We Need To Talk About Giancarlo Abrahan’s "Dagitab"

EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, FINANCIAL, WHAT-HAVE-YOU STATE UPON SEEING THE FILM:

Twenty-five and lost in life, which was then mediocrely okay and I wasn't exactly in love with it. I was in need of that spark—pun intended—to ignite that so-called fire in the heart that everyone else seems to know and be talking about, too.

 

EXPERIENCE WHILE WATCHING IT

I was marathoning Cinemalaya films that afternoon, and Dagitab was on my list. Inside the theater, everyone else was noisily slurping ice cold Coke from plastic cups and munching on gluttonous nacho chips without a care. I, on the other hand, had McDonald’s brewed coffee and an original glaze Krispy Kreme donut with me. As I walked up the aisle and toward my seat, I made heads turn, thanks to the aroma of my coffee.

THREE REASONS TO LOVE THE FILM

Calling the film visually arresting is an understatement, and I for one won’t even try to describe it here as my words won’t do it any justice. The screenplay is just as remarkable, as with any Abrahan film. And then the theme. It was everything you and I can relate to: passion, love, the sparks. It's the sparks that get you hopeful, the sparks that keep you going.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT OR ELEMENT IN THE FILM AND WHY

A lot of scenes made my heart literally heavy. I Googled and found out that it sometimes could also mean I was having an attack without realizing it, but I sure hope it wasn’t the case.

Anyway, such memorable scenes were the following: when Intersections was being narrated, Issey’s long draws of her cigarette, her husband Jimmy’s blank and empty stares, and that scene when they took a bath together and it felt more routine than romantic.

The strongest one that made my heart sink was when they were in the middle of a grassy field and surrounded with fireflies (am I imagining this or was it really in the film?) and Jimmy was lying on Issey’s lap. And you could feel a muddle of their emotions—a sense of longing, their passionate but tired hearts yearning to be acknowledged, a glimmer of hope—all set against the silence that was deafening and screaming.

It remains a personal favorite because it makes me think of how sometimes, our lives look perfectly still and put together on the outside, but inside, it’s empty, broken, confused. And the scene—all the right elements put together—paints a perfect picture of how it really feels like in real life.

AFTERMATH, OR INITIAL THOUGHTS AND FEELS AFTER WATCHING

It was difficult to properly respond to the film after, as it was touching, heart-warming, disturbing, and an eye-opener all at the same time.

 

LINES FROM THE FILM WORTH QUOTING:

Back then, I thought these lines were speaking to me:

 
Sometimes we just need someone to tell us: game over.”

”Minsan may mga bagay kang hinihintay na hindi mo alam kung may hinihintay ka pa. Pero naghihintay ka pa rin.”

”Kung pagod ka na, hindi mo naman kailangan umalis, kailangan mo lang magpahinga.
 

A FANCY TRIVIA TO SHARE

I was able to catch it again at Teatrino, and as usual, the floor was open for discussion after the film. I remember an old man from the audience, walking up the stage, and asking us naïve youngsters to listen to what he was about to say.

“If you are impatient, you’re not ready for love," he said, loudly and proudly on the microphone. He said that was ultimately what we should learn from the film, and, yes, I think he's right.

 

Photos via Cinemalaya.

 

 

 

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