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Opinion

What’s so funny?

Kathleen A. Llemit

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Apparently, a lot of moviegoers like Michael V’s directorial piece, Family History.

Reports say that his family drama grossed P3 million on its opening day on 24 July.

Michael V, also known as Bitoy, is not only the director of the movie, he also wrote its story and one of its official soundtracks, “Ayoko Na,” which his daughter, Brianna, sang.

He also did the storyboard used in the film. He co-produced it with the returning GMA Pictures, with his wife, Carol, and their company, MicTest Entertainment. And, best of all, he stars in it.

KAPUSO comedy genius Michael V.

The multi-hyphenate has said in earlier interviews that Family History is a family drama, but there will be parts of comedy in there. It’s not surprising for him to inject his brand of humor, after all; it’s what made him famous for more than two decades in show business.

The story revolves around his family. Alex (Michael V) is married to May (Dawn Zulueta).

They have a son named Malix (Miguel Tanfelix) who is in a relationship with his schoolmate, Jenna (Bianca Umali).

The first scene already attempts to set the tone of the movie. While the couple is preparing to go to bed, May tries to strike a conversation with Alex. Instead, she is greeted with, “Good night,” and an oblivious Alex snores the night away, leaving May wide awake and seemingly pondering. As a viewer, one would get an inkling of what’s going to happen next.
This scene will be repeated in another sequence.

Michael V and Dawn Zulueta as husband and wife Alex and May.

Like any other family, theirs is not perfect. Due to his job as an animator, Alex keeps a tight schedule. This affects his family life. One day, his wife is stricken with a serious health condition.

Sickness, they say, brings out the best and worst in any situation, and in the case of Alex and May’s marriage, it does both.

Secrets revealed provide much of the drama in the film. As such, one would wonder, if one of the main casts falls ill, where does humor come in? Does it come sparingly, like nuggets of wisdom uttered as punchlines and ends in a bittersweet note just like most melancholic dramas?

Alas, no. Michael V tries to stretch it to more than a punch line.

There’s one phrase (it has a very contextual nature and it will be handy that adults are equipped to explain to young minds if the occasion arises) that he uses again in an incredulous moment.

Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali are Malix and Jenna.

It is supposed to be a climactic scene where revelations unfold. When this happens, viewers are supposed to emphatize and piece things together with the characters. But as one other viewer notes, the injection of that phrase is anti-climactic; it sort of creates the confusion of what’s happening.

Family History is a non-linear narrative. The story is pieced together by presenting the stories of the characters and their points of view. Perhaps Michael V wanted to give viewers a more intimate look at their thoughts and feelings, without passing judgment.

The movie is a family drama with sprinkles of laughter in between. It has its flaws like its characters, but if one likes to watch a family drama injected with a certain type of humor, then Family History may be right up their alley.

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