MOVIE REVIEW: “Halik sa Hangin” (plus notes on the memorable scenes!)

halik sa hangin movie
"Halik sa Hangin" is Star Cinema's first offering for 2015

Classified as a romance-mystery-thriller movie, the film “Halik sa Hangin” is top-billed by Julia Montes, Gerald Anderson, and JC De Vera. This is Star Cinema’s first offering for 2015. It was written by Enrico Santos and was directed by Manny Palo.

Judging from the number of movie goers when we watched “Halik sa Hangin” at Trinoma, it can be presumed that the public’s reception to the film was underwhelming. How can you explain the fact that the theater was less than half-full even though our group watched on a Sunday after the pay day and that the movie is just five days old?

During a bloggers’ conference last January 22, Santos was asked about this film’s similarity to the 2005 movie “Nasaan Ka Man,” which features Claudine Barretto, Jericho Rosales, and Diether Ocampo and is also set in Baguio City.  According to the writer, he sees his project as more in line with Hollywood films “Fatal Attraction” (1987) and “Fear” (1996) because it revolves around the theme of obsession and passionate love.

halik sa hangin movie
“Halik sa Hangin” is Star Cinema’s first offering for 2015

WARNING: The coming part may contain spoilers:

At this point, I’d like to share my thoughts about the movie:

1) The movie begins with Miles Ocampo, a former mainstay in Going Bulilit, getting pranked by her friends on the night of her birthday party. She was initially made to believe that she went inside an empty house without any of her friends around. This scene forebodes not only the various twists in the movie but also the film’s overall horror theme.

2)  In his second movie under the Kapamilya network, JC De Vera plays the role of Alvin, a dedicated admirer of Mia (Montes). He is physically attractive, sweet, and thoughtful – but Mia see him as just a friend.  However,  Alvin does not seem to be very bitter about being “friendzoned.” The two had this cute exchange while inside a bar:

Mia: Nandito ka. *points to her heart*

Alvin: Talaga?

Mia: Nandito ka, bilang kaibigan.

Alvin: Friendzoned! (after which, they both laughed and exchanged fist bumps)

3) During the same night on that bar, Mia meets Gio Brauner, which is played by Anderson. Ironically, their first conversation happened not on the dance floor but on the building’s roof top (Mia followed him all the day there). You see, stalking pays off occasionally!

STRENGTHS:

1) Picking Baguio City as the movie’s setting – Many now describe Baguio as overpopulated, but no one can ever question the city’s picturesque landscape which serves as an eye-candy for those watching “Halik sa Hangin.”

2) Chemistry between Julia and Gerald – This may be their first on-screen team-up, and still they managed to pull off a lot of kilig moments throughout the movie (the scenes in the hillside, while crossing the hanging bridge, etc.). Undergoing sensuality workshops must’ve worked wonders for this pair. And by the way, their love scene was intense!

julia montes halik sa hangin
The author with Julia Montes

3) Very good supporting cast – Edu Manzano and Ina Raymundo only had limited exposure in the movie, but they portrayed their respective roles as a loving mom and a strict but perpetually-concerned stepfather rather convincingly.

Jasmin Curtis-Smith was given just a single speaking part, but it helped a lot in explaining Gio’s dark past. Lest it be forgotten, who knew that Jett Pangan of The Dawn can act?

4) The movie’s theme song, sang by Ebe Dancel, is a perfect match for the love story between Mia and Gio. “Ang ikli ng panahon na binigay sa amin / Pag-ibig na para lang isang halik sa hangin.”

WEAKNESSES:

1. Confusing transition for Mia – How exactly did Mia transform from being a musically-inclined teenage girl into a lady engaged in a relationship with an imaginary guy?

2. Gio’s character was pretty predictable – You know there’s something weird with Gio’s character. First, he seems to pop out of nowhere. Second, he is very secretive (he doesn’t want Mia to have photos with him!). In fact, it is not clear in the movie how the two communicated when they’re apart. Lastly, he wears the same James Dean-inspired wardrobe throughout the movie.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: 

* “Hindi ka naman ibang babae sa akin.” – Alvin to Mia

* Mia: “Malay mo, konting hintay na lang, makakasama mo na ang meant to be para sa’yo.”

Gio: “Meant to be? Baka meant to break my heart!”

* “Kung hindi ka maniniwala sa love, ano pang paniniwalaan mo?” – Gio to Mia

* “Kaya mo ba ‘kong mahalin kahit malaman mo ang totoo?” – Gio to Mia

RATING: 3.5/5.0

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

3 Comments on MOVIE REVIEW: “Halik sa Hangin” (plus notes on the memorable scenes!)

  1. You’re quite generous with your rating, Mark! 😀

    I think the film should be given props for its ambition, after all, it tried to do something quite different from the run-off-the-mill rom-coms and romance dramas Star Cinema has made its name on and from all these years, but there’s just too much missing and too many disparate parts that shouldn’t have even passed the pre-production stage on the screen. Take for example how the film hints at a mysterious connection between Mia’s father and Gio (e.g. when he recites the father’s song verbatim, when he gives her her father’s guitar pick, etc.) and never really pushes this thread through to its more audacious and possibly subversive implications, such as Mia’s emotional fixation on her father (bordering on the romantic). The film’s treatment of narrative time is also problematic–we see far too little to go on between Mia and Gio’s first meeting and their all-of-a-sudden budding romantic relationship, leaving us with an impression that this part of the story has been obviously rushed. The story and the screenplay (which includes the dialogue) are unmistakably half-baked, feeling more like a second or third draft that should’ve spent more time in development before being approved for production. The quality of the screenplay is at its most offensive when the characters spew out dialogue that have obviously been written as translated by minds occupied with the Westernized imagination (e.g. bullies spew out unnatural phrases in the Filipino setting such as “Welcome back, B*tch”), when it aims to go for quotable quotes yet falls flat (especially in the forest guitar lesson scenes between Mia and Gio), and most especially in the general plotting and design of dramatic scenarios.

    Perhaps what disappointed me the most is the fact that I can discern the hard work that the cast had put into their performances, trying to make the most out of the undeveloped script they were given. This is compounded by the fact that I feel that the directorial vision as seen from the film as is being screened now (I say this because who knows–perhaps there’s a “full” director’s cut previously made which got severely butchered) is just plain lazy, glimpsed in the moments when one knows much planning and pre-visualization has been put into them (e.g. Gio’s seduction of Mia in their first meeting at the Diplomat Hotel) vis-a-vis other shots and sequences that feel as though they were just tacked on (e.g. the shot of Edu Manzano’s character rushing into the room to get the cursed guitar, obviously under-planned transitions between scenes such as when Mia persuades her parents and friends to accompany her to the forest to prove that Gio exists and the sudden visual and audio jolt as they are shown walking around the forest-now-turned-cemetery). For a studio film with a proper budget, these are just unacceptable.

    Perhaps, to sum it up, I leave with the thought that if the interesting premise of the film was given enough time and thought to develop further and was pushed for the possibilities that are inherent in it, it would have been a better film worth the effort and the cost for an audience to see. 😀

  2. I think the movie is promising too but the only problem it was easily revealed that Gio was a ghost. And there were holes in the story but i also think mia was easily inlove with the guy since the guy is a ghost who may have enchanted her while feeling depressed and ofcourse some girls are like that fragile and weak when broken hearted but if only it was a surprise of Gios death it would be nicer. But i didn’t have boring moments. For a filipino movie its 6.8/10.. Especially the aong of eben. Perfect for the film

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