MJ Gonzales│Gogagah.com

On February 3, the alternative film Lakbay2Love starring Solenn Heussaff and Dennis Trillo will be show in the local theaters.  Though it also has romantic angle, the movie generally is one-of-a-kind especially it also considered an advocacy film that ignite audience to try travel, environmental activities, and biking.

Lakbay2love dennis trillo and solenn heussaff
Credit: Facebook.com/Lakbay2Love

Fortunately, I was invited for the special screening of this film where Director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil and Filipino biker groups were also present to explain and answer questions.  Thus, that movie time became a little bit especially because audience got entertainment and experience personal interaction with people behind Lakbay2Love.

Overview. Heussaff plays videographer Lianne who’s commissioned together with her friend (portrayed by funny Patricia Ismael) to cover feature story about environment. There they meet biker and forester Jay-R (Dennis), who helps them to discover magnificent forests in the Philippines and learn various biking 101s. However this journey is not only about work and advocacy for Lianne and Jay-R as their personal lives intertwined with Macky (Pinoy Big Brother ex housemate Kit Thompson).

Director’s Notes.  Direct Marfil shared that Dennis is into biking for real and Solenn was such a trooper. She added that her actors had no qualms in going to various far outdoor locations and doing physically-challenging activities.  It took them seven months to finish this film including 14 shooting days when Dennis and Solenn were free from their other commitments.  For the My Faithful Husband actor, doing this movie was both work and pleasure because he’s into biking during his day offs.

On the other note, Marfil explained that she did different approaches in doing Lakbay2Love. They keep on developing the script even when they already started shooting scenes as they also discovered interesting people, things and places along the way.

Review: Sure that Lakbay2Love revolves around biking and forests, but it’s not boring even if you’re not a biker and environmentalist.  The movie captures the realities that no matter what you pursue even that’s about money for now; you’ll end up doing what you love in the future.  Apart from this, it showcases inviting forests good that are good in travel adventures such as La Mesa Ecopark (the only existing forest within Metro Manila), Mt. Maranat, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Balagbag, and Benguet. For me, these forests add great artistic value

Meanwhile, Solenn realistically portrays her role that you can compare her acting to some actresses in Hollywood independent films. If this is not the best acting performance, you would notice that she becomes different person in humanizing Lianne. Same with Dennis, he appears so natural in all his scenes. Meantime, if Ismael effectively adds comedic flavor; then Thompson spices up the movie with his refreshing performance and handsome face.

Trivia:

  • Marfil is an internationally acclaimed director, writer and producer of alternative films Boses (Voices) and Pusang Gala (Stray Cats).
  • As known singers too, Solenn has two songs in Lakbay2Love soundtrack such as “Kilig” and her duet song with Dennis, their own version of Eraserheads’ Overdrive. Kai Honasan’s Liwanag is also part of this album.
  • Different environmental-friendly bodies support this film like 7-Eleven, La Mesa Ecopark, Timberland heights,  the  Cordillera Conservation Trust, and biker group  Firefly Brigade.
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