Yellow Rose Review – In a Dry and Dreary Land a Flower Grows

GameStop, Inc.

Yellow Rose Review – A truly fresh perspective on a coming of age story

October is Filipino-American History Month, and it just feels right to review a film about a Filipina-American growing up in a small town in Texas who aspires to be a country singer. Which brings me to my Yellow Rose review.  Yellow Rose is written and directed by Diane Paragas and stars Eva Noblezada as Rose Garcia. Rose is a teenager headed to her senior year of high school, who lives with her mom Priscilla (Princess Punzalan). On a night out with her friend and love interest Elliot Blatnik (Liam Booth), Rose experiences a Dale Watson concert in a true country bar. Upon getting home, a bit later than planned, Rose and Elliot witness Priscilla being taken away by ICE. This leaves Rose without her mother and alone. Rose is then forced to set off on her way to figure out how to survive and also who she wants to be.

Rose’s life is a nightmare scenario that many undocumented Americans are living. On what should have been a great day where she got to go to a Dale Watson show, her life was completely changed. The situation sets an incredibly dramatic and emotional stage that Noblezada owns. Rose rapidly loses her innocence and trust in people as the film progresses. However, she also experiences some genuine kindness. Noblezada brilliantly embodies the clashing extremes mixed with teenage angst and delivers a profound performance of numerous ups and downs. She also has an incredible voice. What I found to be the most impactful of Noblezada’s performance is the increasing power she infuses into her voice as the film goes along. In the beginning, there is hesitation and doubt. By the end, there is passion and belief that make for a powerful performance. Noblezada’s acting and performing are masterfully exhibited and will likely be the beginning of a bright future.

Aside from Noblezada, the only notable performances that come to mind are Princess Punzalan, Dale Watson, and Lea Salonga. Punzalan really emanates a Filipina Mother, albeit a generally kinder one than I was used to growing up. She radiated warmth with only slight overprotective tendencies. Her panic throughout her ICE situation was well received, creating a real sense of unease as she struggles to figure out her best course of action with less than helpful and empathetic provided legal assistance. Watson plays himself. I’m not familiar with him, but he fully embodies what I think a country musician is. He plays a sympathetic caretaker and mentor to Rose, and you do feel a genuine connection between the two. He believes in her and is doing what he can to help her. Even when he messes up, you feel that he really is trying his best to be there for her. Very solid performance.

Then there’s Lea Salonga, who masterfully made me not like her character Tita Gail. Rose’s mother told her to go stay with her Tita Gail. In contrast to Rose’s apartment, Tita Gail lived in a mansion. From the start, Tita Gail is kind of cold. Granted it’s understandable, she hasn’t really met Rose before, but considering how close she was with Rose’s mother in the past, the standoff nature feels unwarranted. However, she is sort of the rich tita and I do understand her skepticism of money-asking relatives. But your niece just got abandoned because her mom was taken by ICE Tita Gail! Have a damn heart! In Tita Gail’s defense, her hesitation to embrace Rose seemed largely dependent on her husband… yes he’s white. Even before he shows up, Tita Gail is talking about the concerns her husband will have, which implies this guy complains a lot about “immigrants.” Eventually Rose leaves with Tita Gail trying to get her to stay and finally telling her husband to shut up.

Salonga perfectly embodied a snobby aunty. We, as in Filipinos, all have them and most of them are married to a white guy. I won’t say which aunty I’m thinking of from the off chance she actually clicks the link after I share this on Facebook, but Salonga is definitely channeling someone. I bet if Tita Gail actually made some Filipino food, it would’ve tasted “different” and Rose would have smiled and nodded, while she kept chewing her food hesitant to swallow, to Tita Gail’s bragging.  Salonga masterfully played her part and has me not looking forward to the holiday family dinner and someone’s dry ass lumpia.

While overall, I enjoyed Yellow Rose, I felt it needed a bit more. Diane Paragas did an amazing job directing and telling Rose’s story, but every other character feels small in comparison. Which isn’t bad, as the film is about Rose and her journey, but it just doesn’t quite satisfy the ancillary wants you don’t really know you want. It’s stuff you wouldn’t think about watching the film, but are left questioning when you think about it after. For example, “Was Tita Gail’s marriage really that one-sided?” or “How bad did it get for Priscilla at the detention center?” and lastly “Is country music really that open to a minority performer?” Just things that I think would have elevated the overall impact. It has nothing to do with what is there, more so what isn’t. The only critique I have in the film is the creepy look Elliot (Booth) had after his kiss with Rose. It just did not have a romantic vibe, which is only jarring because the build-up and the actual kiss were really romantic.

Yellow Rose is a wonderful coming of age story in a truly adverse environment. Rose’s journey of overcoming the immigration hurdles, being forced to become self-sustainable, and pursue her dream of being a country music performer. Eva Noblezada brilliantly captures the gravity of Rose’s life and masterfully reflects the character’s headspace through the power of her voice in every moment she sings in the film. The Rose’s progression through the power of her voice is truly incredible symbolism and storytelling that few actors are able to perform. Diana Paragas ingeniously told Roses story on the page and with Nobelzada’s performance. She also brilliantly captured Filipina immigrants with Priscilla and Gail, whose performers brought incredible authenticity to their roles. The only downside to the film is that there isn’t a bit more and I feel audiences will be left with some lingering questions after the film. But regardless, Yellow Rose is a unique yet incredibly grounded and relatable coming of age story with a truly refreshing perspective. My Yellow Rose review gets a 4/5

Yellow Rose Review

Yellow Rose released today in select theaters. Tickets Available Now

Directed By: Diane Paragas
Written By:
Diane Paragas (screenplay by), Andy Bienen (story by)
Stars: 
Lea Salonga, Eva Noblezada, Princess Punzalan

Synopsis [via IMDB]: A Filipina teen from a small Texas town fights to pursue her dreams as a country music performer while having to decide between staying with her family or leaving the only home she has known.

Yellow Rose Review
4

TLDR

Yellow Rose is a wonderful coming of age story in a truly adverse environment. Rose’s journey of overcoming the immigration hurdles, being forced to become self-sustainable, and pursue her dream of being a country music performer. Eva Noblezada brilliantly captures the gravity of Rose’s life and masterfully reflects the character’s headspace through the power of her voice in every moment she sings in the film. The Rose’s progression through the power of her voice is truly incredible symbolism and storytelling that few actors are able to perform. Diana Paragas ingeniously told Roses story on the page and with Nobelzada’s performance. She also brilliantly captured Filipina immigrants with Priscilla and Gail, whose performers brought incredible authenticity to their roles. The only downside to the film is that there isn’t a bit more and I feel audiences will be left with some lingering questions after the film. But regardless, Yellow Rose is a unique yet incredibly grounded and relatable coming of age story with a truly refreshing perspective.

Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap’ Season Two – Interview

Legendary Actor, Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap‘ Season Two, 2-Hour Season...

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby’

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby‘...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Saga! Back to the story!

Alright you monkeys, back to work!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Cultural Junkdrawer: I’m not a Swifty, but…

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER I‘M not a Taylor Swift fan but…     This...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...