One look at the D'Ninang poster and it's easy to dismiss it as another run-of-the-mill Pinoy comedy with your token drama, comedy, and some action scenes peppered in for good measure. But more than all that, D'Ninang gives an impressively tight performance from its ensemble cast led by Ai-Ai Delas Alas who does what she knows best balancing her deadpan wisecracks with some suddenly serious dramatic moments that come out when needed.
In D'Ninang, Ai-Ai plays the role of Ditas, a swindler who houses her own little band of thieves whom she calls family. Their entire neighborhood constantly asks or borrows money from her which she always graciously lends out, earning her the nickname "Ninang."
Ditas and her gang have a good small time operation done mostly by pickpocketing and small time heists. But all this comes to an unexpected halt when the daughter she abandoned as a baby comes to live with her. Ditas then chooses to live a crime free life and protects her daughter Mikai (Kisses Delavin) from knowing the truth about her real identity.
Lou Veloso, Kiray Celis, and Angel Guardian all make their mark onscreen by making each of their characters memorable, making the most of their limited dialogue with engaging one-liners and punchlines.
McCoy De Leon, who plays Kisses's suitor Kali, proves he's got what it takes to be an onscreen heartthrob by making even the cheesiest lines sound sweet and funny during his scenes with Kisses. Their onscreen chemistry also proves that McCoy and Kisses can work as a good pairing.
All in all, D'Ninang is Ai-Ai Delas's movie. She is the character that connects everybody in the story. And even though her character Ditas is far from perfect and has many flaws, her good heart shines through up until the very end.
Watch Regal Films's D'Ninang opening in cinemas nationwide starting January 22, Wednesday.