Sigrid Andrea P. Bernando’s film “Nothing Like Paris,” also known as “Walang KaParis,” is a wonderful take on love, with its simplicity followed by the trials the couple has to face to get their happy ending. The film softly touches on the various preconceived notions a person may have about their love. Sigrid touches on both Mary and Joseph’s viewpoints while they woo each other, as they talk about their love for each other while also focusing on their misgivings that may have been the reason behind them letting each other go throughout the years. She also elaborates on the little things that make a person fall in love with someone over the years and how love is falling again and again and not giving up on each other. “Nothing Like Paris” is a love story worth watching in a cozy setting. It is a love story with intimate glances that focuses on two souls falling for each other.
‘Nothing Like Paris’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
“Nothing Like Paris” is a soft narrative about meeting the right person at the wrong time. Joseph and Mary have been fated to be together since their first meeting after high school. However, due to Joseph’s accident, they both sought out different paths in life, but their destiny pushed them toward each other time and time again. The third time’s a charm, as the saying goes. Both Joseph and Mary meet at his studio while he is working on his project, “Persistence of Memory,” which has been the driving theme behind the entire film. Joseph’s accident had deprived him of his memories; however, somewhere in his heart and conscience, he’s always been waiting for Mary. The film follows their journey through three different timelines set a few years apart as they make their way through the perils they face as love prevails against all odds and they start anew.
The First Timeline: Why Didn’t Joseph Recognize The Woman In The Painting?
The story begins with Mary and Joseph parting ways, with Joseph retelling the story of their second romance while Mary retells that of their first meeting. Joseph and Mary had met for the first time in Baguio, Philippines, after their schooling. Joseph had taken to Mary from their first conversation at her roadside restaurant. Mary had been helping her aunt run their restaurant there, and Joseph began helping out with the intention of wooing Mary. Joseph was enamored with Mary, and he decided to ask her to model for his art project, as the topic of his project had been a painting from his heart. Mary began falling in love with Joseph’s endearing antics. They shared their likes and dislikes with each other while Joseph had almost begun planning their future in his head. He had been adamant that Mary was the one he could call his soulmate, while Mary believed that humans love three people in their lifetime.
In this timeline, Joseph had told her to love him three times and also used the phrase “Atiklaham,” the reverse of “Mahal Kita,” which means “I love you” in Tagalog. He coined that phrase and had insisted that Mary say it to him if she was not ready to profess her love for him. As Mary had gradually fallen in love with him and had made up her mind to confess, Joseph got into an accident that caused him to lose his memory, including his memories of his first love, Mary. He had painted her portrait using coffee as the medium; however, after the accident, he no longer remembered their relationship and had been under the impression that they had been friends. Heartbroken, Mary had tried many times to help him remember, but in vain. She had to leave him alone after a while because her heart could not take it anymore. With a heavy heart, she left with the portrait and the lovely note he had written for her on its reverse. After almost five years, coming across Joseph’s picture in the magazine had prompted her to make one last attempt as she left for Paris, which is where Joseph is currently living.
The Second Timeline: Did Mary and Joseph Part Ways?
The second timeline, when Mary had decided to pursue Joseph, was retold from Joseph’s point of view. Mary had taken to Paris to begin pursuing Joseph, similar to the way he had pursued her the first time around. She got to talk to him when Joseph had been confused as to why he was painting the face of a mystery woman who seemed to be his soulmate. However, he adamantly refused to believe that it was Mary when Mary had admitted to being the subject of his art. Mary confessed to Joseph after he eventually accepted her company and also agreed to date her to find out if she was his mystery woman. Joseph’s damaged memory and lonely heart could not deal with the fact that it was Mary he had been waiting for, which is why he could not accept her. Joseph felt a disconnect even though Mary had enacted all of their previous meetings for him. She had brought up his phrase “Atiklaham” to jog his memory, but Joseph seemed to not recall anything.
Joseph’s disconnect seemed to make him feel guilty enough to break up with Mary. Joseph’s confusion made Mary disappointed as she tried moving on for the second time. She gave Vincent, Joseph’s roommate, and another painter, the painting that Joseph had presented her with before his accident. A few months later, as Joseph was going through his things, he came upon the portrait as well as the little note he had penned to Mary. This helped him recall his memories, and he quickly invited Mary to a cafe to tell her about his memories. As soon as the clock struck 5:00 pm, Mary made her way to the cafe, as their evening coffee dates had been one of their many endearing couple habits. Mary and Joseph shared an intimate moment of reflection and guilt. Joseph confessed to remembering his lost memories, while Mary had been considering finally moving on. It seemed to them that they were destined to meet but not spend their lives together. With a heavy heart, Mary left Joseph, which is how the movie had begun while Joseph had narrated his fated second romance with Mary.
The Third Timeline: Did Mary and Joseph Finally End Up Together?
The third timeline had begun with their meeting in the cafe. They parted ways soon afterward. Two years later, following a flier posted outside of Joseph’s studio, Mary met Joseph again, this time with their memories intact and both of them ready to pursue their relationship anew. The plot of the entire movie was broken down into three timelines, keeping up with both of their beliefs. Mary believed that a person fell in love three times, and thus, each time they met, they fell in love with each other again and again. Joseph believed in destiny and not letting the other person go; similar to his note, he had waited for Mary in Paris even though he had no recollection of their past. He fell in love with her all over again; however, not being able to recognize who she was while also unconsciously waiting for her was eating away at his conscience.
Their last chance meeting at his studio made them realize that they were fated and destined to be together, which is why they started over. The film had a very beautiful narrative about falling in love with the simple things in life. The coquettish glances, the heat of the palm of somebody close, a lover’s touch, their antics, their outlook on life, and also their very presence were elegantly traced out through the relationship of Joseph and Mary. It didn’t matter the pain and the confusion Joseph lived through; he’d made Mary a promise, and the fates saw fit to see it fulfilled. Mary had her heart broken, not once, but twice, but still, she loved him enough to give him a third chance. The entire film was soft and subtle, which also represented the agony and happiness the couple felt throughout their journey as they looked for each other at the wrong time. Each time they met, it simply represented them being made for each other; however, each time, the timing was off, which ultimately led them to part ways.
“Nothing Like Paris” is a 2023 Drama Romance film directed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.