REVIEW: Angelica and Carlo exude strong chemistry in Exes Baggage

In Exes Baggage, Angelica Panganiban plays a real-estate broker named Pia while Carlo Aquino is cast as a furniture designer Nix.


Exes Baggage is an authentic look at how insecurities and jealousy can chip away at even the most loving relationships.

Angelica Panganiban and Carlo Aquino, who are actually exes in real life, bring life to two individuals dealing with emotional baggage from their previous relationships.

The Dan Villegas-directed movie shows the deterioration of a relationship in such excruciating detail such that it might dampen a viewer’s belief in eternal love.

Exes Baggage tells the story of Nix (Carlo Aquino) and Pia, exes who met in a bar after breaking up years ago. The two recall their past struggles, and try to come to an understanding about how they fit together in the present.


THE GOOD.


The beauty of Exes Baggage is that the issues presented in Nix and Pia’s relationship are not as gigantic as those presented in other tragic romantic movies. There are no meddling exes, no overbearing parents, fatal accidents or diseases, or unknown familial connections.

The problems, instead, are internal. Pia doubted that Nix was over his ex, and she resented that he kept working with her. Pia also thought that she fell short of the standard set by this previous ex, and so she felt that Nix did not really love her.

Nix, on the other hand, resented that Pia always prioritized her work over him. He also hated that she seemed insecure most of the time, even if he made sure to show how much he loved her.

These shouldn’t be relationship-breaking problems, in retrospect. These could have easily been solved if the two were honest with each other, so they could have resolved them before the issue blew up to giant proportions.

But open communication is the characteristic of a flawless relationship, something that is entirely impossible, even in real life. It's hard to tell your partner everything in your head.

Most of the time, you think that keeping your discomfort to yourself is what’s best for the relationship. But this secret doubt would continue to gnaw and gnaw at you, until it becomes intolerable and it manifests as a bigger problem.

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And because Nix and Pia’s story is closely like what happens in real life relationships, it is hugely affecting. Watching the movie can feel traumatic, at times, making you fear for your current relationship. Will it end like Nix and Pia? Can my baggage be as heavy, too?


THE BAD.


While Exes Baggage is a relatable and affecting film, it still feels too familiar at times. It follows similar structures of breakup movies in the past months.

It only feels fresh because of the brilliance of the lead actors. Angelica Panganiban lends her usual wit and candor to her Pia, and Carlo Aquino embodies a quiet confidence with his Nix.


THE WORTHY.


Ultimately, Exes Baggage is formulaic but it still feels current because of the strong chemistry between the CarGel tandem of Angelica and Carlo.

While the film deals with more pain than love, it still makes for a memorable and impactful watch because there’s lessons to be learned here about honesty and being more sensitive to your partner.

Exes Baggage is rated PG by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and Graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board.


Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial staff.








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