follow us on

5 Remarkable Elements In AlEmpoy’s "Walang KaParis"

The successful “Kita Kita” combo of Alessandra de Rossi, Empoy Marquez, and writer-director Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo returns with a romantic drama that tugs at the heartstrings

If Hokkaido was the romantic venue for the first Alempoy (Alessandra-Empoy) movie, this time around, we get the City of Lights and Love, Paris, in Walang KaParis.

With Paris as the setting, it’s off to a promising start for the unexpected tandem.  Jojo/Joseph (Empoy Marquez) is a hardworking artist and a mime in Paris who seems to have irrationally captured the interest and attention of a lovely lady named Mary/Marie (Alessandra de Rossi) one fine day in the romantic city.

Marie claims to be the mysterious face on the painting that Jojo worked on and wondered about. What follows is a funny, flirtatious chase and pursuit that transpire between the odd pair while wandering the scenic streets of Paris.

Don’t be deceived though. While the tandem of Alessandra and Empoy made a mark as a funny and unlikely couple on Kita Kita, this movie takes a serious turn and is actually packaged as a romantic drama instead of a romantic comedy.

In fact, at the end credits of the movie, a line appears saying, “A film inspired by forgotten feelings.” As the writer-director of the film, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo confessed that some of the events were inspired by personal experience and it all started from there.

Metro.Style listed down unforgettable moments in the movie. These are the visible anchors for the Walang KaParis storytelling.

Alessandra and Empoy’s peculiar but satisfying chemistry.

One of the strengths of the movie is the unusual but adorable chemistry of the lead actors. Their comedic timing and the way they effortlessly feed off each other’s humor and energy are quite unique to Alessandra and Empoy. In fact, there are some scenes in the movie which felt like real life laugh-out-loud moments between the two. Alessandra enthralls you with her model-esque beauty and Empoy, who we meet early in this movie sans facial hair, almost tricked us and thought he could pass off as Paulo Avelino, “sa biglang tingin.” Empoy is a case study that shows he can carry a movie and break the mold of the usual leading man. Their chemistry is so good they can actually opt not to use “atiklaham,” the anagram of “mahal kita,” as it made things too contrived.

The romantic cities of Paris and Baguio.

There’s something about cold cities, coats, jackets, and scarves that warm the heart. We first encounter Jojo and Mary in the picturesque Paris, looking like regular urban dwellers, a bit more sophisticated with their outfits and hairstyles. When you think of Paris, you don’t just of think of romance, it’s also a city that celebrates art. Direk Sigrid Andrea Bernardo and the cinematographer framed the Paris scenes so well, it can rival Before Sunset’s stunning visuals. The flashbacks set in Baguio City are equally lovely with the breathtaking landscape as a stunning background to the colorful back story of the duo. Direk Sigrid Andrea Bernardo says that they chose those places because whenever people think of the most romantic place in Europe, people say it’s Paris. While Baguio is considered by most people as the most romantic place in the Philippines.

Rey Valera’s “Walang Kapalit, 

Perhaps one of the film’s heart-melting elements and something that tugs at the heartstrings is how well the OPM song “Walang Kapalit” by Rey Valera (in a rendition by KZ Tandingan for the film) was used as a device for the couple’s love story. The song lines reflect the overall sad, beautiful, tragic part of Jojo and Marie, nah, Joseph and Mary. Watch the movie and you’ll find yourself in LSS mode or crying over these lyrics:

At kung hindi man dumating sa’kin ang panahon na ako ay mahalin mo rin

Asahan mong ’di ako magdaramdam

Kahit ako ay nasasaktan

’Wag mo lang ipagkait na ikaw ay aking mahalin

Direk Sigrid Andrea remarks, “Gusto ko talaga na Pinoy [song] naman. Last time (sa Kita Kita), “Two Less Lonely People in the World.” At saka tamang-tama iyong kanta talaga sa film. Kaya mo bang magmahal na wala kang hinihintay na kapalit?” 

The “Kita Kita” reference.

Direk Sigrid Andrea shared that she did pay homage to Alempoy’s hit movie Kita Kita since she already expected that both movies will be compared. A scene featuring the torii gate of Baguio’s Mirador Heritage and Eco-Spirituality Park in the movie is actually a direct reference to a famous scene of Kita Kita so fans of that movie will have an awesome easter egg moment. Do watch out for it.

The heartbreaking plot twist.

As a viewer, the parallelism of the Paris and Baguio scenes between Jojo and Marie provide clues on how the story is about to go. Since it’s described as a romantic drama, this is a bit heavier than Kita Kita and called for Alessandra and Empoy to have their comedic sides take a backseat on some scenes. The plot twist is gut-wrenching… but only if you don’t follow the cinematic cues and clues (the burger, the coffee painting, the pantomime skills, Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” etc.), and if you haven’t watched Takeru Satoh’s Japanese drama First Love which also bears the same plot twist. To be fair, Walang KaParis was produced long before that J-Drama except it was released ahead of this local project. Timing is truly everything.

All in all, Walang KaPARIS is a good follow-up to Alessandra and Empoy’s Kita Kita, enabling the stars to show that they’re more than just their funny chemistry and that they can induce tears if they choose to do so.

With Paris and Baguio in the background, it’s hard to tear off your eyes away from the screen, too, as it’s visually stunning. Stay tuned for a cameo by a Golden Globe nominee too! Walang KaPARIS is worth watching on a quiet night at home and when you’re in the mood to go on a romantic drama journey with an onscreen tandem you’ll surely adore. 

 This new Filipino Amazon Original movie is now available, only on Prime Video.

Lead photo from @primevideoph and background photo from Pexels