ANG KWENTO NATING DALAWA was Trying Hard to be Cool. But it Failed.

After talking to its director, it’s hard not to appreciate his tenacity and sincerity. But it’s also difficult not to voice out an honest opinion. Including the negative comments.

After watching the movie ANG KWENTO NATING DALAWA [AKND], it comes to mind a Cinema One Original movie starring Albert Martinez. I think it was SANDALANG BAHAY. Where the foundation of its whole movie was a single scene of revelation. Because the whole movie was dwelling on a big secret to audience. And with this kind of story, it can feel stretched. Not to mention the “big secret” of AKND is not really life’s biggest deal. Star Cinema had the same movie concept some years back. But it was rightfully placed as the film’s springboard to have an actual plot. And it was presented light-heartedly. Not as the most dreaded situation as AKND wants us to see. I will not mention the title of that Star Cinema movie because it will be a major spoiler against AKND.

Also, the long silent scenes with nothing’s happening feels like a second rate Lav Diaz film. Scenes like these can be painfully beautiful when utilized to its story’s advantage. Like the necessary boredom of Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA. But in AKND, it feels like we are staring at empty scenes just because its creators have nothing else to fill in.

On trivial matters, there are too many pa-cool moments and characters. While it can be viewed as natural acting — the long stares, lips’ movements and some sparkling eyes while at lonely situations are too pa-cool and unnatural. A friend said that it might be the true body language and gestures of these students from sosyal schools. But it was screaming of “cardboard characters”! None a single nuance or even a slight peculiarity to highlight a role. Or to have a textured personality.

Aside from sleep-inducing silent parts are the not so special dialogues. THAT THING CALLED TADHANA worked even with seemingly ordinary dialogues because you feel like it has some directions to it. Angelica and JM’s lines are pushing its plot. Even if it was done implicitly. And masterfully at that! PULP FICTION’S almost stupid and unimportant dialogues, even most of them do not have an actual connection to the story, worked because they are interesting and absurdly humorous. With AKND, you feel that those boring conversations are there to just fill in minutes of otherwise a better presentation if it’s a short film.

The movie’s director is a friend of a friend. So there’s a chance, the director [honestly seems a good man], will read this long and boring post eventually. And admittedly, I am no better than anyone else on FB or whatever social media. But I just can’t help it. Just another honest opinionated asshole.

 

[written by: Dima]

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