It’s the weekend before the Valentine’s Day season officially starts in the country.
Once again, our social media timelines will be bombarded with a million and one images of #surprises, #gifts, and #truelove posts enough to make any sane single person go crazy.
But even before that so-called “love craze” takes place, one film went ahead in presenting love to Filipino moviegoers. Starring Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman, That Thing Called Tadhana was and the brainchild of writer and director Antoinette Jadaone.
Working with only P2 million budget granted by Cinema One Originals, the film was shown in select cinemas in November 2014 but gained traction on social media after movie theaters were booked with people clamoring for tickets online.
And that was when I personally experienced the Tadhana craze after seeing my friends and officemates search high and low for tickets during its first run (a commercial run is set this February). The craze continued when the same friends (Hi Jap, Juliet,Yla, and Roz!) quoted lines from the movie long after they watched it. Soon after, more and more posts appeared on my timeline causing a curiosity about the little movie that could.
The film revolved around a broken hearted girl named Mace (Panganiban) and Anthony (de Guzman) the guy she meets unexpectedly (ah, don’t we all love that meet cute story) on the way to healing her broken heart.
Sitting down with director Antoinette Jadone, I instantly asked her what sparked the inspiration for the film, “Pinaghalo-halo ko ang personal love stories, heartaches, and heartbreaks ko, ng mga friends ng friends ko, sa internet, sa mga coffee shop na malakas ang boses. I’ve wanted to direct a love story, and That Thing Called Tadhana has become that dream.“
She also admitted that finishing the script was quite easy because in sense, it was already pre-researched with 10 years of experiencing and hearing heartbreaks herself.
These stories of heartbreaks, which the movie was built upon, made connection to the audiences, no matter what walk of life they’re from.
“Tayo si Mace at si Anthony. Pwedeng buong buhay natin, o kahit isang araw lang, naging Mace o Anthony tayo. Maybe that’s why Tadhana is so relatable. I’m sure at one point or another in the movie, when you hear Mace or Anthony talk, you might probably say, ‘Sinabi ko ‘youn ah!’, only this time, it’s Angelica or JM saying it.”
She continued, “It’s nice to go back to that time when you were so stupid in love.
When that was happening, it was so painful—gusto mo nang mamatay—but years after, it’s just becomes a story na masarap pagtawanan. And I hope That Thing Called Tadhana can remind us of that.”
Suddenly, heartbreak didn’t feel like an isolation rather something that everyone could relate to thus making the film succesful i nthe big screen.
However, the director commented that that success was unexpected. She shared, “May hope naman lagi na sana maraming manood, sana maraming magka-gusto but I wasn’t prepared for the kind of reception that we got during its limited release.”
And the greatest lesson of Tadhana is that we should not run away from heartbreaks because in the long run, it would make us better. Just look at Direk Antoinette. Not only did she discovered her capability to write, she also produced a film that would help broken hearted people recover, or at the very least, laugh.
So what for her is the true healer of a broken heart? “Panahon,” she declared without batting an eyelash.
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That Thing Called Tadhana hits theaters on February 4.