Southern Kim (Movie Thoughts: Yellow Rose)

I was rooting for Diane Paragas’ ‘Yellow Rose’ because it stars two former Kims – Eva Noblezada and Lea Salonga – and you knwo how muich I love Miss Saigon. But I maybe I expected too much from the film. This coming of age Filipino country western drama (in itself a unique combination) tries to tell a genuine story, but takes a lot of short cuts it misses the mark.

But it has a lot of strengths – Noblezada is great as Rose Garcia, an undocumented teen living in Texas who has dreams of becoming a country singer. On stage, she is a luminous actress and singer, and on film she exudes an unmistakable presence even if the screenplay doesn’t help her much. Some ofd the characters are so flimsy – I never got how people just went in and out of her life out of the blue. For example, her character has one conversation with Dale Watson the country singer and before we know it, she is living at his trailer?

Also, as scary as ICE raids are (and probably more prevalent under the cruel Trump administration) it was used a couple fo times just to move the story forward, making for lazy story telling. I am not a big country music fan bit found the music here engaging, probably helped by Noblezada’s singing. She will be back in a better film, hopefully.

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