Basic Information: Directed: Laurice Guillen; Story: Olivia M. Lamasan; Screenplay: Olivia M. Lamasan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Charito Solis, Bing Loyzaga, Amy Perez, Delia Razon, Ruby Rodriguez, Joonee Gamboa, Johnny Wilson, Vivian Foz, Jinky Oda, Terence Baylon, Bennette Ignacio, Eddie Albert Ramos, Lorli Villanueva; Executive producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.; Cinematography: Eduardo Jacinto; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Production Design: Edgar Martin Littaua; Sound: Gaudencio Barredo
The Plot: Atty. Mike Esquivel (Christopher De Leon) is a very successful lawyer who feels he has everything and the world is at his feet for the asking. He doesn't know failure and how to deal with it. Mike is married to Celina (Vilma Santos), an equally successful T.V. personality. When Celina gives birth to their firstborn, Mike becomes ecstatic for he is now complete. But as their son grows, the doctor finds he is autistic. Mike is indignant. He cannot accept a feeble minded son as he worries about his reputation like his parents who suggest an institution. The situation is breaking up their ideal marriage for only Celina can understand and love her autistic son unconditionally. - TFC Now (READ MORE)
Film Achievemetns: 1991 FAMAS: Best Actor – Christopher De Leon; Best Child Actor – Terence Baylon; Best Director Nomination – Laurice Guillen; Best Picture; 1991 FAP Best Actor – Christopher De Leon; Best Child Actor – Terence Baylon; Best Editing – Efren Jarlego; Best Picture; Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos; 1991 Gawad Urian Best Actress – Vilma Santos; Best Picture; Best Screenplay – Olivia M. Lamasan; Best Actor Nomination – Christopher De Leon; Best Cinematography Nomination – Eduardo Jacinto; Best Direction Nomination – Laurice Guillen; Best Editing Nomination – Efren Jarlego; Best Production Design Nomination – Edgar Martin Littaua; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Terence Baylon
The Reviews: "...At first, their marriage is close to being one made in heaven. Mike Esquivel (Christopher) is a successful lawyer, while Celina (Vilma) is a popular talkshow hostess. Celina gives up her career to devote fall time as mother to Junjun, the autistic child, played well by both Bennett Ignacio (when Junjun is three years old) and Terence Baylon (when the boy is seven years old). The husband, however, is totally unsympathetic and even considers the child a disgrace. With the wife spending practically all her waking hours to attend to her “special” child, the marriage expectedly begins to crumble. They only give themselves a second chance when Celina finds out that she is again pregnant. The second child – to father Mike’s relief – turns out to be a normal, healthy boy. But with Mike still unable to accept the first child, the marriage is on the rocks once more. The situation worsens when Mike -driven by the abnormal conditions at home and his own self-centeredness – starts an extramarital affair with a balikbayan named Monique (Bing Loyzaga). Finally, a near tragic incident gives Mike another chance to prove himself a worthy husband to Celina and even worthier father to his kids, especially the autistic one. The movie is poignant, nevermushy. It isnotthe run-of-the-mill tearjerker that relies on maudlin theatrics and melodramatic devices to touch the hearts of moviegoers. Surprisingly, despite the frustrating problem facing the movie couple, moviegoers did not seem to be depressed by the movie..." - Butch Francisco (READ MORE)
"What?s the critics said: Payak, makabuluhan ngunit kakaibang pelikula ang ?Ipagpatawad Mo? ng Viva Films. Sapat ngang ipakipaglaban ng Vilma Santos at Christopher de Leon tandem ang paghahanap ng ibang klaseng script na lalo pang mapatingkad sa status nila bilang mga aktor sa makatuturang kahulugan nito. Mapalad sila sa panulat ni Olivia lamasan ng isang story na tumatalakay sa reaksiyon ng isang pamilya sa pagkakaroon ng abnormal na anak. Hinugot ni Ms. Lamasan ang autism syndrome na first time na inilantad sa Pilipino screen, bagamat tinangka na rin itong ipaliwanag sa ?Rain Man? ni Dustin Hoffman sa Hollywood. Sa story, sina Vilma at Christopher ay intelihente (TV broadcaster at lawyer respectively) at matagumpay na indibidwal. Maykaya sila sa buhay ngunit nagkaanak ng autistic. (Ang autism, ayon sa mga modren psychologists na sina Bernard Rimiand at lauretta bender, ay isang uri ng infantile psychosis na kung saan ang sinasapian ay nagwi-withdraw sa reyalidad ng buhay. Nananatili sila sa sariling daigdig na nilikha ng isip at pantasya.) dahil sa autistic child (Edward Carlos Garcia) unti-unting nawasak ang pamilya nina Vilma. Vilma vowed to protect and care for the child because she felt this is the only way a mother can assure herself that everything can be given to the son. (Pinatunayan nga ng pelikula na mas apt ang title na Paano Ba Ang Maging Ina rito kaysa roon sa ginawa ni Nora Aunor). On the other hand, nire-reject ni Chris at ng kanyang family (Delia Razon, et al) ang bata dahil nakababawas ito sa dignidad ng family stature nila. The conflict progresses to give us the different views on how to accept the frailties of people within our family. Para bang kung paano tatanggapin ng magulang na may anak siyang may butas sa puso or worst bakla. The father and mother image were deliberately explored at sa tuwing mag-aaaway sina Vi at Boyet, parang nakikita natin ang ating mga magulang na nagtatalo. the scenes were too real for comfort.
Nadale ng Viva ang kiliti ng masa. Hindi mo nga kailangang bigyan ng heavy stuff ang tao para masabing matino ang pelikula. Tama na nga sa mga politicized films or pa-social relevance. Bugbog na bugbog na ang ganitong tema sa mga diyaryo at sensayunalismo ng TV Patrol ng Channe 2. Mas kinagugusto ng balana ang mga pelikulang nakasentro sa mga karaniwang problema ng tao, lalo na?t may kinalalaman sa ordinaryong relasyong pantao. Napapanahon ang story ng ?Ipagpatawad?. Simple. Natural na pinakilos ng mga tauhan ng dula na halos parang hindi mo namamalayang pelikula lang pala ito. Aakalain mo ngang nakikinood ka lang sa isang scenario sa buhay ng kapitbahay mo. Ganito katindi ang tama ng pelikula sa manonood. This is indeed a very special movie for Boyet and Vi. Santos is again in the running for Best Actress. She was able to sink her teeth to the role of a disturbed mother torn in the love and responsibilities for her husband and the abnormal child. Except for some restless gesticulation of the hands, damang-dama mong buong katawan niya ay nilukuban ng kaakuhan ng role. All her scenes can be considered highlights, because she was consistently good in them. Her duro scene with Boyet was satisfactorily blocked and orchestrated. So far here, Vilma has an edge over Ruffa Gutierrez, Mona Liza, Janice de Belen and Lorna Tolentino in the acting derby next year. De leon was able to regain his acting brilliance in this movie. hindi puwersado. Cool, less facial contortion which became evident in some recent films he made. I like him better here than in ?Salingin? and ?Makiusap sa Diyos?. Nakababagbag-damdamin ?yung paghingi niya ng tawad sa anak. The monologue, which started sa pasakalye to reconcile ended in pained catharsis, that even a man with a heart of stone whould melt in depression. As a team, gamay na gamay na nina Vi at Boyet ang isa?t isa. Actually. sa tender moments nila, you don?t see them as the stars. You are made to believe they were really husbadn and wife.They were too relaxed. Their movements were free and natural. This is really what we call team acting. Walang sapawan.
The movie added more luster with the convincing portrayal of the kids. (Edward Garcia, Bennet Ignacio at Terence Baylon) who played Vi?s children. Special mention dito si Garcia na gumanap na 3-year old Junjun. Ang nuances niya ng ritualistic hand movements and echolalic sppech (symptom ng autism) ay talagang believable. He is not even conscious of the camera. Not to be outdone ay ang great support nina Charito Solis, as the choleric mother of Vi: Joonee gamboa, as the phlegmatic father; Ruby Rodriguez, as the yaya na talagang agaw-eksena, lalo na sa carnival scene; Bing Loyzaga, na mas improved and better version ni Gretchen Barretto sa movie; at Vivian Foz, as the wronged confused sister of Vi. Exceptional din ang cinematography and lighting works ng movie. As usual, expected sa Viva melodrama ang glossy, fabulous setting na nag-capitalized sa affluent house interior. kaya lang, parang di tugma ang theme song ni Janno Gibbs sa story. But more than this, laudable ang script ni Ms. Lamasan. Veritable na may research work ang writer. Dahil na-inform niya nag madla tungkol sa autism na dominant sa mga batang lalaki ngayon. Naipabatid niya na autism is detectable at the first two years, when the child is suffering from hearing and speech impairment In-insinuate din niya na the birth delivery (as specified in the opening scene) can cause oxygen deprivation that may affect the brain development of the child, thus creating immaturity in vasomotor coordination such as hearing, speech and hand movement. nilinaw rin niya na ang emotional refrigeration (yaong rejection nina Chris, Delia at Vivian) can cause the intensification of the disease. However, na-establish din niya ang love and care ng parents (ni Vilma) at sibling (ng kapatid na normal) will be more than enough to push the child to develop little by little. This time Laurice Guillen has hit the pot. The movie turned out to be artistically made and yet the commercial value of it did not suffer. Bumalik na ang aesthetic eye ni Direktora Guillen. Thank God, a film like this comes once in a while to give us enter-educational (learning with pleasure) millieu." - Ces Ysobel Orsal (READ MORE)
"...The 1990s saw Charito Solis graduate to mother and grandmother roles, which she had done with frequency in the 1980s. In another nod to her age, she finally allowed herself to be billed above Vilma Santos, then acknowledged as the Longest-Reigning Box Office Queen of Philippine Movies, albeit above-the-title in films such as Ipagpatawad Mo (1992) and Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993)..." - Gypsy Baldovino and Yolly Tiangco (READ MORE)
"...Christopher redeems himself from his bad performance in the movie Huwag Mong Salingin ang Sugat ko, shown last week. He is in top form here, and portrays a gamut of emotions, as a father who could not accept that his son is autistic; as comfused husband who turns to another woman for comfort; as a desperate man who implores his wife to give him another chance; and as a transformed father who finally accepts his son is autistic. Vilma is exceptional, as usual. The two stars look good together. (I cannot imagine Christopher and Nora Aunor together). Although, they looke visibly - dare I say it? - old. Not even the soft-focus lens could disguise the bags under their eyes and the lines on their cheeks. Good thing Ipagpatawad Mo is a movie which deals with a more sophisticated subject, other than a man who meets a woman and they fall in love, or a married man falls-in-love with another woman and vice versa. In the future, I would like to see less cellular phones and more mature movies like this, please." - Elvira Mata, Manila Standard, Oct 23 1991 (READ MORE)
"...Ninety percent of these autistic children are very good-looking and are good in numbers but they have a world of their own. If you teach them something, yon kung ang alam nila, no other world exists. Autism is like virus and it is not hereditary. Hindi malalaman na autistic ang isang bata until they are about three or four years old. But doctors know, when a baby is born that he or she is autistic, only they don't dare tell the parents about it. This movie should be an eye opener for such doctors and parents..." - Nena Z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, Oct 28 1991 (READ MORE)
"...The wife was a popular talk show host. The husband was a top executive in the field of advertising. They were the ideal couple and the envy of all their friends. They seemed to lead the perfect life more so when the birth of their baby boy completed the picture of a domestic paradise. But time brought a realization that their son was not like the other normal children. He was diagnosed as autistic. The wife gave up her career to give her son every possible chance to lead a normal life but the husband could not accept his child. He thought that it was a massive blow on his masculinity. How they came to terms with the presence of this autistic child in their lives is the gist of this wonderfully crafted film..." - Mav Shack (READ MORE)