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Manila, Philippines

This is How 'Elise' Challenged Our Local Mainstream Romcom

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Light spoilers ahead!

Photo courtesy to Regal Films

You know, I was never a fan of movies made locally, especially romantic comedies.

Filipino movies that always hit the big screens and earn the biggest bucks always had a popular loveteam, all good-looking main characters, a funny non-good-looking character, with the most cliche storyline and corny lines.

But Elise challenged the game.

This movie did not have a happy ending like Popoy and Basha. However, it does have a peaceful ending. This will make you consider that growing old together is not the only happy ending that can happen to our own fairy tale.

Elise is a movie about the story of Bert (Enchong Dee) and Elise (Janine Gutierrez). The movie began with a grown-up Bert riding a bus to their province in San Miguel, and was soon woken up by the conductor as Bert already reached his destination. This never happens in real life, the last time I slept on public transportation, I was lost.

Courtesy to The Detour

Elise is a film about first love.

The main characters may have grown apart, but we are all living in a small world, and soon they reunited. They both met other people but we all know that there will always be that one special person who will be compared to all of the people we’ll meet, and we’ve met. For Bert and Elise, that person is each other. This doesn’t exclusively happen to first loves. That person we compare to almost everybody can be our best love, the love of our life, or the one that got away.

I guess Elise is not just about first love. It is about the purest form of love that we had in our lives. This movie presented how pure love can affect a person even without their physical presence beside them. It is how Bert is still happy and grateful with all of their memories together.

Why Für Elise?

Throughout the movie, the one occurring thing that I noticed is that Für Elise kept on playing whenever Elise is going to make an appearance. I asked myself what is the meaning or if it even has a meaning being played at certain points.

One characteristic of Bert (Enchong Dee) is that his handwriting is ugly.

Exhibit A

Photo courtesy to Regal Films

Exhibit B

Photo courtesy to Regal Films

Composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Für Elise means ‘For Elise’, but the theory is that the composition is not meant for Elise, but for Therese. It was said that due to Beethoven’s indecipherable handwriting, Therese looked like Elise and was mistranslated.

This is just a theory, but I would love to know if director Joel Ferrer had placed this easter egg purposely.

Overall, I liked how the story of Bert and Elise was narrated throughout the movie. Director Joel Ferrer implemented a non-linear narrative, wherein events happening in the movie doesn’t happen chronologically as it was shown on the screen. This technique used in the film really exhibited the director’s vision of telling the story of Bert and Elise. There will be clues given on each timeline and the audience will be left wondering all the time, unlike the movies that can be easily predicted. You better chill before the movie so you can focus on watching.

'Elise' is available for streaming on Netflix Philippines.


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