My rating: 3/5
Para Sa Broken Hearted is that light-hearted, easy-to-follow, and relatable movie that any Filipino viewer can enjoy. It is a combined anthology of the stories of different people and their past relationships that have left them as the brokenhearted and miserable people as they are in the present. In it, we are told the story of three “ex-couples”: Jackie and RJ, Kathlyn and Dan, and Alex and Shalee. With its jumps from past to present and back, the film doesn’t fail to entertain you with its alternating narratives of varying couple experiences.
Jackie, on her way to her aunt to Baguio, meets Kathlyn, who is also coincidentally heading to Baguio for purposes of “soul-searching”. When the two figure that they have a lot of time to spare, they start to tell each other of the stories of their previous relationships, starting with Kath and her obsessive love for RJ, and then to Kathlyn and her one-day hangout with a stranger she has fallen for. As the stories narrated with more detail, the film develops its characters with more depth for viewers to empathize with.
One thing that I can commend to the film is that it doesn’t bore you off. Each couple’s story has its own heart, and it has its own elements to tell its narrative in interesting ways. Its stories are pretty smooth for a film that is similar to that of an anthology—the way they are interwoven is a plus for the entertainment factor. The film also plays around with varying genres such as that of a musical, a sci-fi, a videogame, a theatrical comedy, and a fantasy. The balance between comedy and drama amidst all these experimentational genres is demonstrated nicely—when the film gets to one or the other, it makes sure that it’s not done cheaply. Besides that, the entirety of the film’s aesthetic value just shows off; from music to cinematography, the film heightens the viewers’ cinematic experience to make the story more delightful.
There is, however, one thing that avoided the whole film to be a unique combination of stories to tell: the tropes. While tropes are good to use when the target audience is the masses, there was always the feeling of “I’ve seen this before” while watching the whole film. I can easily compare several of its elements to Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, The Fault in Our Stars, and other films or forms of literature in pop culture. Needless to say, these tropes would work for any Filipino viewer, but it just makes the film less fresh and even, to a certain degree, unoriginal.
Para Sa Broken Hearted works well with any Filipino viewer who just wants to relax and unwind. It not only amuses its audience, but it leaves a message that can apply to everyone: that some people win, while some people lose, but what is important is that there is a lesson to be learned for every experience.