‘Last Night’ Movie Review: A Dark Take On A Rather Feel-Good Love Story


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*Minor Spoilers Ahead*

Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonzaga reunite for a brand new film, this time under the tutelage of Bb. Joyce Bernal titled, “Last Night.” Added crowd draw that the film’s treatment is Bella Padilla’s debut work as a screenwriter. A seemingly familiar romantic comedy film on the surface, the movie takes a darker and interesting spin with the introduction of the thriller and paranormal genre kicking of with Mark (Pascual) and Carmina’s (Gonzaga) supposed chance meeting while both are on the midst of committing suicide. The meet-cute in itself is pretty different and a great springboard for the two’s whirlwind romance.

Piolo Pascual as Mark and Toni Gonzaga as Carmina in ‘Last Night’
Piolo Pascual as Mark and Toni Gonzaga as Carmina in ‘Last Night’/Star Cinema
First and foremost, the film is shot beautifully. Its various backlighting and scenic locations around old Manila definitely added to the overall viewing experience of watching “Last Night.” The street lamps and old architecture are charming backdrops which made it easy to believe how effortless it is to fall in love and get attached to someone whom you had just met -- especially when there’s already a brewing connection between the two of you. It heightens emotions and definitely pays tribute to the love story that the movie is always meant to be.

Piolo Pascual as Mark and Toni Gonzaga as Carmina in ‘Last Night’
Piolo Pascual as Mark and Toni Gonzaga as Carmina in ‘Last Night’/Star Cinema
Arguably a departure from their last project together in “Starting All Over Again,” Gonzaga and Pascual once again proved that they can do just about any genre flawlessly work, thanks to their palpable chemistry and individual good acting. The two plays off of each other’s acting chops really well, making their characters believable and easy to relate to.

While the movie boldly lunges on a different spin at the romantic genre, its plot execution feels too stretched out at times. All throughout the movie, hints of a possible time-lapse are dropped with several newspaper clippings notable from the Martial Law era to the various changes in mood lighting and small details at the background that teases the plot twist. However, the reveal does not come until the third act, which by then, has lost its appeal and intrigue. We already know that a big surprise is coming and we know that it will change the way the whole film is initially perceived, but its prolonged wait time significantly diminishes the element of shock that is meant to go alongside it.

Additionally, the paranormal side of the narrative does not seem to be as well honed as it could possibly. Carmina’s entrapment in the “middle world” and her supposed role of saving other people from committing the same mistake of committing suicide does not do anything really revolutionary to the story.

Piolo Pascual as Mark and Toni Gonzaga as Carmina in ‘Last Night’
Piolo Pascual as Mark and Toni Gonzaga as Carmina in ‘Last Night’/Star Cinema
Although it’s not a perfect melding of genres, “Last Night” is still a good romantic flick. The film has all the running tropes needed for a love story -- from its fun dialogue to its tended moments. Its thriller component, however, just lacked the narrative establishment that could be fixed with any additional bits that will help further establish Carmina’s premise more effectively.

Watch full trailer here:



-- ALD, The Summit Express

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