'Under Parallel Skies' review: A different look at Hong Kong

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'Under Parallel Skies' review: A different look at Hong Kong
Janella Salvador and Win Metawin in 'Under Parallel Skies'
28 Squared Studios

MANILA, Philippines — Cultures come together in Sigrid Andrea Bernardo's "Under Parallel Skies" starring Janella Salvador and Win Metawin in the melting pot that is Hong Kong, a setting Filipinos will learn to admire even more.

Metawin stars as Parin, who leaves Thailand for Hong Kong to search for his mother, and constant drunken nights has hotel employee Iris (Salvador) attending to all his needs.

Answers only open up more questions and the two find themselves more involved in decisions that will impact their future.

The movie can raise a banner of success being a product of three different countries — Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Philippines — where cultures of each find their way into the story.

Given Hong Kong's cultural history, with heavy influences from mainland China and former colonizers the United Kingdom, it's admirable to see Filipino and Thai culture get moments to shine.

Metawin and Salvador individually are gems to watch; the former definitely carrying his charm from popular series like "2Gether" and "Devil Sister" into the big screen.

Having been acting for over a decade, Salvador clearly comes off as the better actor, with even the slightest facial expressions and gestures eliciting a warm response.

Related: Janella Salvador, Win Metawin did intimacy workshops before shooting new film

Their chemistry together does take a while to build which can frustrating at times, especially when Bernardo's signature twist kicks in and placing a lot on the two actors to make it pay off.

Story dips aside, the best feature of "Under Parallel Skies" is showing different sides of Hong Kong that tourists may not be too familiar with.

Locations like Disneyland and Lan Kwai Fong are obviously mentioned, but the film chooses to venture into lesser-known spaces like Iris taking Parin to Little Thailand and the fishing town of Tai O.

A huge chunk of the film takes place on the island of Peng Chau, an environment that heavily contrasts the commonly commercial image people have of Hong Kong.

It is on Peng Chau where the movie's most intimate moments take place, and the island's quiet nature allows for more deeper contemplation, as Metawin's character often does.

"Under Parallel Skies" may fall on the wrong end of typical romantic-comedies, but it earns praise by taking audiences to places they'll one day dream of going, which is impressive for a popular destination like Hong Kong.

RELATED: Janella Salvador, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo share 'relatable' Philippine, Thai showbiz similarities

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