Relax! Relax! Ang puso mo!
Nasa ‘yo. —- Joke laaang!
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, YOU SHOULD. I have no part in the film and no stake at its revenue but with all storytelling it made, I really felt it is really worth-watching. Consider this as my warning to you – THIS POST IS A MAJOR SPOILER. AND A MAJOR UP CULTURE and SUB-CULTURE DISCUSSION.
It’s a story about an unconfessed (therefore unrequited) love – a one way love which this generation loves (and hates) so much. You know, that.. one way love? So the movie is a hipster romcom chick flick movie but done in a very tasteful manner with nice execution.
Plot and Crucible
Dio and Carson are super close friends which started when they were in college. Carson grew her love for Dio which she kept for seven long-years – parallel to their academic residency in the University. The challenge here is how will she confess her feelings to him and manage her expectations on Dio’s response to that confession?
Their roles and characters were laid out simply. The scene opens in UP Cine Adarna–
for non-UP audience – the UP Cine Adarna is an 800-seat capacity theater which serves as a venue to certain campus events. Usually this is where independent movies are premiered. Even the most raw kinds of films can be shown here – no cuts. This institution is not covered by MTRCB censorship. This is to broaden the artistic appreciation of students and audience not bound by any limitations. Cine Adarna is also used by several UP institutions to its College Recognition Day – that’s the ‘college’ equivalent of graduation to us. But technically, it’s only a recognition day.
–where Carson and her friend are talking about their graduation which therefore expounds her mom’s character and the situation they’re in – graduation.
Carson and her friend are eating either banana que or karioka. In UP, that’s the staple merienda of students. Manangs and nanays stall where there are events and people (aside from their permanent stalls) and sell lumpia, bicho, karioka, and banana que. Morning breakfast is another set of diet and menu.
Dio is a film major (which then I prejudged him as a millennial hipster artistic musician, then I was right) who is not interested on what future awaits him even though he passed LAE —
LAE or Law Aptitude Exam is an admission exam administered by the UP College of Law annually. It is often regarded as one of the most stringent law admission exam. Those who pass the LAE earn an almost lifetime bragging rights of being a LAE passer even when graduating from the UP College of Law is another story.
— and he’s not happy about it. Their friend, Jason Ty is another character story. Though it’s a tried-and-tested gay beshie formula, they were still able to pull it off. But this movie, I think, tried to humanize further Jason’s role as not your only tried-and-tested beshie but a more substantive living LGBT person. I wonder though why do they have to characterize him as “Jason Ty” in the whole film, perhaps to make it noticeable? Hence my wonder? Nonetheless, all characters played at most one or two scenes – oh there’s another major character, Pathy. She is like the anti-thesis of Carson. Carson is flamboyant, outgoing, outspoken, liberal and independent. Pathy is meek, prim, proper, feminine, and this is what swoons a regular guy. I think her name was really intended as it is – Pathy. Pathos meaning disorder, or something improper in feeling. She makes Carson uneasy.
Both Carson and Dio are MRR status in the University–
–or Maximum Residency Rule is a universal rule in UP which restricts overstaying of students in the University. Students are only allowed x1.5 of their residency in UP. For example, Engineering courses which have 5 years in its curriculum program only allow at a maximum of 7.5 years (5 + 2.5) of residency in the University . Likewise, 4-year courses only allow a maximum of 6 years of residency in the University.
thus, moving forward to another phase of life is completely inevitable.
I have no background in film so I have no idea in methods of filming so please bear with me on this. The director has a good background in millennials’ and hipsters’ way of life – perhaps because he is also one? The movie extensively utilized alcohol as the pivotal instrument in important scenes. It is the trigger device to Carson and Dio’s conversation, Carson and Jason’s heart to heart talk, and even Carson’s confession to Dio, and their moment of patching things up. Hence the title. Humors are executed by music and novelties such as language and body movements – remember that ‘luh luh luh luh luh ooohhh’ on the iPod scene and that Bagnet dance? Oh such a guilty pleasure to dance with that bagnet body wave while eating it.
What I love most is the director’s treatment to music as their language and their silence as their emotions. Every turning point that happens in the movie corresponds its moment in major silence. It is basically commanding the audience to feeeeeel what Carson feeeeels.. when an explosive line is delivered, look at their eyes, then the cinematography, then listen to the drop of the music.. oooh them feeeels! Direk JP (first name basis?! How close) really knows how to fill up the emotion and trigger them all at once for you to explode. Those scenes happened with the following:
- First scene of Dio and Carson – she asked him of his plan in entering Law School. Maja felt betrayed. She was faltering. Dio snatched his guitar and plays his composition. She asked (non-verbatim) ‘maglo-law school ka pala di ka nagsasabi’, Dio retorted with the lines of the song he’s writing. Oh that feelssss.
- Carson finally confessed to Dio her love for him. It was a moment of silence, then Carson dropped the ‘I love you’ bomb! Both of them exploded.
Mahal kita, seven years na. Seven years na kitang mahal.
Good thing Carson managed to compose herself from Dio’s breakdown confession MOMOL. Oh that feelssss.
- Carson waking up from last night’s chaos. This is my favorite scene. Carson finally confessed her feelings, it was kept for seven long years. Now she finally said it. What’s next? He kissed her. He almost fucked her. Why? To make up for his mistakes? To make up for his future mistakes because he can’t really reciprocate her feelings? That’s the best sorry that he can give? A fuck? What’s next after the confession? Too many questions running though her mind, and me as an audience. What will happen next? But as an audience, I wanted to savor that moment of confusion from last night’s war. Direk JP gave us audience that silence. Carson was lying alone on her bed, no music, no people talking, no nuisance noises, complete silence. Not only to think, but also to feel the emotion.
- Carson and Dio was standing with the audience during Daluyon Music Festival. Look at the cinematography here. Carson stepped backward on the left, Dio in the middle, Pathy on the right. Carson distanced herself from Dio, but she prayed that Pathy will take that long at the comfort room. Just an ample time for her to glance at Dio. That’s the only scene in the movie where she was emotional with Dio. It was quite a leap from her character towards Dio. She did finally confess her feelings. Then the music plays again. Saaaad song.
- The moving on scene. They drank at the closed Tomato Kick (TK) while Dio is wearing his sablay.
—sablay or sash in English is a garment worn by UP students on their graduation. Instead of the traditional graduation gown and toga, UP Diliman students (some UP units wear gown and toga) wear Barong Tagalog (for men) or Filipiniana or any white dress and skirt (for women) while wearing the sash with a baybayin script stitched on it meaning U.P. Wearing a sablay while taking a picture with your parents is one of the most rewarding moments for a family. It is symbolic to your rite to college and your parents’ role to you in your education.
Dio wore his sablay perhaps as part of his apologetic gesture to Carson. For the whole movie, he eloped topics on his life after graduation and after his college life. He is afraid to see what is awaiting him come graduation day. He feels the pressure of creating a dent in the universe. He was so scared in life after graduation that he ditched his graduation. Hashtag adulting. But in this scene, he had his share of his realizations. He wore his sablay and asked Carson out. TK is already closed but still they pursued drinking (again). Carson chuckled. I think that’s her complete realization that there’s life after loving Dio. Dio was dying to know why she laughed, Carson never bothered telling him the reason. I also never wanted Carson to tell Dio the reason, because I knew her reason. Only Carson and us audience know the real reason. They laughed again together. That’s her first laugh after her heartbreak with Dio.
Heavily emotional but inquisitively complete. I like the non-verbal communications between the characters. I can understand them completely. Their story of friendship was firmly established that you wouldn’t really want them to end up together because that will look utilitarian to both of them since both of their premises were in awkward situations. Normally, I never look for flaws to any movie, as long as the movie is able to convey its message effectively, I think it did its purpose; to entertain and teach the audience. I both did.
Oh by the way, since you cannot take away the geographer in me, I forced myself of doing something ‘geographical’ in the movie, so, I created a map of places which Carson, Dio, Jason, and Pathy visited during the course of the movie.
So here’s the map of Carson and Dio’s escapade in the movie. Majority of the film were shot in UP campus, Teacher’s Village, and La Union. Of course I don’t have the marking of Carson, Dio, and Jason’s houses. All else are indicated in the map. Be sure to zoom in and click the landmarks on the map to check the trivia in each setting.
By the way, as of this posting, IDILY is only shown at 14 cinemas in Metro Manila and 23 cinemas nationwide. Such a sad feeling that this movie is taken for granted. It is definitely worth-watching.