Note: This review is courtesy of our friend Annedito. Thank you very much for the review 🙂 .
The movie started with a rushing tired Sarah played by Sharon Cuneta leaving her daytime job as an Elementary English teacher for a night vocational class to become a caregiver. Meron brief scenes sa training class si Sarah and one of her instructors is a Waya Council member (yung namatay na laging kaaway ni lady elle noon). There was also a scene of Sarah and her colleagues during lunch discussing her life sa PI and her future sa London. There were quite a few jokes about Sarah “going to punas-punas the puwet.” Sarah eventually sold her house leaving her young son Paulo, played by John Manalo, bitter and more rebellious. Paulo would be looked after her paternal grandmother which was portrayed by Boots Anson-Roa. Isang scene lang siya sa movie pero you could already sense na she was a sweet and loving grandmother and mother.
The story moved along sa despedida (spellcheck please) party ni Sarah sa Manila with her side of the family. There you get a sense of her life and who she is as a daughter and a sister. Her mother (don’t know the actress’ name) is distraught about Sarah’s choice to follow her husband. This of course is natural sa mga Filipino parents when it comes to their children leaving the nest let alone the country. Mickey Feriols plays the obedient and caring daughter who mainly took care of their senile grandmother. Lola was played by the veteran actress Anita Linda. She played the elder matriarch who constantly needed caring that brought tears to Sarah’s eyes. This was a good indication of how compassionate Sarah really was.
That night at the party, Paulo leaves her mother to “party” with her older cousins. He failed to return home that night and Sarah initially thought that this was another rebellious act. However, after their talk, Paulo was nothing more than a frightened and heartbroken child. The two eventually patched things up and both even went coat shopping together. The jacket Sarah bought Paulo was a promised made by a mother saddened for abandoning her one and only child.
Sarah makes it to London to be met by her husband Teddy, played by John Estrada. Their first meeting was a longing and passionate greeting by a loving couple. Soon, the everyday reality of life in London took a toll in their marriage. Sarah was not able to handle her job as a caregiver. The despairing elderly patients dismayed the already longing Sarah. Teddy was not supportive of Sarah’s attempt to quit her job. He advised her to do exactly the opposite of Sarah’s loving and caring personality, to distant herself.
Teddy and Sarah eventually started arguing about everything in their household particularly about money. Sarah also played a surrogate mother to Sean (Makisig Morales) as she longed for her own son. Sean was also a troubled kid who simply wanted to fit in. He longed to fit in with his British peers as well as a tired and overwhelmed mother who was married to a Brit. Sarah eventually meets Mr. Morgan, an ailing wealthy man waiting for his death. The two developed a friendship as Sarah read books to him and was a confidant to both Mr. Morgan and his son, David.
There were also scenes of other OFW’s and their everyday struggles. Joseph, played by Jhong Hilario, was a doctor in the Philippines, but settled for a nursing career in London. This of course was a bit difficult for him and his oath to save lives as a doctor was compromised in a scene at the ER. Sean’s struggle to adapt to his new environment and family was showcased in subtle ways that weren’t forced throughout the movie. The movie centered on Sarah who was a loving and caring person. She was always a supportive wife to a point that she never really cared about her own happiness. Sharon, of course, played the role wonderfully and her own personality as a loving person was highlighted.
The supporting cast was also superb considering all the big names attached to this movie. All characters played a major point of the director’s storytelling. Even Lotlot De Leon’s short scenes as the vulgar sister, but was also an overall good person, was played well. Rica Peraleja played a hardworking and stern wife to Joseph. (Galing din ng accent niya at very amusing to hear her talk with a British accent). The two main British actors and others blended well with Sharon and the Filipino cast. I believe that if the main actress wasn’t Ms. Sharon Cuneta, David Morgan and Sarah could’ve had a something special at the end. (Yes, my moment si Ate Shawie doon sa anak ng alaga niya. OK lang at cute naman siya!) But like I said, Sarah was a decent and “wonderful woman” as to quote David. Her family’s well being was the most important thing in her life. She was also a wonderful friend and our world would definitely be a better place if there were more people like her. Her simple act of kindness such as making adobo for Sean was the core lesson of the movie, for me at least.
The ending of the movie is not the simple happily ever after storybook ending we all wished. But it showed a new Sarah that made the old Sarah accept her needs and wants more. Through a new beginning, she was able to see who she was, a wonderful human being. It also played well into our social conscience as Filipinos away from home. As asked by Sarah’s superior sa school, “Kung puro pang-sarili ang iniisip natin, paano na ang bansa natin?” I completely sympathized with her question and mentality and that is from someone who did not grow up sa Pinas. Hindi ako sa Pinas lumaki and did not have a choice…hehe…pero I understand and appreciate her loyalty sa mga Filipino sa Philippines. It is so easy to forget the struggles of our nation kasi hindi natin minsan nakikita ang mga batang palaboy sa daan. We are angered by the corrupted politicians in the Philippines, but are not directly affected by their senseless ways. The best minds of the Philippines tend to leave our country for a better future and so on…
In honor of PTVJ’s ratings, I give the movie 9 out of 10. There were just a few scenes that were unrealistic to me such as Joseph and the hospital administrator. Advise ko lang, wait for the DVD kasi talagang maiinis ka sa mga tao sa theater. Unless you’re the type na nag-iingay din sa movie, then I definitely recommend going to the theater. Pero kung ayaw mong marinig yung, “Ay, mamatay na. Yung anak niya dumating,” as if hindi ka rin nanonood, just wait and watch it sa bahay away from distractions.