Last week, I had the chance to watch  Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla‘s newest Star Cinema film, Barcelona: A Love Untold, twice.  Watching the film for the second time gave me a better appreciation of Direk Olive Lamasan‘s masterpiece as I was able to pick up on whatever little details I might have missed the first time. (Special thanks to block screenings by Biyaheng Forever and KDKN Solidarity fan groups) Check out the five random things you should look forward to when you watch the film.

The story

The film written by creative genius Carmi Raymundo (the one behind One More Chance screenplay and other Star Cinema blockbusters) revolves around the lives of Ely (Daniel Padilla) and Mia (Kathryn Bernardo). Ely is a young architect finishing his master’s degree in Barcelona, Spain and has yet to get over his ex-girlfriend Celine (the mystery on who portrayed Celine takes up a considerable chunk of the film) while Mia is a young lady who escaped to the Spanish city to redeem herself from a painful and embarrassing past in the Philippines. Ely’s and Mia’s paths will cross with the two eventually finding themselves falling for each other. However, unresolved issues and untold emotions will get in the way.

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5 random things to look forward to:

5)  Scenic spots in Spain + the Sagrada Familia metaphor 

As you watch the film, you’ll get a glimpse of the beautiful tourist spots in Barcelona like the Park Guell and the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia. The latter was used to create parallelism with the lives of the lead characters. As Ely (Daniel Padilla) said in the film, “The Sagrada Familia was built as an atonement for the city’s sins. When finished, it will be the world’s most beautiful apology.” Just like the famous Catholic church which still remains to be a work-in-progress, Ely’s and Mia’s characters have unfinished businesses and they are seen taking on major challenges in an attempt to apologize for their mistakes and make amends with their past. Their journey to forgiveness becomes the film’s essence.

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4) Joshua Garcia

We all know the young star registers well on the camera and we’ve already seen his acting jobs on TV a couple of times but it’s safe to say that former PBB teen housemate Joshua Garcia proved himself film-worthy this time. The few scenes you’ll see him in are made with impact with either funny quips or a heart-tugging dramatic moment. It was a good call to throw Joshua into a mother-and-son teamup with seasoned dramatic actress, Aiko Melendez. Their limited exposure as supporting stars still emerged maximized.

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3) Kathryn Bernardo

What with her baby-faced beauty and innocent charm, I have yet to fully let go of Kathryn’s imprinted “Chichay” (from Got to Believe) image in my head. But thanks to her character Mia in Barcelona, Kathryn was able to explore and showcase something different without going overboard — more mature and sensual. Specific scenes that got me – Mia’s overseas phone conversation with her dad when she was on the verge of giving up in Spain and that restaurant confrontation scene with Ely. The passion and burst of emotions I saw in her face  were reminiscent of her remarkable performance in ABS-CBN’s Magkaribal as a young Gretchen Barretto. The said performance years ago paved the way for her big break in showbiz.

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2) Daniel Padilla

To be honest, when Direk Olive Lamasan said that Daniel Padilla is the new Aga Muhlach, I took the statement with a grain of salt. I always knew Daniel could act but boy, was he truly a revelation as a dramatic actor in this one.  Direk Olive was right and I just had to see it for myself. Aside from the fact that Daniel seems to be in his most handsome in this particular film (lost count of how many times I had to mutter “Ang guwapo!” to my seatmate when he appears onscreen), his acting prowess has undoubtedly reached new heights. There were no big or small scenes for the guy. Whatever motivation was used on him by Direk Olive definitely worked because even his simple facial expressions became powerful tools to convey emotions such as frustration, anger, and love. He must really be so effective that I found myself wiping tears over the same scenes even in my second viewing. Particular scenes to watch out for are his breaking down the wall and talking about his past with Mia, the restaurant confrontation, and that near-the-end reunion with Maria Isabel Lopez, his mom in the story. Sounds like a fangirl, huh? Well, I have to admit I have this newfound fondness and appreciation for Daniel because of his impressive performance here.

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1) Real Kiss

Bid hopia moments goodbye. After five years of waiting, KathNiel fans are in for a treat as camera tricks are no longer getting in the way of seeing Kathryn and Daniel lock lips FOR REAL. Yes, let me spoil that for you (as if interviews and tweets aren’t enough, hehe), the kiss goes beyond just a quick smack.

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Barcelona: A Love Untold is a story that illustrates LOVE in different forms — for family, friends, a special someone, and most importantly, one’s self. Whether you have hugot issues or not, you’ll surely find scenes that hit right home or touch your heart. Catch it in cinemas nationwide.

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