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Dinig Sana Kita (Mike Sandejas, 2009) July 22, 2009

Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Cinemalaya, Indie Sine, Music, Noypi.
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dinig sana kita

English Title: If I Knew What You Said
Written and directed by Mike Sandejas
Cast: Zoe Sandejas, Romalito Mallari, Robert Seña

In this stage of independent cinema when filmmakers are finding it hard to break free from the confines of grim and mournful stories of life in penury, a subject so often used and abused it only makes us poorer in spirit, it is nice that there are still a few feel-good movies to make us believe in the hackneyed metaphor of light at the end of the tunnel. I wonder if it would be fair to suggest that positive stories are the stuff of mainstream, and the depressing ones are reserved for indie. Not that there’s anything bad about it; after all a depressing film could be entertaining and lovey-dovey at the same time. In Cinemalaya’s lineup there seems to be an intention to balance these two, avoiding a lopsided festival that usually favors somber themes.

In terms of ambition, Dinig Sana Kita is just the stocky apartment between the high-rise buildings in this year’s competing films, but despite the indulgence in almost intolerable mawkishness, it manages to pull a string of hearts. You see, I have this thing about goody-goody films; I don’t want them to go on and hypnotize me and turn me into a Good Samaritan after the screening. The joke is the film turns out to be uplifting, inspiring, optimistic, moral, conscientious, straight, and all those churchy things, as if the poster has not suggested them at all, and I like it, well, almost like it, if you remove the dancing mother, the stylish effects to denote the singer’s troubled mind, and that note of plea in the end. I had a couple of laughs because the actors are surprisingly good, especially the band members, but I also had a couple of winces, and it’s crazy laughing and wincing one scene after another.

People who care so much about the difference between mainstream and independent cinema argue where the line is. But Mike Sandejas knows the game. He knows how to apply the mainstream elements to his “indie” film, telling you, hey, mainstream costs millionssssss, mine just costs millionss. Notice the s? He knows the rules; he knows the formula. It’s like the writer who already knows what to write and how to write it to win the Palanca. It lacks the surprise but then who wants the surprise if you have the prestige? The formula is not a secret but of all people Sandejas decides that, well, let’s make something good and uplifting. It sounds more like a homily. He had actually done that before. Tulad ng Dati is good, which becomes outstandingly good because its contemporaries are weak; it is a film that is not difficult to like if you like The Dawn, which more often than not you don’t, and it is uplifting in the sense that I cannot say anything more. Dinig Sana Kita is good because it is safe and harmless entertainment, and it is uplifting because, come on, it’s about the deaf people, how can you not feel your heart nudge a little? You don’t need to be a Catholic to appreciate it, and you don’t have to be deaf either. Because the language of love is universal, and love is for everyone.

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Oh, come on. It’s not.

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Comments»

1. you are a sheepfucker - July 22, 2009

you look like a sheepfucker! hahahahahahha!

2. david b - July 24, 2009

the curse of the internet: gives a semblance power to the immature.

3. straycat - August 12, 2009

Minsan nanunuod tayo ng film para ma-entertain din at the same time gusto natin ng element ng indie. Di ko man masabing lamang ang indie dito, Im still glad na may ganitog entry dis year. Totoo.


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