12 – Dagitab (2014) | ★★★★★
Plot: A young student is about to embark on a writing workshop. His essay would spark a controversy which in more ways than one would affect himself and two professors who had been leading a stale marriage.
I had been part of a q&a screening of Dagitab, unfortunately, time worked against me, I did not get to ask my question which was about the ending. It felt like there was a disconnect from what he described and to what I experienced. When Giancarlo was introduced he described his film in his own words, he said, I remember, that his inspiration was to create some ‘sparks’ story, but he wanted to deconstruct it. He started with an ending in mind about 2 UP professors who had fallen out of love. He wanted a picture about the end of love. Many things from conceptualization to shooting to editing changed from his initial idea of what the film will become, but the ending remained. It didn’t changed or so he said. On the contrary, I thought the ending was not only fitting, but it exuded happiness, love, and contentment – the trifecta of what we ultimately aspire in life (IMO). When Eula and Nonie were by the sunken garden surrounded by fireflies and freely discussing their feelings about almost anything they can think of at that moment, I felt there were no misunderstandings anymore but acceptance of their recent past. It felt like they had grown bigger than themselves. It felt like they found each other again.
It’s almost a month since I watched this at Teatrino but I still remember how it made my day, heck how it made the following three or four days shoot rays of sunshine. I still feel it, it’s electric. And although there are headscratcher scenes like the bug zapper scene, I still feel it’s perfect the way it is. First it was the backdrop that hooked me, and then the crazy-good lines that mesmerized me. Before long, I am entranced by the angles and the frames, and of course the way the story unfolded, it captured me. It did not just waved at me to get my attention, it embraced me and I hugged it back.
It’s not grand, and yet it’s a spectacle. It is simple and yet it is complex. Just thinking of the UP idiosyncrasies again makes me smile now. Maybe I’m part of the biased fraction who watched it but damn, daming hugot talaga. One scene which is beloved by almost all is also a favorite of mine, the one where “Intersections” was recited by Gab in a dreamy sequence by the shore were he and Issey lay side by side on the sands, waves splashing all over their bodies. That scene was pure genius. Giancarlo knows how to deliver. It’s safe to say that it might be because the vision is clear and the marriage between writing and directing couldn’t be more synced. He knows what he wants to convey and it worked! Pero please someone tell me where can I get a copy of the screenplay? I sorely… badly need it.
Sobrang saludo talaga kay Giancarlo Abrahan. I hope I would get to see more from him soon. And of course I will not end this post without mentioning the cast led by the sexy as hell and ever so brilliant Eula Valdez and the truly talented Nonie Buencamino. Martin Del Rosario also held his own and his subplot with Sandino did not disappoint either. It brought just the right amount of mystery to the entirety.
“You don’t move on. You become a bigger person until the void doesn’t feel as big.”
Runtime: 2hrs (IMDb)
Cast: Eula Valdez, Nonie Buencamino, Martin Del Rosario, Sandino Martin