I would like to start this off by saying I absolutely loved this film. What first drew me to this film was that it was originally filmed in the Philippines and the main language of the film was in Tagalog with English subtitles. As a Filipino, I wouldn’t mind learning about my culture through the media, especially in the means of a movie. I must admit that I can’t speak any of the dialects found in the Philippines, but I’ve grown accustom to the sound of the language for it not to sound foreign to me. On top of that I don’t mind reading subtitles. Dubbed films sometimes lose the emotion that was intended in the original voices.
Another thing that drew me in is the subject of dance. I’m not a very good dancer myself, but I’ve been involved in the theatre for many years, which has caused me to dance in musicals (despite how long it takes for me to get it down). I can sympathize through the auditions, stage work and camaraderie characters had go through. Aside from relating to the characters, it was wonderful to witness dance moves up close and from different angles through the eye of the camera. The dances portrayed in the film reflect upon the emotions of the characters, who execute them with precision. Even every little gesture and movement translates into a feeling, a story. The use of camera angles and movement helped capture those feelings beautifully; I sometimes caught myself staring in awe at how amazing the shot looks (through the eye of a cinematography student).
The third thing was the topic of homosexuality. It’s not a topic that is covered a lot in mainstream movies. It’s not a typical love triangle story; I’d like to explain, but it’d ruin the deepness of the storyline the film had so carefully put together. But I can say that it was a pleasure watching the characters develop and build up till the very end of the film.
After the film, the producer, who had come to watch since it was the first viewing of the film, allowed a Q&A session about the storyline, process, and actors. It was definitely interesting to hear that it was filmed in a short amount of time – under a week if I’m not mistaken.
The music is absolutely beautiful. I was incredibly happy to hear that the producer had brought along copies of the soundtrack to sell. Again, everything is in Tagalog, but it’s just so audibly appealing to the ears that I still listen to the soundtrack, wishing I could see the film again.