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Monday, February 09, 2015

Flick Review: That Thing Called Tadhana

2/7/2015 9:28:07 PM

That Thing Called Tadhana movie banner. (Photo credits:

I first noticed them as part of the Cinema One Originals late last year. Though unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch them, nor any of its other entries. It was only earlier this year when this film penetrated the mainstream shores, thanks to their film distributor Star Cinema, which also helped films like On The Job, and Hari ng Tondo expand beyond the independent scene by terms of having nationwide releases.

This time around though, I watched a movie with a group of officemates; something different considering that I usually go to cinemas alone; or in case I have a companion, it’s always been my ex-girlfriend. Perhaps, it was a perfect way to set-up a Friday night out; taking an early weekend breakaway from all the stress of the previous four working days.

Also, it’s the first time this year that I watched a movie inside the real venue itself.

That Thing Called Tadhana, a motion picture which stars Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman, tackles a certain Mace Castillo’s soul-searching sojourn off a break-up. Wanting a new start away from Rome, she went back to the country and spent days in Baguio and Sagada as she desperately tried to move on from the mishap.

Anthony Lagdameo, her companion from the overseas, accompanied Mace, falling in love with her in the process. The witty-slash-handsome frustrated artist just about to board home from his vacation in Italy (and further, fulfilling his dream to be in the Colosseum despite losing her mother two years prior).

Antoinette Jadaone directed the Creative Programs, Inc.-produced movie. While Joem Bascon also had a short cameo as Mace's boyfriend.

It was a 94-minute flick filled with bunches of natural scenes: a dramatically set-up yet tackled in somewhat lighter, funny manner. And mind you, it’s so natural as if you’re conversing with your friends (I’m talking about the manner and delivery here). Something you rarely seen in the majority of the movies and programs which caters to you. You might even think that the script went spontaneous for a moment during the filming itself; thus, resulting into this beautiful kind of outcome.

It contained so much emotions (the heavy ones), yet the naturally approach of interaction between these two characters made it witty and even funnier than what you’ve expected in a considered a “romantic comedy,” nor even a "romantic drama" kind.

The lines were somewhat notable, it’s literally hugot (be it with a hashtag or not at all); making it relatable to people, considering most of us are romantically and emotionally inclined people. And that’s not a bad thing at all. They really spoke with sense, whatever object these guys are, err, objecting about.

Plus the soundtrack really spelled the movie in its solid form. Talk about Up Dharma Down’s popular ballad titled Tadhana, as well as the epic Whitney Houston track Where Do Broken Hearts Go?; Also, previous romance drama films One More Chance and Don't Give Up On Us served as the references somewhere in between.

Overall though, TTCT told more than just a sojourn for moving on. But also, some realities we used to face in everyday life. Aside from the naturality of the conversation between Mace and Anthony took centerstage, notice how intellectual these two really are; especially when it comes on arguments on how does a typical girl or boy faced such heartbreak situations, on their extreme fascinations on some romantic films and actors (aside from the fact that Angelica's off-screen partner is John Lloyd Cruz), on how Marlon, Mace's ex-boyfriend handled the situation, and other experiences shared in the movie.

In addition, the ending part made you really think about the question: did Mace really parted ways from his ex-boyfriend of 8 years, or the otherwise occurred?

Also, along the way you might asked few questions: Did Marlon really loved Mace so much? If he does, in what ways and means, especially in a heartbreak situation where most of the time, guys would die to find a way to get their flames back?

How did the "excessive baggage" symbolized Mace's past hardships in "life" like a typical Maalala Mo Kaya episode? How does Mace's story The Arrow with a Heart Pierced Through Him interjected with the film's main plot itself? In what sense does it made impact or progress on the lady's overall persona?

Also, if you connect the scenes in the movie, how would the two survive the climate in Sagada (the scene where both Mace and Anthony slept without a tent and staring at the sky as if kids waiting for a shooting star to come), where it is in fact, as similar to that of Baguio City? (Remember a scene where both were freezing to death, actually.)

You might also ponder on the progress on how both Mace and Anthony's perceptions changed little by little on things such as relationships, process of moving on from a heartbreak, icons like One More Chance and John Lloyd Cruz, and even the simple gestures, state of emotions during then and next (i.e. try figuring it out when Anthony said his entire address during his self-introduction to the scene where they are back from the Northern trip).

As much as I want to give all the answers, I'm afraid I'm gonna spoil your asses off. So I'll gonna leave all the investigating on all of you (Yes, you who read this post).

On both superficial and intellectual aspects, That Thing Called Tadhana is a romantic drama, and at the same time a romantic comedy flick; came in very spontaneous form without the aid of unleashing such "kilig" factors on almost all parts; so, it's not surprising why it earned successes in terms of box office hits, positive reviews from well-acclaimed critics, and even prestigious accolades at Cinema One Originals.

Well, perhaps that made my faith in romcoms restored, at least for now.

Say, where do broken hearts really go? Especially Valentines' Day is just around the corner?

The Verdict: 9.1

By the way, shoutout to one of my friends in the blogging industry named nekomimi for putting up additional insights. We actually talked about this movie right after seeing it a few days back (well, it's actually my third time to see this as of Valentine's day).

Author: slickmaster | © 2015 september twenty-eight productions


  1. Haven't watched the film yet although I'm an Angelica fan since the 90s, now considering it after reading your review. Thanks!

  2. I have been hearing a lot about this film. I need to see this movie this weekend. Thanks for sharing your review.

  3. Being an OFW, I always wonder why this film is very popular in the Philippines and what made it "Hugot", some of my workmates already watched and they say that it's not typical... Looking forward to seeing this when I find a free time. Somehow, after reading your blog, well I could say that the film was very artistically made because of its comedic infusion to serious heartbreak issues.

  4. Wala ako sa Pinas at hindi na ako nakakapanood ng pelikulang Pinoy, pero isa ito sa mga bukam-bibig ng mga friends ko sa FB. Nagagandahan sila rito at ito e mga taong pinagkakatiwalaan ko ang taste. Namimiss ko tuloy makapanood ng mga pelikulang Pinoy.

  5. Looks like a good pinoy taste movie, i'll try sometime sa movie marathon weekends.

  6. I've read different reactions to this movie, good and bad, but mostly positive ones. This is quite seldom in Filipino movies, and that's a good thing

  7. Meron pa ba nito sa sinehan? Sayang I wasn't able to watch this last last week :(

    1. I think they're still showing this in cinemas, though selected na nga lang.

  8. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my habit on watching movies on my

    anyways, great review! This is also one of the best local films I have seen lately.


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