Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dinig Sana Kita (2009, Mike Sandejas)

Mike Sandejas' crowd-pleasing offering is a combination of his award-winning debut film Tulad Ng Dati and Peque Gallaga's tween romances, Baby Love and Agaton & Mindy. It won the Best Musical Score Award and the Audience Choice Award at the Cinemalaya 2009 competition.

Dinig Sana Kita starts with a rock concert featuring Niña (Zoe Sandejas) and her band. Trouble erupts and the young female rocker finds herself getting dragged to the police precinct. This is not the first time she gets involved in altercations, hence, her parents and school administrators decide to send her off to a camp in Baguio City to cool off. The camp is for deaf and hearing kids. In Baby Love, the cadets’ camp was also set in Baguio City.

Director Sandejas remarked that he got the idea of a camp for deaf people and hearing people from a friend. Inspired with the concept, he decided to make a script and entered it at the Cinemalaya competition. When he started shooting the film, the production in Baguio became a real life camp. He noted that the kids remained friends even after the shooting, and they still communicate with one other through online chat and Facebook.

The importance of communication is highlighted throughout the movie. People who are deaf are just like foreigners who can't converse with locals. They need to be creative in order to speak to other people. Francisco ‘Kiko’ Reyes (Romalito Mallari) is a deaf dancer who meets Niña at the camp. He always brings a small notebook and a whiteboard pentel just in case he wants to speak to someone who can't understand sign language. He even gives Niña his cell phone number in a scene which always gets laughter from audiences. The laughter subsides when the moviegoers realize that, yes, they can communicate via short messaging service.

In the course of the film, we learn the reason why Niña rebels. She hates talking with her mother, who seems to have done something terribly bad. She only wants to talk with her father. But, her father ignores her attempts to bond with him. With every rejection, the young rock musician increases the volume of her IPod. She drowns herself in a cacophony of loud music and throbbing drum beats. Slowly, her disabuse of hearing takes its toll.

The film has uncanny similarities with the visually-enticing Agaton & Mindy. Both films deal with mothers from hell. Both films feature male dancers who were abandoned babies. And, the best thing of them all, they showcase passionate dance presentations. The Ugoy Ng Duyan dance is exquisitely good. Discovering how the hearing-impaired Kiko learned to dance to the soothing music of Ugoy Ng Duyan is worth the price of admission ticket. One can feel his intense longing to feel the embrace of his mother. The embracing sound of the music is a pale alternative to an actual hug from his mother. It should be noted that Rome Mallari was really an abandoned baby. He hopes the film will get him closer to his father.

Dinig Sana Kita ended with a rock concert featuring Sugarfree. From start to finish, Sandejas has it all covered. Good music. Superb dancing. Delicious bits of comedy. Okay performances, especially Mallari's. Happy ending for the young couple. It is no wonder then that the film won the most number of votes from Cinemalaya Cinco audiences, which are mostly made up of young moviegoers.

No comments:

Post a Comment