Author Anna Godbersen wrote “The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples.”
In the case of “Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi,” however, the color palette—or to sound a bit more millennial–preset of hues, have a lot more yellows and greens and all the summer colors in between.
It’s like watching an Instagram story —each scene carefully curated, every piece of prop meticulously chosen and put in place almost perfectly like a flatlay.
Make no mistake, director Jun Lana’s latest passion project is as millennial as it could get.
But for the Titos (like me) and the Tita’s, the parents and even the grands, there are also references to the good old days—when we played patintero and used those cans of condensed milk as our “walkie-talkies” and more importantly it reminds us of the time when we were young and first fell in love.
Ahhh. To be young and in love again.
Back in our days (early 90’s), communication was one of the most challenging parts of maintaining a relationship. Internet speed was sloooow, there was no Facebook and people used email more for work. There were smartphones but you had to pay per minute calls. In short you either had to use the landline, or send letters via mail—which takes days to arrive. Believe me I’ve been in an LDR.
Unlike today, where young people are connected every waking minute of their lives and posting updates of even the most mundane things happening in their lives.
So what if for some reason you suddenly can’t connect and use technology. Can you survive and will your relationship endure?
If you’ve seen the viral trailer you pretty much have an idea of the premise of Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi.
Norma, played almost effortlessly by Sue Ramirez, is just like any typical teenage girl who is in a relationship with one of the jocks in school, Leo (Markus Paterson). They are #relationshipgoals based on their popularity on social media.
But everything changes when for some strange reason, Norma develops EHS or electromagnetic hypersensitivity which means she couldn’t use cellphones, tablets, PCs and most of all WiFi.
Lana says the movie was inspired by an article he read about a man from the UK who was reported to have the same “allergy” to electrosmog.
Because of this, Norma has to leave school and move in with her grandmother who lives in a far flung province where there is absolutely no signal.
Let me just say that the location is absolutely stunning and I wouldn’t mind moving there myself to get some digital detox.
Busy with schoolwork and basketball practice, Leo is unable to visit Norma making her feel that their relationship is about to end.
Making up for his absence is Leo’s brother Aries, played by Jameson Blake, who has been harboring secret feelings for Norma.
Together with bestfriend, the perky Matcha, the two become Norma’s regular visitors, keeping her up to date with everything that’s happening in their school–for better and worse.
Friendzoned or not, Aries displays patience and persistence to the point of even faking his brother’s letters and sacrificing his own feelings to make sure Norma remains happy and gets well.
There are a lot of kilig moments everytime Aries and Norma are on screen and the two has a chemistry that hopefully would lead to another film or two.
Although unrequited love has always been a strong selling point of a lot of rom-coms, I like how ABASW went back to the basics to show young people the importance of friendship and how it can become a stronger foundation for a relationship.
Like I said, the love story may be millennial, but for us oldies, seeing lola’s vintage collections like a tape recorder will also bring back a lot of memories. Also ChocNut.
ABASW isn’t perfect. It has its flaws and there are some questionable moments, but the visuals are superb, the characters are relatable and have their own charms and there’s a lot to love about the music and the locations.
It’s one of those movies that would be fun to watch with this gloomy weather.
If there’s a lesson to be learned, its that we shouldn’t be to immersed and distracted with technology and everything we see on social media. It encourages us to find joy in the simple things, to put down our phones and enjoy the company of our friends OFFLINE and that the best feelings come from human interaction—whether its friendship or real love, and not from those hundreds of virtual likes and smiley emojis.
And that sometimes, the people who loves us most are the ones we often ignore who knows the true love of your life is already seating right next to you.
“Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi” is Cignal Entertainment’s first venture into full length feature film production and is one of the eight feature films chosen by the Film Development Council of the Philippines for the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018 happening in August.
For more information you may check out Cignal Entertainment’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/CignalEntertainment/ Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa WiFi’s Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/AngBabaengAllergicSaWiFi/