REVIEW: ‘The Killer Bride’ pilot well-crafted, breathtaking; Maja enthralling

It surely didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was definitely more than what we expected.

In the pilot episode of The Killer Bride, Camilla de la Torre’s (Maja Salvador) backstory was depicted in the most explicit, grandiose and breathtaking fashion. In addition to its dream-like, well-crafted production, the narrative was superbly constructed in a way that should make viewers comprehend what Camila went through before her tragic fate and macabre, vengeful curse.

From the first scenes showing how the conflict between the warring Dela Torre and Dela Cuesta families began to how that pivotal, gruesome scene of Camilla’s supposed set-up in the killing of Javier dela Cuesta (Dominic Ochoa) started her downspiral, it is quite clear we are in for a suspenseful, exciting ride.

Forbidden romance

At the center of this tempest, of course, is the forbidden romance between Camilla and Vito dela Cuesta (Geoff Eigenmann), which is taboo in the context of how their families had been vicious rivals for generations. And how members of Camilla’s own family despise her because of the alleged filial betrayal of her father, who had joined a rebel group terrorizing their fiefdoms in Las Espadas.

It was also clear who are Camilla’s most rancorous enemies—her uncles Luciano (Cris Villanueva), who has his sights on claiming the Dela Torre banana empire, and Juan Felipe (James Blanco), whose political ambitions are unmistakable. But their plot to do away with Camilla, who is her lolo, the Dela Torre patriarch Don Jacobo’s (Eddie Gutierrez) favorite to take over his reigns, are veiled by the strife against the Dela Cuestas. And her hidden affair with a Dela Cuesta heir was their opportunity to pull it off, especially when Camilla was about to be banished after confessing bearing Vito’s child when their romance was exposed. 

Yet, a grandfather’s love proved to be overpowering, as he made an unprecedented decision of allowing Camilla to tie the knot with Vito, which is considered a good sign that the two families might soon bury the hatchet and end years of strife. But, of course, it wasn’t meant to be. 

Precarious rendezvous

As they were about to walk down the aisle, Camilla had been beckoned by a supposed text message from Vito for a precarious rendezvous at a remote, ruinous place in Las Espadas.  And as she yelled Vito’s name, a gun was pointed at her to her utter shock. After a gunshot was heard, she was unconscious and bloodied. But after she opened her eyes, Camilla was horrified seeing blood all over her wedding dress, and had been mostly spilled onto her hands clutching a knife she didn’t know where it came from. And then a ghastly sight had dawned on her: the corpse of her beloved Vito’s brother, Javier, drenched in blood, apparently felled by stab wounds all over his body. 

Certainly a fiendish plot, not only to paint Camilla as a murderer and haul her to jail but also have Vito despise her for killing his brother thus ending their romance and dashing hopes for a monumental wedding, and rub her off from contention as a Dela Torre heiress. 

And here, Camilla’s pitiful plunge as the alleged “Killer Bride,” and her tragic end and paranormal revenge take its course.

Extraordinary, one-of-its-kind production

On top of its thrilling narrative, we are witnessing a teleserye production that’s truly extraordinary and one-of-its-kind—from its dazzling camera work to its stunning production design. Judging from the pilot itself, the Kapamilya network is pulling out all the stops in bringing something that is utterly noteworthy and memorable. Production unit RCD Narratives’ initial push truly reflects and fulfills that objective. 

In addition to the breathtaking production, we see all the castmembers bringing out apparently the best performances of their thespic careers. We are impressed with the way Cris Villanueva has emerged as spiteful antagonist that made our blood boil, as he delivered that obnoxious and revolting demeanor with such natural and credible flair. Similarly, James Blanco was powerful and scintillating, as he did not need words to convey his treachery and vileness, but only with that stern, malevolent look in his eyes.

Geoff Eigenmann has surely brought out his best and it showed with his portrayal as Vito—how much of a serious actor he can be. Malou de Guzman, Aurora Sevilla, and Jobelle Salvador all made the most of their screentime with impeccable acting chops, so is the veteran Eddie Gutierrez, who has made one of his most deeply felt performances of late.

Outstanding performance

But undeniably outstanding is our revenge drama queen Maja Salvador, who enthralled us with her portrayal of 19-year-old innocent girl who only did what she thought was is right for the sake of true love. And, eventually realizing the horror and tragedy of pursuing it—all instigated by the very people close to her heart. This provides an impeccable context of the ghoulish things to come. Maja’s understanding and brilliance in bringing the character to light will surely drive the “gothic romance drama” to unchartered heights. 

Netizens were also awe-struck.