On the surface, Prinsesang Gusgusin (Regal Films, Inc.) appears as a run of the mill romance movie. A host of the country's young performers comprise the love angle in a typical fairytale romance. There are the staple accoutrements of the genre however, despite this rather stereotypical mix of plot, characters and events, the film succeeds in that it provides a rather refreshing take on what it means to be a princess. Auring (Lotlot de Leon) has a mission, to win the heart of Andro (Jonjon Hernandez), the young man she loves. Working within the confines of the romance genre, Prinsesang Gusgusin triumphs in the characterization of our young heroine. She is a typical teenager with teenage concerns and angst, coupled with the fact that she is poor. What she lacks in material things, she makes up for in kindness in that she is willing to do anything for her beloved. Auring is a diligent, hardworking young woman who at the same time is a conscientious and intelligent student. It is in Auring's capacity to overcome the temptations and vagaries of youth, in her effort to educate herself out of poverty. The predicament is not poverty in its abstract sense, but the material conditions bred by this dispossession, a vital aspect of which is the intimate longing to love, to release those dams of feeling that is held at bay. Auring cannot afford to culture what is made to appear a natural disposition because the said conditions militate against it, or at least restrain its indulgence. The pursuit is consequently deferred, it is in fact such such deferral that frustrates certain expectations for the romantic resolution to return to normalcy and thus transforms facile enamoration into an exasperation of sorts, the film shifts its gears unhurriedly as if love is painfully protracted, defended against the delusion of unconditional devotion.
It is deferral that fulfills the promise of cinema as both annunciation and anticipation. Implicated in this suspension are the people around Auring, her mother Alvina (Nida Blanca), admirers Bernard (Dranreb Belleza) and Jackie (Anjo Yllana) and Andro, the beloved. Integral to the narrative's humanist inclination is Auring's ethic but this success is verisimilarly delayed, in step with her sentimental romance. While the restoration of conflicted love to its harmonious ideal is de riguer in the genre of romance in popular cinema, all is not lost in terms of the potential of an alternative mode of restoring it. For it is not solely the restoration that must inform the critique of film, but the restorative gesture, and that romance is not necessarily the fulcrum on which the freight of affection strives for poise. The romantic possibility in the face of lovelessness, indeed the initiation into love amid the despair nurtured by social inequity might be the proper axis. Prinsesang Gusgusin is appreciated to the degree that it resists the temptation merely to repeat the script of restoration so that it could work through the romantic process. The plot is from a distance barren. But inasmuch as the screenplay is attentive to the details of emergence, the landscape fluorishes in the course of the viewing experience. Prinsesang Gusgusin ends with what most of us yearn in life, a happy ever after.
Directed By: Mario O'Hara
Screenplay: Pablo S. Gomez
Directors Of Photography Johnny Araojo And Romulo Araojo
Musical Director: Jaime Fabregas
Film Editor: Efren Jarlego
Production Design: Frank Rivera
Produced By: Regal Films, Inc.
Release Date: February 5, 1987
Release Date: February 5, 1987