In Focus: Distance

After doing My Fairy Tail Love Story and #ParangNormal Activity, Perci Intalan finally tries his hand at drama. Executive-produced by his husband Jun Lana, Distance follows estranged wife Liz (Iza Calzado) as she reunites with her family and struggles to reconnect with her ex husband Anton (Nonie Buencamino) and daughters Karla (Therese Malvar) and Therese (Alessandra Malonzo). Her sudden presence after leaving years ago re-opens old wounds in a household that’s gotten used to her absence.

The movie is quite a slow burn, especially because Liz is such a passive, reclusive character who wallows in the rejection of her daughters and chooses to let things be rather than change them. Yes, she makes a bit of effort, what with her constant cooking and enticements of shopping, but she dodges the inevitable confrontations. With her not giving straight answers and taking too long to open up, we are mostly at a loss until almost the final act of the film as to her reason for leaving her family. Was she sick? Did she have an affair? Did she hate her husband? We’re yearning to know but are only given fragments as clues, until it is revealed that she had a lesbian relationship for which she gave up everything.

This twist helps everything make sense, and only then do we fully understand Liz’s fears and shame, and her hesitation of going all out in earning back her daughters’ love. She made a stand long ago that unfortunately didn’t pan out, and she doesn’t expect forgiveness from them for it. It’s a bit discomforting though that Liz’s sexuality was turned into twist similar to the treatment done in Kasal. Is this becoming a trend? If anything, it does open up conversations.

Nonetheless, the movie is a landmine for its actors with lots of meaty material for them to work with. Iza Calzado and Nonie Buencamino have their moments to shine and give restrained, sensitive performances, but the runaway winner here is Therese Malvar who nails a critical scene in the climax. The rambling of her emotions up to the eventual eruption is a sight to behold. The sky is the limit for this fiery young actress.

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