Film Notes: “That Thing Called Tadhana”
ON THE THROES OF LOVE THE NEXT TIME AROUND
by Pablo A. Tariman
In this early evening gathering of movie scribes, the talk is still about Pope Francis and how he managed to show the power of love and compassion for fellow men in very humane and comprehensible terms.
It happens that actors Angelica Panganiban and JM Guzman star in the film “That Thing Called Tadhana” which is about two people trying to move on after a failed relationship.
It seems the movie press is updated on the rise and fall of love in several movie partners and the lead stars are fully aware of it.
And so it is understandable that they are asked how they coped with past loves that didn’t end happily ever after.
Angelica admits any kind of parting always hurts and she does what normal human beings do – cry alone, drink out with friends and fervently hope it will all pass. “When love is gone, you try to hang on to so many things,” she says. “But one thing I learned from failed relationships is that it pays to pay attention to yourself. You must learn how to love yourself all over again after giving everything to someone who you thought deserved all your attention. You have to know the value of self-respect when everything is said and done.”
JM – whose past loves led to one thing or the other – has become a veteran of Cupid’s heartless episodes.
Says he: “The first thing is that you must take stock of yourself and learn how to cope no matter what. In my case, I learn how to close the past behind and focus on the present. I like creating good memories to replace the bad ones.”
Angelica recounts that when she read the script of “Tadhana,” she knew she could relate to the part and make something challenging out of it. “I can spot a good script when I see one. When Direk Antoinette Jadaone sent me the script, I didn’t stop until I read the whole thing. Then instantly, I outlined how I would attack the part and make something memorable out of it.”
She added she didn’t expect to win the best actress trophy in this Cinema One film fest for the role. “I just did my best and I preferred not to act at all and just settled for the most natural approach to the part and I thought I was able to explore the inner layers of the character. But then I learned that Shamaine Centenera was good in ‘Lorna’ and I have no reason to doubt that. Being pitted with Miss Shamaine in the awards derby is like colliding head-on with Meryl Streep. But when I won over her, I realized I didn’t do too badly. I know when I am carried away by a role and enjoying every minute of it in the shoot. This part in ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ is one of my memorable roles.”
For now, she is enjoying real love episodes with John Lloyd Cruz who she hopes is the beginning of a lifetime of love. She is not keen on talking about it in public. She doesn’t relish love in the public eye and she doesn’t like the idea of her love partner proposing to her in public. “The best moments are savored when it’s just the two of you. When other parties come in, things get complicated and you both lose focus. So I prefer to keep certain things private and solemn.”
As for director Jadaone, she says she wore two hats in this film: as writer and director. As writer, she has free hand on the kind of story she wants to get involved in. “The key to good writing for the screen is constant writing and revising and revising. I try to be true to myself and the language I am comfortable with. I cannot write scripts with ‘makabagbag damdamin’ lines. I like to be serious by making it very light and very contemporary. It should also reflect my own sense of humor. I weave my story from my own experience and snatches of life from my friends and their friends. I am a very slow writer but I can beat deadlines when I have to. Writings done in a hurry usually don’t get good results. I like it when I have time to savor every line, every word, every phrase of what I am doing.”
“That Thing Called Tadhana” opens in all theaters February 4.