Delirium: Philippino Romantic Melodrama

(Diliryo)
Philippino romantic melodrama

A charmingly naive Philippino variation on the familiar theme of “Life Imitates Art,” Delirium revolves around two attractive youngsters who meet on the set of a TV commercial and instantly fall in love.

This appealing, highly generic romantic meller about the thrills and complications of first love may find its audiences in urban locales with large Asian communities and, of course, international film festivals.

Housesitting her sister’s condo, the 18-year-old Jessy (Giselle Torengi) gets to experience independence for the first time in her life. Chosen by an advertising agency to appear in a new perfume commercial, she is introduced to Gerard (Jomari Yllana), a dark-haired handsomer who’s cast as her lover. In what’s attraction at first sight, the two begin to date, which alarms Jessy’s concerned friends.

Back home, each youngster has a bag of problems to deal with. Gerard’s sick father dies, which makes him responsible for his irrepressible younger brother. Realizing that she’s fallen passionately and obsessively in love, Jessy’s friends try to protect her from disappointment and unrealistic expectations, but to no avail. The couple separates, but neither can get each other out of their system.

As expected, when the commercial airs repeatedly and successfully, it only makes the now estranged lovers more miserable, with their obsession turning into feelings of fear and anxiety. Bound by a legal contract, they are compelled to do a reshoot of a scene for a milder version of the commercial. The disastrous on-the-set encounter scandalizes the entire crew, but after some loud exchanges the tale leads to its predictable romantic ending.

As literal as its title, Delirium captures the sweet, obsessive all-consuming nature of first love. The movie is co-directed with a measure of campy humor by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes, who unabashedly use soft-focus close-ups, slow dissolves and swelling music to heighten the emotions. Ultimately, though, the movie owes its success to the charisma and good looks of its two stars, Torengi and Yllana.

Credits

A MAQ production. Produced by Dougals Quijano. Executive producers, Sherida Monteverde, Roselle Monteverde Teo. Co-directed by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes. Screenplay, Uro de la Cruz . Camera (color), Richard Padernal; editor, Danny Gloria; music, Archie Castillo; production design, Gino Marasigan; sound (Dolby), Joe Climaco.

Running time: 110 min.

Gerard Celestino…..Jomari Yllana
Jessica del Mundo…Giselle Toengi
Baby Estanislao……Pinky de Leon