Prince Carlo Estrella
“Abbiamo tanto tempo per conoscerci (We have a lot of time to get to know each other).”

A Very Good Girl, directed by Petersen Vargas, is a refreshing and satisfyingly bold film in this decade of the Philippine film industry so far. The poster might suggest that it is a women empowerment film but it is so much more. Because the film itself hates to be boxed; it is a film full of figurative statements and allegory to our society. Especially with Kathryn Bernardo (as Philo) and Dolly De Leon (as Molly) as the lead stars, the film successfully managed to challenge the status quo by fleshing out and showing politically camp and dark humor to its audience.

Indeed, they are really great stars but… is that all?

Starting off with the casts, I must say that all of them are gray-tinted. Neither of them are good or bad — they are all sinners who need to repent and confess. But if there’s one character that I would like to commend and forgive (at least), it’s going to be Joenna (played by Gillian Vicencio) because her role in the film gave Philo a lesson, in a very sweet and subtle manner (which you all should watch and take notice). So I’ll give her those flowers, as one of the best side characters in the film, and not to Rigel (Kaori Oinuma) because I felt that her character in the film was like a butterfly. She acted and embodied the role pretty well (and of course, shockingly impressive) but very short lived. Nonetheless, all of them are super impressive *chef’s kiss*.

The whole film was a literal savage. The way that it started and progressed was really strong, especially within the Act Two and Climax scenes where Philo was literally breaking the “fourth wall” (Special Note: Kudos to the Music Scorer of this film for those scenes! So dramatique!). However, in some parts of the film, it also felt confusing because it incorporated a lot of themes and attitudes that some parts may leave you feeling nauseated and will eventually shock you when they flash you its plot twists. It’s madly insane, just like Philo.

Even though the ending is frustrating (just like our justice system), one cannot erase the fact that this film is the reality. That, what happened on that rollercoaster of a film is really happening to our society. What ties this film to be cinematically great in this decade is its bravery and unpretentiousness. It just doesn’t look at you, but it bites you and will leave your eyes open to the damage that is done. After all, just like what Molly said: “Justice is expensive, my dear… and poor people can’t afford it,”

To pull the curtains down, this film is a compelling story of mess and farce. Watching how the characters lead to one step and to the another stage of the film is eye candy and food for the mind. But the final judgment is up for the viewers to decide. Because this review is an invitation for you to afford and see its reality and truth on whether the film is: very good or is it very bad?