UNLIKE her poignant family movie Tanging Yaman (2000), Laurice Guillen fails to present her arresting vision of family dynamics in the melodramatic Sa’Yo Lamang (2010).

Produced by Star Cinema, written by award winning writer Ricky Lee and topbilled by the famous actors such as Lorna Tolentino, Christopher De Leon and Bea Alonzo, Sa’Yo Lamang is too pessimistic and weighted dons by the miseries of the characters whose plight are presented in convoluted family.

After 10 years of being with another woman, Franco (De Leon) returns to his family in order to fix the damages of his lost. The anticipation to be complete again makes Amanda (Tolentino) and their three children (Coco Martin, Enchong Dee and Myles Ocampo) welcome him, but Dianne (Alonzo), the eldest daughter who forgoes of her dream to become an architect together with her love interest just to support the family, holds herself with resentment.

Due to her unwanted sacrifices, she becomes controlling with the lives of her brothers Coby (Coco Martin) and James (Enchong Dee), making the two unsatisfied with their dispositions.

The conflicts of Dianne’s stubbornness, Coby’s rebelliousness and the unexpected homecoming of Franco give an intricate mood in their shattered home.

Sa’Yo Lamang is a common story of a broken family caused by both parents’ infidelity. It gives life to individuals who suffer sexual frailty, as they close their eyes for a picture of an ideal family.

The movie entices the message that one should not give up to distractions of an imperfect family, for it will only clutter the whole life of an individual. Also, Alonzo and Martin are commendable for their simple yet engaging acts.

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However, the film does not deliver an effective emotional appeal despite of the actors’ intense performance. An instance is when Amanda outrageously cries in her room after finding out that her husband has a child to another woman. The scene becomes dull due to awkward angles and insignificant wide shots.

Poor execution of technical aspects shows dramatic parts, which obviously lack effective musical scores and proper lighting. These inconsistencies produce static dialogues and confusing moods.

For an hour and 50 minutes, the story of a broken home monotonously plays with the nonstop cycle of each member’s miseries brought by disgust for their state. All major characters are deeply affected by their family problem that the over-all impact seems to wear out the viewers. The ending even misses to justify the importance of life’s complexities.

Sa’Yo Lamang falls short with the high expectations brought by the director and writer’s name, renowned actors and a proficient production house. Ana May R. Dela Cruz

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