I promised myself that I won’t be doing a long movie feedback feature about Kita Kita, but I think I’ll have to break that promise. A movie like this is so rare nowadays, so I’m going to give it my all to convince you (who have not seen it yet) to finally go to the moviehouse and watch the beautiful story of Lea and Tonyo.
My friend Jenjacqs and I watched Kita Kita at cinema 4 of Centrio Cinema last week. Yes, it was one week ago but I still haven’t gotten over the movie and how beautiful it is. Beautiful, that’s how I want to describe it; no big words. Beautiful aptly describes everything that Kita Kita is, from the opening scene down to the last frame of the movie.
There are numerous reasons why you NEED to watch the movie, but I decided to stick to these 10 because they are (for me) the most compelling ones.
10 Reasons You NEED to Watch Kita Kita
1. Empoy Marquez
Empoy is not the typical leading man. He looks good but is not considered handsome the way the likes of James Reid and Enrique Gil are. He doesn’t have washboard abs or pearly white teeth. But his smile can make you smile, and his eyes can tell a lot of stories. He delivers his dialogues in the most natural way possible. Every time he talks or cracks a joke, it’s like he’s just beside you, trying to brighten up your day.
Empoy is a no-nonsense actor, the kind I’d like to see more of nowadays. He’s not afraid to look funny or dirty; he’s not afraid that people will laugh at him. He is a genuine performer.
2. Alessandra de Rossi
I have always been an Alex de Rossi fan. Always. She’s one of the underrated actresses in Philippine cinema and I am so happy that her time to shine has finally come.
I am not going to say a lot about Alex except for the fact that her talent is immeasurable. She is an exceptional actress who knows how to talk to her audience even in the most silent scenes. Kita Kita would not be the hit that it is if a different actress played the role of Lea.
Thank you, local film gods and goddesses, for giving Alex the break she so deserves!
Tonyo is Empoy’s character in the movie. He’s charming, funny, kind, and unassuming. There’s a little bit of him in each one of us.
The way Tonyo recovers from a bad experience and how he lives to care for Lea are the two best things about him. The way he makes Lea laugh, fear, explore, and cry makes him a real person; not just a character from a well-written story.
You can identify with Tonyo. Anyone can.
Alex’s Lea is hiding in each one of us, especially those who have experienced heartbreak and disappointment. What makes her character more endearing is the fact that, yes, she is blind, but she does not blame anyone for it, and she does not start hating the world. Her life as a tour guide changes, of course, and there’s a bit of anger, but it’s the natural type. It’s not the over-the-hill kind that sets her off on an incredible mission to reclaim her eyesight.
Lea hurts, but she also hopes. And this is intensified when Tonyo walks into her life. Her world turns around the minute he starts talking to her and bringing her food to eat.
5. The story (the narrative).
My friend, Ruby, describes Kita Kita perfectly well: “The trailer is just a glimpse of an amazing story untold. You might say you already have a gist of what’s it about, but seeing its entirety is way so different.” Yes, it’s the kind of movie that surprises you. It’s not the usual boy-meets-girl-then-falls-in-love kind of romantic comedy. It’s one that you haven’t seen from any local filmmaker in a long, long time.
No, Lea did not become blind because of an accident. No, their relationship is not the you-and-me-against-the-world-type. No, it’s not a rich girl-poor guy or rich guy-poor girl story. And no, the ending is not what you think it is.
The narrative is seamless. You’ll love every scene, every dialogue, and all the not-so-obvious symbolisms in the movie. And you’ll love the fact that the story is told from two points of view: Lea’s and Tonyo’s.
6. Si saging (Banana).
The Saging/Banana plays an important role in the story of Lea and Tonyo. I can’t tell you how or why because that would be spoiling some of the fun in the movie. But I can tell you this: we all need a saging in our life.
7. Ang puso (The heart).
One of the main focus of the movie is the heart. Kita Kita is about a heart that has been wounded several times. It is also about how this heart finds another chance after meeting someone; someone who was unlike anybody this heart has ever seen or met.
8. Repolyo (Cabbage).
You’ll never look at cabbage the same way again. You will want to eat cabbage every day for the rest of your life. I swear!
9. Sapporo Beer
A can (or cans) of Sapporo Beer plays an important part in the life of Tonyo, but you won’t find out about it until the latter part of the movie. In some ways, Sapporo helped turn his life around.
Director and writer Sigrid Andrea Bernardo beautifully incorporates saging, puso, repolyo, and Sapporo into the story – into the scenes and dialogues. But she does it without giving audiences a reason to jump to conclusions, she merely gives subtle hints. Brilliant!
10. Paper cranes.
I don’t know how the other audiences looked at Lea’s paper cranes, but for me, they were symbols of her hopes and dreams. She had a lot, so she liked making paper cranes and even gave them as gifts to some of her tour clients. When she became blind, she stopped making the cranes, but she didn’t really throw them away. That meant she held on to her hopes and dreams even when her world turned upside down.
-Sapporo is majestic and picturesque. It’s now on my travel bucket list.
-I think there were a lot of unscripted moments. Watch out for the scene showing Empoy holding an umbrella. His reaction (and that of Alex’s) are so genuine, you’ll think it wasn’t in the script!The “Open the Basket” scene. It’s one of my favorites.
-The “Open the Basket” scene. It’s one of my favorites.
-Alex’s outfits. Unusual but chic and fashionably cool.
-My favorite lines:
“Noong nakakakita ka, ‘di mo ako nakita. Nang mabulag ka, doon mo lang ako nakita.” – Tonyo
“Nang gabing iyon, pinagkatiwala ko ang buhay ko sa isang saging.” – Lea
Kita Kita is still showing in your favorite cinemas, so go and watch it with your friends and loved ones. As in right now, or as soon as you’re free! 😉
Kudos to Piolo Pascual, Direk Joyce Bernal, Erickson Raymundo, and everyone at Spring Films for giving us a movie as refreshing as Kita Kita. Cheers to more quality films from you!
Directed by: Sigrid Andrea Bernardo
Screenplay: Sigrid Andrea Bernardo
Running Time: 1 hour 24 minutes
MTRCB Rating: PG (Parental Guidance)