Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The magic of Mara Clara

I decided to watch Mara Clara last night after seeing this girl on YouTube (shared by Raymond Santos via Facebook) over the weekend:

Crazy, right? Of course Mara couldn't be dead. Like what the crying girl's sister said, she's the protagonist after all. So I'm just waiting for the twist to be revealed. My Bibe has a theory: she suspects the burnt victim was Nenita. But where could Mara be? Was she whisked away by someone who's got eyes on her, and then she falls into a coma then wakes up having amnesia? Sounds familiar? Martha Cecilia's Kristine, anyone?

When ABS-CBN announced that this soap would be remade, I was pessimistic, thinking it wouldn't fly. But alas, it's a top-rater! The magic that catapulted Judy Ann Santos into stardom is very much alive!

I actually find myself watching Mara Clara from time to time. Unlike the original, the remake is more fast-paced. There's a lot happening all the time. Case in point: what took five years in the original took only a couple of months in today's version - the revelation of the true identities of Mara and Clara. What a huge difference! And there wasn't much big a fuss about the "diary" here.

Kathryn Bernardo as Mara (left), and Julia Montes as Clara (right)

The writers were able to give the story a fresh take, a main reason, I think, for its current success. Kathryn Bernardo's Mara, for instance, is a bit of a palaban here, much more assertive than Judy Ann's api-apihan portrayal. And they've "humanized" Clara (Julia Montes). She's no longer that inside-and-out evil-doer I remember of Gladys Reyes. Instead, you see Clara's vulnerabilities, her pain, her longing for attention and love, and her tears. And she's prettier, too.

The cast is generally good, most notably Mylene Dizon. She's such an underrated actress but she's really good. Her restrained performance is spot on! And of course Gina PareƱo. Jong Hilario is also good but I wished they had cast someone better-looking because I don't see any competition with Bobby Andrews. I mean, seriously, Alvira fell for Gary?

Anyway, let's just wait and see when Mara is going to resurface. And I hope there's a part 2 video of that crying fanatic. I wanna see her reaction to scenes of Mara's wake.

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