100 Tula Para kay Stella: Why it matters and how it doesn’t

The anticipation is undeniably fervid as the trailer set expectations. With the film showcasing poetry as its main subject, the Artidote and Lang Leav generation is bound to swoon, clinging onto the notion of how romantic poetry can be, and of course, JC Santos.

100 Tula Para kay Stella stretches the rod of conviction—but its hooks fail to really sink in to reach the indispensable depth it could’ve achieved. It is entertaining, to say the least, but beware—for the film is simply not served to fit everyone’s tastes, nor to satisfy the appetite we all had for it.

The narrative of poetry in the film’s plot is commendable; however, it lacks a unique and unusual storyline to suffice the prospects of oddity from the trailer. Even the connections among the characters aren’t established enough, leading to sudden awkward transitions that take away any proper flow from the film as it incoherently leaps from one perspective to another, therefore leaving weak support in minor details—which could have been brilliant if only it was executed systematically.

The layers aren’t any better, or even any good, although the strained inclusion of capitalism and OPM dilemmas prove that this film has something more to offer than romance—

but it’s not convincing nor impactful enough as it’s not accentuated thoroughly. The events are abrupt and disconnected to its relative settlements whereas the cinematography, like the character development, is quite stagnant overall.

Fidel (JC Santos) and Stella (Bella Padilla) have a fast-paced and inharmonious chemistry, but they managed to capture the viewers’ emotion. Unexpectedly, the film establishes an attachment to the two main actors that the settlement of conflict between them releases profound emotional relatability, but still feels mainstream and cliché. Nevertheless, JC Santos and Bella Padilla’s executed their characters well despite how their characters were written.

Obviously, this film does not suit those expecting something of deeper substance. Charming yet flawed—100 Tula Para kay Stella strives to conceal its inadequacy through its charm. Unfortunately, it’s not just charm that matters.