running away from it. Even if they decide to do otherwise, other commitments come in the way. Without each other, Fuffy and Fream would lose direction. They need each other, and yet, not as society thinks they do.
It’s a unique story and My Amanda takes its time to tell it. You are introduced to different periods of their lives, which all inevitably lead to a short road trip. The time jumps happen organically, but the problem is how there isn’t one real, tangible conflict to put a finger on. It’s only later on that we realise that their very existence is a conflict in a sense, given that they are destined to never get closer than they are.
More than its writing, the film stands out on account of its background music work. Kudos to director Alessandra de Rossi for portraying a fiery character like Fream. Rossi's aspiration to choose a story about the layers of love and the unexplored possibilities in life as her debut directorial venture deserves much praise. The choice of costumes leaves a mark too. The camera movements, editing and visual colour tones all play their part in adding to the serene experience that this film is.
In the end, when you realise who Fuffy has been giving voiceover to, it’s hard not to shed a tear or two. It marks the end to a fairly fulfilling experience, the sort that usually keeps at the centre a romantic relationship—unlike the one here.