This Dolly de Leon, Zanjoe Marudo, and Elijah Canlas Starrer is the Quintessential Netflix Family Drama this Holiday Season
Grab your lumpia & ready the tissues for this heartwarming family dramedy!
Christmas lights are on, bibingka vendors are lining up the streets, and the family holiday plans are abundant – that’s right, Pasko na naman! And what better way to tide the family holidays over than with a heartwarming film that’ll surely hit all the right notes (pun intended)?
Keys to the Heart is the Filipino remake of the beloved Korean film of the same name, starring Zanjoe Marudo as Joma. He plays the role of a washed-up boxer whose life takes an unexpected turn when he is suddenly reunited with his estranged mother Sylvia, played by Dolly de Leon, and his brother Jayjay, portrayed by Elijah Canlas. Recently fired from his job, Joma reluctantly agrees to stay at his mother’s house, where he is eventually left to care for his special-needs brother, a piano virtuoso preparing to participate in a prestigious music competition.
Aside from top-notch acting and the chaotic (yet oddly familiar) family plot line, here’s why you should add Netflix’s Keys to the Heart to your holiday watchlist.
It shows that families aren’t always perfect – and that it’s okay.
At the heart of Keys to the Heart lies its central theme: the reconciliation between Joma and his mother, Sylvia, whose awkward reunion is shadowed by a shared tragedy from decades past. Joma, hardened by years of living on his own, is suddenly thrust into an unconventional family unit, attempting to find his place alongside a mother he barely knows and a brother he had never intended to connect with. In a world often dominated by idealized images of family dynamics, the film beautifully portrays the complexities and raw emotions that come with reuniting fractured families. It provides a refreshing reminder that real families are far from perfect–and that it’s absolutely okay. We’re reminded that familial love – in all its messy, unpredictable, and sometimes heartbreaking nature – can thrive amidst these imperfections.
It touches on the theme of forgiveness.
Christmas is often associated with themes of giving, kindness, goodwill, and most importantly, forgiveness – which masterfully portrayed in Keys to the Heart. Over time, even the gritty Joma finds himself becoming protective of a brother he initially wanted nothing to do with and showing concern for a mother he despised. We witness his journey of letting go of the grudges and letting in compassion and understanding – virtues some of us might struggle to embrace, especially during the holiday season.
It emphasizes the magic of and in music.
And what’s Filipino Christmas without music? Or better yet, what are Filipinos without music, period? One of the most significant aspects of the film is embedded into Jayjay’s musical ingenuity; it underscores the enchanting magic of music, laced throughout the narrative and into the lives of its characters. These transformative melodies bring healing and solace – not only for the characters but also for the viewers. Keys to the Heart reminds us that music, as a universal and unifying language, has the extraordinary power to touch and transform the hearts of people.
It teaches us the value of perseverance.
An effective Christmas movie not only brings joy to the viewers, but also imparts valuable lessons that carry into the new year. And what better way to show that but with tenacious protagonists who carry on and persevere amid their circumstances? There’s Joma and his dedication to his craft – even after years of being stripped of his boxing license – and Jayjay with music and how he, in his own ways, pushes through in spite of his special needs. Together, the two remind us of possibilities and the strength and power of resilience.
It is simple yet comforting–a perfect watch for the holidays!
As the holiday season nears, we seek the cozy embrace of heartwarming films that capture the spirit of togetherness paired with the magic of the season, and Keys to the Heart effortlessly captures that through moments of laughter, tears, and heart-stirring moments. With a beautifully uncomplicated storyline, it offers a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of the season – and of life, really.
Prepare to be moved, entertained, and inspired by this Filipino remake. Watch Keys to the Heart, now showing on Netflix. Check out the trailer below:
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