Okay, first off, from the moment I saw the full trailer of One More Try, I was sure that this was going to be a good movie . It had a pretty strong cast and a solid director but I knew that I wasn’t going to be one of those itching to watch it because the plot just turned me off so much. One week later, I found myself agreeing to see it with my mom because I wanted to give it a fair shake. My hunch was quite spot on. It was a good movie but the message left quite a sour taste in my mouth.
Grace (Angel Locsin) and Edward (Dingdong Dantes) met in Baguio and had a brief fling when they were young and as a result, Grace got pregnant with Botchok, who now suffers from a severe blood disease. However, Grace keeps her son a secret until six years later, when all hope is lost, she is left with no choice but to seek out Edward, who is now married to Jac (Angelica Panganiban) to ask for his help in saving their son, by any means. Backing her up is her boyfriend of several years, Tristan (Zanjoe Marudo) who has put his life on hold until Grace gets past her problem.
One More Try has a winning cast, and Ruel S. Bayani (Tayong Dalawa, No Other Woman) certainly knows how to highlight the strength of the actors for their specific parts. The script was intelligently written with a lot of memorable dialogue. The scoring was great and basically, the entire thing amounts to a good movie. Credit to all members of the cast as they have certainly proved their skills in this movie. Each one is an acting dynamo, although I am not convinced that any doctor would be as crass as Carmina Villaroel’s character in the movie.
But here’s my problem with it. Anyone who has seen the trailer knows that Grace is pushing an extreme measure to get help for her child — read: asking Jac to allow her husband to impregnate her through the traditional method which is having sex because only a sibling will prove to be an exact match for a bone marrow donation to save Botchok.
This is wrong in so many levels why? a. Edward is married. b. Edward is married. It’s one thing to ask for sperm and undergo in vitro fertilization but to actually agree to such an absurdity, no matter how kind or open minded a person is — is such an insult to the viewers intelligence that I never, for one moment felt any sympathy for the character of Grace, who despite causing conflict in the relationship of Edward and Jac, continues to go for what she wants like a bulldog, and using her sick child as a blanket justification for anything she might do. Add this to the fact that not only is she asking Jac to agree to it but her boyfriend as well, who has already sacrificed enough by loving her despite her already having a son with another man.
Another problem I had with the film was that it was hard selling the message that a mother would go to any extent to save her child, which I have nothing against except when it violates basic human dignity and it hurts other people. It also portrays anyone who disagrees to such extreme measures to be bad people, which is so wrong.
My problem with the movie is that it expects people to simply swallow all that drivel about the selflessness of a mother’s love when it was in fact, in that situation, it was being depicted as a selfish form of love with no regard to its impact on other people. Worse, it expects the actions Grace’s character to be forgiven because it resulted in a happy ending, which by all means, was a direct violation to the rules of karma. It teaches people that the end justifies the means, which in this scenario was twisted to suit the purpose of the film’s plot.
All in all, I don’t think that I have been as appalled about any movie as I have been with One More Try, because it failed to provide consequeces for all the wrongs done in the movie. It did not reward those who suffered the most (Jac and Tristan). Instead, it served up a simplified ending to a truly complicated story that was in no means realistic or believable. And by doing so, it negated everything that was good about the film. This, for me, is the biggest tragedy of all.