Aside from a gag-worthy story and top-tier acting, A Very Good Girl also touches upon very real issues and concerns in society.
Spoilers for A Very Good Girl ahead.
By the first five minutes of the movie, you can already tell that A Very Good Girl is going to be something special. Led by knockout performances from Kathryn Bernardo and Dolly de Leon and a story that went from drama to camp and back, the movie didn’t pull its punches when it came to telling an all-too-real tale of a young woman who was mistreated by the world.
It’s serious, funny, and heartbreaking all in one as it follows the story of Philo on her quest for revenge against business tycoon Molly for inadvertently destroying her life and family. Aside from the inherent entertainment value, the Petersen Vargas-directed movie was a two-hour exploration of how imbalanced society is and the lengths some are willing to go to just to get what they want. Here are a few life lessons and hard truths we took from the Star Cinema blockbuster.
JUSTICE IS SADLY EXPENSIVE
A Very Good Girl isn’t coy about depicting the struggles of the main character Philo. After being abruptly fired by Molly and blacklisted from the industry, Philo is seemingly left without any other option to make a living. Her mom decides to take matters into her own hands and asks Molly for Philo’s job back, all to the pleas of her daughter to not do so. Sadly, her mom gets run over by a truck, and Molly leaves Philo to mourn over her mom’s death.
Even as Philo enacts her revenge on Molly, she’s stopped from giving the final blow as Molly finds new ways to escape justice through her influence or the system itself. A core pillar of the film is how you can warp life around you to suit your needs with enough power even if you don’t deserve it. Philo’s justice did not come cheap, and it’s a reflection of how many people in the country can’t get justice because of the power imbalance in society.
Only those with resources can seemingly get what they want as the rest struggle or just move on with their lives. The movie makes a point to show how the system can be and is often unjust and unfair to those who need it the most.
THERE’S POWER IN THE BOND BETWEEN A MOTHER AND HER DAUGHTER
A central theme of A Very Good Girl is the effect a mother-daughter relationship can have on both parties involved. Philo’s revenge plot is mainly driven by the death of her mom while Mother Molly builds that form of relationship with Philo, especially after she was stabbed to save Molly’s life. The maternal relationship gets the spotlight.
Mothers would do anything for their daughters and vice versa, and the film does a fine job of depicting how lives can get turned upside down because of this dynamic. There’s an inherent beauty and healing energy in a mother-daughter bond, but it can also be manipulated when embraced with the wrong intentions.
REVENGE CAN CORRUPT YOU
After being left out to dry by the world, Philo reinvents her entire life as she embarks on her quest to crumble Molly and her empire. But while Philo has just reasons to do so, her journey to take Molly down leaves scars on both sides. As Philo embeds herself deeper into Molly’s world, she inadvertently affects her well-being, as seen in spending nearly all her savings to pay for Molly’s birthday party, as well as that of her best friend Karen.
Not only were the people Philo was closest to got caught in the crossfire, but so too did she as she started to become the very thing she hated. Philo’s life ended up getting consumed by Molly. But it doesn’t always have to be that way, which is why the movie ended with Philo refusing to kill Molly and walking away because she knew that she was nothing like Molly and doing so would turn her into the monster she wanted to end.
TBH, the ending had similar vibes to the ending of The Devil Wears Prada where Andy decides to walk away from Miranda. Both obviously fall under different scenarios but touch on the same idea of the lead protagonist realizing that they are their own person.
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST
Like with many things in this world, trust doesn’t always come easy. Giving your trust to someone is a sacred thing that can sadly be used as ammunition to bring people down. In the same way that Philo was using Molly’s trust to end her, so too was Molly when she figured out that Philo was playing her.
The plot twist of Rigel, played to perfection by Kaori Oinuma, being a paid spy for Molly will go down as one of the best twists in modern Philippine cinema. But it also shows how something as treasured as trust can be twisted so easily. While this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust anyone, it is a reminder to make sure that the people you give your trust to are the right ones.