Film Review: That Thing Called Tadhana

Watching a romantic comedy film and getting your heart pierced is quite rare. But as soon as you hear Mace narrate “The Arrow with a Heart Pierced Through Him” and follow where broken hearts go, you’ll believe in tadhana (meant to be/ destiny) once again.

From: Facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana
From: Facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana

Apart from films such as: Ang Tatay Kong Nanay (1978), Ama, Ina, Anak (1996), Bata Bata Paano ka Ginawa? (1998), Magnifico (2003), Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005), One More Chance (2007), Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings (2011), TiKTiK: The Aswang Chronicles (2012), and short as well as full-length features from the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, I can’t remember other local films I liked, enjoyed or was excited to see in theatres. But as the love month came in, my Facebook feed was filled with “hugot” moments from That Thing Called Tadhana, a film by Antoinette Jadaone which was part of the 10th Cinema One Originals Film Festival. I knew right then and there, it’s a must-see film.

From: Facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana
From: Facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana

There was an Arrow who was getting tired of his pointy life.
Until one day, he woke up feeling heavier than usual.
He woke up with a heart pierced through him.
“Whose heart are you? And how did you get here?” The Arrow asked.
But there was no reply.

For those who loved, lost, yet loved again, in short you idiots.

INT. AIRPORT CHECK-IN COUNTER

The film started with Mace crying, looking at her things, and throwing some in to the trash. She tries to close her travelling bag. After a few minutes, she eventually manages to do so. Unfortunately, 44.0kg is still too much weight.

She opens her bag and tries to remove more things again. Then a guy appears and tells her that she could put her trench coat in his bag. Mace just looked at the guy questioningly. So the guy introduced himself, Anthony Lagdameo a Filipino from Project 8 QC. Not a pervert and definitely not a thief. Again, he offered her his extra baggage allowance which she eventually accepts.

Finally after several tries, she made it and that is how their journey started.

Going Mainstream
I don’t mind entries from film festivals having a mainstream release. If it’s definitely worth sharing to millions of people then why not do so? Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhada originally titled The Mace Castillo Story (Lord, Pangit Ba ‘Ko?) won 3rd prize for Dulang Pampelikula from the prestigious 64th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Clearly, it is a work of art and something to be proud of.

From: Facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana
From: Facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana

I too, am proud to be able to watch such film. Surprisingly, it was an eye-opener and an inspiration for me. Although at some parts I asked myself, how much they are spending travelling from Rome to Manila, to Baguio and Sagada which was eventually answered as both characters revealed more.

What I love about tadhana?
If you watched and listened carefully, you’ll notice the metaphor about the excess baggage referring to the failed relationship. It stated about Mace’s situation of having all her life in her bags while Anthony’s situation says that he’s been there and willing to share the weight of someone in need. But all throughout, there are many signals and signs where in reality we do not see – manhid lang – or sometimes ignore – tanga lang.

Besides that, I also adored the lengthy conversations both characters did throughout the film. In order to know more about or understand someone, all you need is good, healthy communication. Each word they utter digs deeper and by the time they became comfortable with each other, silence was not a problem.

Of all the Filipino films I have watched, I think this film has a fair share of unforgettable lines, words of wisdom, not to mention, the hugot moments. Aside from “The Arrow with a Heart Pierced Through Him”, we have:

There are all kinds of LOVE in this world, but never the same LOVE twice. –
F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Paano ba makalimot? Gaano katagal?” -Mace
“Matagal.” -Anthony
“Gaano nga katagal? One year? Two years? 3? 4? 5?”
“Importante pa ba ‘yun? Ang mahalaga, nakalimutan.”

And more…

Though That Thing Called Tadhana is a story about two strangers meeting, becoming friends and mending a broken heart, it is not overly dramatic. It simply tells what each character has in mind just like anyone whose heart has been broken.

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