I first heard about Kita Kita among my social media friends. I had no clue what the movie was about while seeing the title multiple times on my timeline, and I was brought to curiosity to watch it after seeing a couple of good reviews on the film. It turns out that my friends are right about the movie. I absolutely love it to the point that it has become one of my favorite all-time films and I can see myself watching it multiple times once it is aired in cable movie channels.
I honestly admit that it is rare for me to appreciate a movie (especially a Filipino one) that everyone adores or talks about. Movies that are widely advertised, mass-budgeted or simply known by many do not usually impress me due to cliches, but there are lots of aspects in Kita Kita that turns it into an exception. Its lightheartedness (although the end is rather tragic), unexpected twists, comedy vibes, romantic chills, Japanese serene and picturesque landscapes and emotional mixture of tears and frustration are the obvious signs that make Kita Kita worth being appreciated by the masses. However, there is more to this masterpiece that makes it more than appreciable.
Kita Kita is about two individuals destined to cross their paths. One of them is a woman who becomes temporarily blind due to stress and heartbreaks, and another is a hilarious man who, after having been suffered by heartbreak, moves to Sapporo to start his life anew. However, they did not have a slight chance to know each other well given the fact that Lea (played by Alessandra de Rossi) was blind when she knew Tonyo (played by Empoy Marquez), who died at the same moment Lea regained her eyesight. It is interesting to see how their lives intertwine with their same sets of experiences and their multiple path-crossings. The film maker has done an excellent job in drawing parallels of these characters’ similarities in experiences and coincidental encounters, thus the definition of soulmate. However, the tragic ending implies that soul mates do not usually end together for some reason, no matter how many times their paths have crossed.
Another plus-point about Kita Kita is its acting. Empoy Marquez carried the entire ambiance of the film due to his hilarious nature and pick-up lines, and he portrays his character excellently to the point that the masses now consider “funny” as the new “handsome.” Similarly, Alessandra de Rossi managed to bring her acting to a higher level even though I am not a big fan of her. The AlEmpoy pairing have a good chemistry and it is nothing similar to cliched love teams of two good-looking people. Instead, a not-so-physically-appealing man is paired with a gorgeous woman who is inches taller than he is.
Thirdly, the movie title itself is eye-catching in a way it can be seen as a pun or a play on words depending on how the entire expression is pronounced (you will understand if you are a Filipino and speak Tagalog). “Kita Kita” can either mean “I see you” (which is the literal translation of the title) or “I saw you” implying Tonyo’s pursuit to Lea, or how Lea, blind, sees the world using Tonyo as her own eyes (here, “you” refers to the world Lea sees through Tonyo, including the latter mentioned person). Or it can also mean “see you again” or “see you some other time”, which implies a glimpse of hope that Lea will meet Tonyo in a different time and place in a different person or eventually when she goes to heaven. Another interesting aspect in this movie is the fact that it gives a literal picture of the famous quote “love is blind”, wherein the blind Lea falls for Tonyo without knowing what he looks like.
“Eh, ano kung bulag ka, ako naman ang magsisilbing mata mo eh.”
Translation: “So what if you’re blind? I will serve as your eyes.”
Last but not the least, Kita Kita never fails to teach us life lessons although it may be done implicitly. It shows that it is possible for two people to fall in love without involving physical attraction and that personality conquers all when it comes to looking for a relationship. Yet the most important lesson in this film (in my opinion) is to make the most of our time with our loved ones before they are taken away. We never know when this will happen, which is why it is highly important to show them kindness and compassion and to find time for them as long as we have the option to. Lea and Tonyo never had a chance to know each other deeply, yet Lea wished that she could have known Tonyo well enough. But then, Lea had no choice because she was blind when she knew him. Given that we are not in her situation (well if you are then you will not be able to read this entry), we need to make the most of our chance to be available to our loved ones as much as we can.
It is overall an entertaining romantic comedy movie that keeps the audience tuned from beginning to end. An enormous thumbs up for this timeless and unforgettable masterpiece.
“Noong nakakakita ka, ‘di mo ako nakita.
Nang mabulag ka, doon mo lang ako nakita.”
Title (translated) I See You
Release Date July 19, 2017
Directed By Sigrid Andrea Bernardo
Starring Alessandra de Rossi, Empoy Marquez
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Length 84 min
A temporarily blind woman gradually falls in love with her hilarious fellow Filipino neighbor in Sapporo as she finds comfort in him while he in turn, serves as her eyes to see the world.
Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)