In a festival of heartbreaking stories and hard choices, let LSS be your breather
So much can be said about the state (and quality) of Philippine entertainment. But as disappointing as it can sometimes be, we also can’t help but smile as mainstream actors and big production houses continue to push the line and confines of traditional (read: money-making) films.
The lineup for this year’s Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino had us excited for various reasons, including the themes that the various films are discussing. A couple exploring the possibility of an open marriage, two prostitutes finding love amidst their loveless love-making and a struggle between welcoming death and finding something—someone—to hold on for.
It’s a lot to take in this year; there’s no doubt about that. But there is one shining light that acts as a breather between the hardships and heartbreak: LSS.
LSS, directed by Jade Castro and produced by Globe Studios and Dokimos Media, Inc., is the story of Sarah (Gabbi Garcia) and Zak (Khalil Ramos), two 20-something individuals just trying to get on with life. Sarah’s put her music career on hold to get her little brother through school and Zak’s not-so-secretly in love with his best friend and just trying to build a connection with his estranged father.
When these two meet by chance on a commute home, they’re bound together by an appreciation for music that buries itself so deep they literally connect the next time they meet. What follows is a string of events that prove what can happen when you have the right mindset, support and environment.
First things first: damn that soundtrack
To simplify things, LSS is a coming-of-age story that’s dressed up in music, in a soundtrack that is exclusively Ben&Ben and honestly nakaka-LSS. Throughout the recent months, the nine-piece band has been on an uphill climb that—as far as we can tell—will lead them straight into the heart of OPM.
Truthfully speaking, however, the tracks that make up the film aren’t new; the band didn’t create an album just for this. What they did do, however, is re-record their pieces to fit the needs of LSS—and this has made all the difference. You can tell with how the pace is slower or how it picks up at certain aspects of a song that Ben&Ben truly did think things through.
And in the bigger picture of the film, it makes everything else fit together so much better.
From real to reel: The Gabbi & Khalil chemistry
Actors finding love in the industry isn’t a rarity; local love teams always seem to find themselves in the tangles of reality. But what sets Gabbi and Khalil apart is that they were together before they starred in this film, which translated on the big screen with ease.
The chemistry between the two budding artistas was natural and sweet. The smiles weren’t forced and the little touches were enough to spark something in the audience. What lack the love story had in building up to the actual relationship, the kilig factor made up for.
An unexpected theme
When you buy that ticket to LSS, you might expect a heavy love story that’s littered with subplots of family and chasing passions—but that’s not exactly it. The film gives equal importance to every character and the struggle they’re going through; each one offers a different lesson to learn as the stories nicely unfold, one after the other.
But here’s the clincher
Out of the Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 lineup, LSS is arguably the most feel-good one out there. Sure, there are comedies that will undoubtedly tickle your funny bone, but Castro’s piece offers so much more than just a good time. You leave the cinema with more than a smile on your face as it takes a weight off your shoulders and lets you breathe a little easier.
It makes you believe in the possibility of genuinely happy endings—and, more importantly, that they’re within reach if you’re willing to face life head-on.
Art Alexandra Lara