‘Rewind’ film: Making amends with the past makes the greatest present

There is always a second chance to be better. 

Ayaw mo ba na sabay tayong lumipad?” cries Mary Nuñez (Marian Rivera) at the dining table mid-fight with husband John (Dingdong Dantes). It is not an unusual scene for the couple as they have been in several tussles more than tenderness in their marriage. But what if I tell you this fight did not happen in the first timeline, but the second first time?

Rewind brings together the reel and real-life onscreen tandem of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera (or otherwise known by their love moniker DongYan) in a love story that takes notes from the Jennifer Love Hewitt-billed If Only… (2004), but sprinkled with Catholic and Christian lessons in typical Filipino film fashion. 

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes
The acting skills of the Danteses surprised me the most, even blew me away
Marian Rivera

The story tells of John and Mary, a couple who fell in love as childhood friends and have been married with an only child Austin (Jordan Lim). Like couples who have fallen into complacency, John is laser-focused on his career and puts Mary and Austin on the backburner. But several missteps one evening lead to a fight that takes Mary’s life, and John begs for a second chance, a rewind with God (or “Lods,” as they call him in the film). 

The acting skills of the Danteses surprised me the most, even blew me away, and had me crying buckets from the beginning. Dingdong takes John’s rage and angst to a whole different level. I have to admit that it scared me a bit, but he also ensured that the delivery was not too overblown.

Marian, on the other hand, plays Mary’s submission to a T. Her character is a wife tired of being on the sidelines, and she brings that frustration out well. She lets on a very tender and quiet take on anger, which counteracts the explosiveness of John. 

Sue Ramirez’s short time on screen is memorable as well, which is not surprising since her characters always have that effect on moviegoers like me. She, Ariel Ureta, and Joross Gamboa were my favorite supporting actors, and I felt that they never took up unessential space or dimmed the light of the main characters. 

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes Rewind
If you are hoping for the It’s A Wonderful Life route, this may not be the film for you.

Another performance worth noting was Pepe Herrera as Jess. Though I wish not to reveal the dual role he plays, his name is already a dead giveaway. I love how he goes from terrified to transcendent just by switching facial expressions and his deadpan joke delivery provides comedic relief between the drama. 

Though the plot is predictable (and there is nothing wrong with that!), there is a point toward the end where I was scared they would give in to that hopeful, happy ending. And while I secretly wished for that, I’m glad the film sticks to its guns and delivers the ending we were promised. Sure, it brings the audience to tears but as Lods says, “Diba may deal tayo?” 

Overall, Rewind is indeed a rollercoaster ride. There are miniature plot twists that hold their own and add a little light to the slightly heavy story. Tender, heartfelt performances are indeed present in each of the actors, but do not take away the spotlight from the Danteses. Most of all, lessons about faith and trust chucked towards the audience are not preachy, but are done beautifully. 

On top of that, Ben & Ben elevates the film to new heights with their endearing song Susunod na Habang Buhay. If you are hoping for the It’s A Wonderful Life route, this may not be the film for you. Nevertheless, it’s a great watch to understand how choices shape the future and how there will always be a second chance to be better if you choose to be. 

Perfect for welcoming 2024, don’t you agree?

Catch Rewind in cinemas nationwide. 

The new lifestyle.