Nine months ago, Blade decided to release their second feature film "12 Days to Destiny" direct to YouTube, instead of in movie theaters. Since its debut, it has now garnered an impressive record of 2.7 million views. During this pandemic summer, Blade has released the sequel to the love story of Daniel and Camille entitled "The Next 12 Days," split into two parts. Part 1 was released last May 8 and has now garnered more than 190,000 views to date. Part 2 was released last May 15 and so far earned more than 100,000 views in three days.
In Part 1, Daniel (Akihiro Blanco) and Camille (Mary Joy Apostol) face a big challenge of their love affair. Daniel received a "once-in-a lifetime" job offer to work in Cebu City, to which Camille reluctantly agreed. However, when this further led to another opportunity for Daniel to fulfill a childhood dream of working for Ferrari in Dubai, Camille felt she cannot accept being in such a long-distance relationship.
In Part 2, Camille decided to leave Daniel and fly back to her parents in Australia because she felt very bitter for what she felt was Daniel's inconsiderate selfishness. One year later, she came back to her home in Manila with another young man Derek (Stacey Balagtas). However, chance would have it that Derek would be working on the same project as Daniel. This coincidence forced the paths of Daniel and Camille to cross with each other again.
Part 1 was just a middle episode to bridge the first movie with the third with a major problem that would crop up between the two lovers. There was still Daniel's ex Cathreen to throw in that proverbial wrench between them. Daniel and Camille in this part were only talking on the phone about topics that portended doom. The dynamics of the couple felt like trouble from the start. For example, a girl expect her boyfriend to recall where they went on Day #40 of their relationship -- absolutely crazy.
Part 2, Camille would be in an angry mood practically throughout this whole film as the very presence of Daniel triggered her. Of course, the crafty scriptwriter made sure they would still run into each other several times over -- the forced serendipity of which can be annoying. However, there was that important revelation which was obviously being withheld which kept you from abandoning it. I felt that the emotional twists and turns of the story which led to that revelation was actually well-executed by director CJ Santos, and performed by the actors.
Blanco and Apostol were the most experienced actors in the cast, and both were able to do what was expected from them as the romantic leads. Kathryn Bernardo-lookalike Carissa Viaje (her character's name Cathreen is a play on this resemblance) was able to deliver better than how she did in the first film. Bridge Martin did well in her portrayal of Camille's grandmother Lola Bridge, who played a crucial role in Part 2. The other young actors were obviously newcomers who were still very conscious in front of the camera.
Overall, compared to the first film, there was note of improvement in the development of the story and the quality of production values, like cinematography and editing. There were still some product placement of Blade stores and items, but not as much as before anymore. Maybe without the silly Mark (Xander Pineda) and Mang Balot (Jansen Altamirano) filler scenes, the plot of two parts could really have been distilled and told in only one film.
Digital filmmakers could possibly go as long as they want as long as their budget permits, but their main story must not get drowned out by all the extras.
This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."