Saturday, February 28, 2015

Movie No. 19 (2015): THAT THING CALLED TADHANA

That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)
Director: Antoinette Jadaone
Cast: Angelica Panganiban, JM De Guzman

"Where do broken hearts go?" seems to be the question that the movie tries to answer as we follow Mace who meets Anthony at the airport in Italy on their way to Manila. Devastated from a recent break-up with her boyfriend, Mace goes with  Anthony to Baguio, then Sagada, and Bontoc to "move on."

The movie is not a love story. 

Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman i an early scene in "Tadhana"
Some people I know who don't like the movie expect the movie to be in the same league as the formulaic romance comedies that are loaded with 'kilig' moments and of contrived circumstances that will keep the lead characters apart, triumphing against obstacles, and find each other again to kiss, make-up, and live happily ever after. In my opinion, they're missing the point.

I like the movie very much in the same way I liked Linklater's Before Sunrise. I'm not saying That This Called Tadhana is the Pinoy version of Before Sunrise. The only thing that makes the two movies similar is the way both movies tell the story using only two characters who seem to be talking and interacting endlessly. In the end, we get the whole point.

Angelica Panganiban efforts in giving life to the Mace character is outstanding. JM De Guzman who, most of the time, just reacts with everything Mace says and does, perfectly fits the Anthony character. The luggage/baggage metaphor is well placed in the script. The movie itself is a welcome departure from tiresome romantic comedies whose only aim is to rake money from the box office. But I'm glad that when this movie was released commercially some weeks ago, it grossed more than 100 M in two weeks.

Rating: 3.5/4.0

Date seen: February 25, 2015


Movie No. 18 (2015): SANA MAULIT MULI

Sana Maulit Muli (1995)
Director: Olivia Lamasan
Cast: Aga Muhlach, Lea Salonga, Rosemarie Sonora, Tina Paner, Gina Parreno, William Martinez, Tommy Abuel, Cherrie Pie Picache

Looking for the Lea Salonga's interpretation of the song Sana Maulit Muli, I was led by Google to the movie of the same title on You Tube. I remembered seeing the movie 20 years ago during its run at the theaters. I remembered liking it, too. So, I clicked the play button and, before I knew it, I was lured into seeing its entirety. That was the second time I saw the film. I still liked it.

The movie presents a character study in a long-distance relationship. It's not the best film with this milieu and setting, but the exploration of how people change is well justified in the script. Aga Muhlach delivers a believable performance. Lea Salonga is okay although there are a few moments in which she looks like she's acting on stage. That's forgivable given her theater background.

The movie was voted Best Film in 1996 by the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Aga Muhlach was Best Actor.

Rating: 3.0/4.0

Date seen: February 15, 2015