Warning: May contain spoilers.
After his two-year absence in the Metro Manila Film Festival, TV personality and comedian Vice Ganda finally went back into the movie screens with comedy-parody film Partners in Crime.
It is undeniable that the Kapamilya host has captured the hearts of many Filipinos because of his wit and humor in the noontime show It’s Showtime and the rest of his TV series and films.
Most of Vice Ganda’s MMFF entries were blockbuster hits as fans persistently lined up each year to witness the comedian’s work of art.
In this year’s entry, Vice Ganda takes the role of “Jack Cayanan,” a TV show host while Youtube sexy star Ivana Alawi performs as “Barbara Nicole Rose Albano.” Barbara is Jack’s former partner in his previous gigs prior to his TV career.
Partners in Crime at a glance
The film revolves around the story of Jack and Rose, whose friendship had been tampered due to past misunderstandings. While Jack struggles with a swollen throat due to being overworked, his production team hired Rose to partner with him in the hopes of rescuing their declining ratings.
In an attempt to get an exclusive story, the pair finds themselves stuck in a murder mystery that paved the way for Jack and Rose to rebuild their friendship.
Present themes in Partners in Crime
Friendship and partnership
Jack and Rose’s friendship started with a partnership as they paired with each other to earn money through Jack’s sideline gigs. Their relationship blossomed due to the chemistry and connection the two of them shared, especially when hosting parties and pageants.
One of the film’s primary dilemmas is the disintegrated relationship of the two leads that prevents them from performing well as TV show partners five years after their friendship ended.
The film tried to show the struggle between two friends who are co-workers. But it failed to intricately show the characters’ development arc after the conflicts they’ve experienced.
Trust and forgiveness
Rose found it difficult to trust Jack again after being betrayed in the past. However, the film showed that despite deception, it is not impossible for someone to trust other people again, especially when other parties have laid out their sincere apologies.
Jack and Rose were able to fix their connection when Rose learned to trust him again after he provided Rose with an assurance that he will be a better friend and partner to her moving forward.
The importance of family
This theme was showcased in three different contexts — a well-functioning family, a sense of family found in friends, and a dysfunctional family.
Jack had a healthy connection with his family, especially with his father, as seen in the film. Although not expounded, this relationship became his support system in his career.
On the other hand, Jack also found a sense of belonging in the arms of his friends who had always been by his side even amidst adversities.
The last context was a dysfunctional family portrayed by Don Bill’s children. Although Don Bill was neglectful of his kids, they were seen grieving over their father’s demise.
Greed as a theme radiated from three personas in the film — Jack, Rose, and Don Bill. Both Jack and Rose centered on their careers.
Rose’s greed was shown in her revenge attempt to dethrone and snatch Jack’s TV show to get even from the betrayal she experienced. Meanwhile, Jack exhibited greed in his intent of taking advantage of the Don Bill murder situation to accelerate his career.
Don Bill was considered the wealthiest man in the film’s setting. Because of his greed in maintaining and showcasing his wealth, he fell deep in debt to finance his extravagant birthday party.
In the film’s denouement, both protagonists overcame their greed, with Jack and Rose dropping their corrupt objectives.
Where Partners in Crime fails
Without doubt, Partners in Crime achieved its goal of making its target audience laugh. Packed with humorous lines and comical facial expressions and gestures, movie-goers will share tons of giggles from start to finish.
However, the film failed to expound its themes, which would have been the movie’s edge against its competitors. Instead, it focused on filling the scenes with humor, including jokes that may be deemed inappropriate for young viewers.
Alawi was also objectified countless times in the film, which could strengthen the existing stereotypes and discrimination against women in the Philippines. There were also unsuitable gestures in Partners in Crime, such as the subtle display of sex positions between Alawi and Vice Ganda.
Although these indications were mainly attempts for a comedic relief, this does not justify its inclusion in the film as these scenes are unfitting for a PG-13 movie.
Banner courtesy: Screengrab from Partners in Crime’s official trailer