‘Alone/Together' Movie Review: This is what happens when life gets in the way of love

*Minor Spoilers Ahead*

Antoinette Jadaone returns with a brand new project titled “Alone/Together” that also marks the big screen team-up of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. The films’ narrative takes place several years starting when Raf (Gil) and Christine (Soberano) was still UST and UP students respectively. Tin dreams of becoming a museum curator while Raf studies to become a doctor. But five years after a painful and bleak break-up, the two are reunited coincidentally - both of them involved with different people then.

‘Alone/Together' Movie Review Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil
Liza Soberano as Tin and Enrique Gil as Raf in “Alone/Together”/Star Cinema

However, considering how things ended for them, the two reconnected with the hopes that they may still have a future together. But a slew of complications force them to doubt if their love is even worth going through the hassle.

A story of failure - and redemption

Backed by their tried and tested chemistry, Gil and Soberano seamlessly portrayed the growth (or lack thereof) of Raf and Tin throughout the years. Told in a non-linear fashion, “Alone/Together” mostly focused on Tin’s journey from a high-achieving Iskolar ng Bayan to a shell of her former self after one blunder derailed all her plans for the future.

‘Alone/Together' Movie Review Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil
Liza Soberano as Tin in “Alone/Together”/Star Cinema

While the movie didn’t delve much into the culture of UP and UST - a huge selling point in the film’s marketing, it did a great job depicting Tin’s sorrow over her wasted life which is something a lot of millennials can relate to. That, arguably, is the one element that “Alone/Together” nailed right on the head. Tin coming clean to Raf with what really forced her to break up with him was agonizing to watch, especially since she doesn’t have anyone else to blame but herself. It was a fresh take on the matter - one that is actually more rooted in reality than what the audience members are used to seeing in romantic films.

The movie looks glorious with a mixture of long shots highlighting the beauty of various locations - from Diliman’s Sunken Garden to the Met steps in New York. The colors are vivid, and although some sequences were shot in the dark, they were able to find a way to make both Soberano and Gil stand out visually.

Not so much as a love story

However, while “Alone/Together” is primarily promoted as a love story, its romantic angle takes a back seat in the bigger scheme of things. The film mainly focuses on Tin with almost everything shown from her perspective. People barely see Raf on his own, he has no backstory, not even a family. Everything his journey in the film is all in the service of Tin’s own narrative.

This waterloo, however, is easy to look past at, especially since it mirrors Raf’s own actions in the film. Up until he was badly burned by his love for Tin, everything that she did was to make her happy. He built his dreams and life around her. And while it would’ve been so much better if “Alone/Together” spent a bit more with him to set-up his story, it works in the end, especially considering how they were able to fully flesh out Tin’s story.

Sadly, things fell apart towards the final portion of its third act. The ending felt unearned - at least with regard to Raf and Tin’s collective fate. Otherwise, their individual endgames felt apt considering how their journey progressed throughout the film.

‘Alone/Together' Movie Review Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil
Liza Soberano as Tin and Enrique Gil as Raf in “Alone/Together”/Star Cinema

“Alone/Together” is a great film not because of the brand or star power behind it, instead, it works because it’s simple and grounded. There aren’t any gimmicks or ridiculous plot twist. Tin’s journey is relatable on all levels, especially for high-performing millennials who suddenly find themselves thrown into the real world.

Admittedly, the movie could’ve gotten away by cramming it with cutesy scenes and fan service to satisfy Enrique and Liza’s base, but the fact that the people behind it took the time to actually craft a narrative is highly commendable.

RATING: 8.5 out of 10 stars

— ALD, The Summit Express

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