She's Dating the Gangster - Wikipedia
It all started when year-old Athena Dizon unwittingly plays a trick on resident heartthrob and bad boy, Kenji de los Reyes. All of a sudden, she finds herself pretending—unwillingly at that—to be his girlfriend to make his ex jealous. He's hotheaded, never seems to agree. SHE'S DATING THE GANGSTER. All photos courtesy of Star Cinema. One of the greatest love stories, Romeo and Juliet, was a matter of timing. Hay nako panget yung she's dating the gangster apakayabang ni Daniel ang. She's dating de gangster is my favorite book and my favorite movie is hopless.
The film's version of the nineties isn't what one would call realistic.
'She's Dating the Gangster' Works Best When It Embraces Its Silliness
Instead, it's a heightened fantasy colored by the romance of the story being told. Early detractors of this film bemoaned the use of the word "gangster" to describe Daniel Padilla's character, but the film itself seems fully aware of how silly it all is.
This is a world as conceived entirely by teenagers, where every little crush is the end of the world, and the slightest bit of attitude might be construed as the appearance of a "gangster. The film thus works best as a youthful little love story.
The narrative dutifully builds up these characters as romantic ideals, playing out a love so simple and pure that it's easy to get swept up in all of it.
But to its detriment, there's more to this movie than the outsized feelings that teens feel for each other. The story makes a bid for seriousness that really derails the flow of the story. Suddenly, this sweet little romance is weighed down by questions of mortality. The narrative just can't support this pathos.
The film begins to apply fantasy logic to really serious topics. To the film's credit, expert direction keeps it from flying off the rails. Cathy Garcia-Molina's tight control on the dramatics grounds the film even as it heads into absurdly sad territory.
Она встречается с гангстером () - IMDb
She also gets great, controlled performances from her cast. Daniel Padilla's strengths are used to great effect here, and Kathryn Bernardo manages to shine yet again.
In the novelette, Athena, a normal girl in campus, is forced by Kenji, the campus' top mischief-maker, to pretend to be his girlfriend to make his ex, who is also named Athena, jealous enough to want to come back to him. As with all love stories of this type, the pretences dissipate, giving way for what seems to be true love, which would be abruptly stopped by some mean twist of fortune, which in this very unoriginal case, is a fatal disease.
Garcia-Molina, thankfully, has more adventurism than most of her peers who would have gone the route of simply filming the novel as is, as what Andoy Ranay did in his adaptation of Diary ng Panget The Ugly's Diary, Garcia-Molina's adaptation, which innovates to cover the obvious derivativeness of Bernardino's text, is simply put, offers a stark improvement over the original material.
A variation of Bernardino's love story between Athena Kathryn Bernardo and Kenji Daniel Padillaset in the 90's instead of the novelette's original timeline, is sandwiched within the beginnings of the blossoming romance between Athena's niece and Kenji's son, who are also played by Bernardo and Padilla.
The niece and the son have been serendipitously forced into a mission to reunite middle-aged Athena and Kenji played by Hihintayin Kita sa Langit's Zulueta and Gomez respectively who have been separated by mysterious circumstances.
Predictably, Athena and Kenji's love story has more meat. The niece and the son's romance feels more like an afterthought, a way to further capitalize the masses' interest on Bernardo and Padilla's popular love team. Nevertheless, Garcia-Molina drapes Athena and Kenji's narrative with a crazed mix of kitsch and nostalgia for what the 90's represented in Philippine pop culture.
It is the era of paged messages, tie-dyed tees, gaudy bandanas, garish plaids, and denim vests, all of which are remnants of a generation fed with movies and television shows starring Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin.
She's Dating the Gangster is rightfully colorful, evoking every bit of the 90's trademark tack. The tragedy invented by Bernardino has been creatively subdued. Star Cinema undoubtedly protested the grim end of Athena and Kenji, as told by the book.
It has to be a happy ending, for the sake of profitable escapism. Thus, instead of death as the payment for love, Garcia-Molina chose the reality of not being with the one you love, of waiting, of eventually settling.
KathNiel to top bill ‘She's Dating the Gangster’
It is this ending that separates Bernardino's juvenilia and Garcia-Molina's masked maturity, in the midst of studio compromises. There are simply more heartaches more immense than the ones dealt by mortality.
The film adaptation of She's Dating the Gangster is a series of risks taken that paid off quite well.