20 Feb Movie: That Thing Called Tadhana
In this day and age where a lot of unforgettable movies come out almost every day, it’s a surprise to find films like this get mainstream attention, much more from a genre that I personally regard as cheesy. The thing is, I don’t really consider myself a fan of these type of movies. After One More Chance, I’ve never had a rom-com flick that I liked to repeat over and over again. Not until That Thing Called Tadhana came along.
“Tadhana” had a limited run last year as a Cinema One Originals Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice Award. And deservingly so, that Star Cinema purchased its distro rights, earning the film at least P100 million two weeks after the public release. But what’s the fuzz on this one?
Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, pero umibig ulit.
The movie starts out in an airport where a devastated, heartbroken, attractive woman (Panganiban) meets a charming guy (de Guzman) who helped her carry her excess baggage — literally and figuratively. They go on a spontaneous journey that brought them as far as Baguio and Sagada, while tackling the realities of break-up and moving on. Throughout the movie, we find that Anthony (de Guzman) had his baggages too, and the trip has become a necessary escape for them to recover from the emotional pangs of their failed relationships.
I wouldn’t say I can fully relate to it because I don’t. But I’ll admit to being affected by it primarily because I find it very well written and executed. The screenplay was so sincere and natural, I didn’t have problems listening to their conversations for an hour and a half. Sometimes too solid that many would find this movie to be a golden pot of “hugot” lines. I particularly liked how the writer left spaces for viewers to think while not being too pa-deep. It’s funny but not slapstick, romantic but not cheesy, profound but totally relatable. This proves that a common plot doesn’t have to be boring.
It was a breakthrough performance for both actors (Panganiban and de Guzman) as they nailed every line of every scene of that movie. I heard that some of the most memorable lines were ad lib by the pair themselves. Their surprising chemistry makes me want them to become a real-life couple (sorry, John Lloyd). And although the production was simple, they had some spectacular cinematography that makes viewers want to go to Baguio or Sagada immediately.
“Ang ganda nung movie. Ang galing nung storytelling, sobrang true to life. At yung cinematography, talagang yun ang nagustuhan ko dito.” – Mace Castillo
After watching this movie, I’ve become a fan of writer-director Antoinette Jadaone. I hope she (and other people like her) make more movies in the future.