Cinemalaya X 2014 (Day 2): Dagitab, #Y – Generation Gap

Nonie Buencamino and Eula Valdez leads the cast of Giancarlo Abrahan's film: Dagitab
Nonie Buencamino and Eula Valdez leads the cast of Giancarlo Abrahan’s film: Dagitab (taken from the Film’s FB Page)

Generation Gap is the wittiest thing that I could come up with right now regarding these two films that I’ve watched in today’s Cinemalaya lineup. On one hand you have the story of two married UP professors in their midlives dealing with their issues in Giancarlo Abrahan’s Dagitab, and on the other you have the the story of a teenager in crisis in Gino Santos’ #Y. Both however are stories of personal struggle, albeit on the different points in one’s life. One story ends with hope, and another ends tragically (Or did it? It will make you wonder, but I’m getting ahead of myself) – [SPOILER ALERT, by the way]

  • Coming from yesterday’s stressful films, this film feels refreshing
  • Watched this film on its Gala premiere, and the director, introducing the film, couldn’t have put it in simpler terms: Its a story of two lonely people searching for each other
  • The most artsy and sort of visually awe-inducing one I’ve watched so far. The shots man, there were scenes that looked very surreal. If you took a Murakami book and turned it into a film, it’ll probably look similar to this
  • Probably because it had some supernatural elements to it. Hello Diwatas!
  • I might have used this adjective with another film review already, but the situations and the scenes were so genuine. It’s like watching how your parents typically talk in the house, if  your parents happen to be two UP professors, that is.
  • It mainly focuses on Jimmy (Noni Buencamino) and Issey’s (Eula Valdez) individual struggles – Jimmy with his decades-long research/Love Interest on the Legendary Bulan, and Issey with her loneliness and the (scandalous) answer in the form of her young student (Martin Escudero)
  • I loved how Issey puts it in one of the scenes – of love leaving a void when its gone, and you just have to be a bigger person so that the void wouldn’t be felt anymore. That exact thing is what happened to Jimmy’s after his “quest” finally ended. He became the bigger person for his wife, despite what happened
  • In that sense, the film left a hopeful taste in the end, that maybe they’ll be able to work it out
  •  A friend who was watching the film with me felt that the film was a bit conjointed, and could’ve felt more put together. I will have to agree with her on that though as Jimmy and Issey’s storylines somewhat felt separate. And then you have this little subplot between the young student and another angsty poet
  • The good news is that its not glaringly obvious, and the film is actually enjoyable!


#Y poster from the Cinemalaya Home Page
#Y poster from the Cinemalaya Home Page
  • If you read the previous bullets, this means that #Y is the one with the Tragic Ending, or does it? (ooh, why do I question this?)
  • If Dagitab left a hopeful taste, in this one, Cynicism was the dominant flavor
  • I think that the Director  (and the writer) is really cynical about the generation he featured in his film
  • It has a touchy subject: Suicide. With drugs, partying, sex, etc. thrown into the mix
  • It also has some snippets of Corruption, Religion – a little dig on social issues and how Gen Y people view this things
  • …which was pretty cynical
  •  Since it has been touched upon, can I mention that there was this scene wherein they mentioned ‘The Catcher in Rye’? It is quite infamous for driving some people to commit suicide.
  • It mentioned Perks of a Wallflower too – which could be a clue to describe Miles’ (played by Elmo Magalona) state..
  • ..or could be something where you could compare the movie to. It was similar in such a way that it’s an up-up-and-then everything comes crashing down kind of film; You have this Lead with really serious issues and his adventures with his Friends who are also issue ridden in their own ways. Even this drug-infused-party scene with some disturbing images flashing in between.  The way it was presented reminded me of Perks
  • It could’ve been just that
  •  ..but it’s not and I’m glad that it isn’t. I do appreciate the fact that it did attempt to show what exactly a person with Suicidal tendencies goes through. I appreciate the scenes where the Miles talks with Abby, the counselor, over the Suicide hotline. Because somehow it shows how to handle situations like the one Miles was facing.
  • I also appreciate the fact that yes, they were able to successfully show a proper, Party Scene. And probably a close approximation of the feeling of being high on drugs.
  • Yes, Elmo Magalona fit the role. I initially thought he didn’t during the first few scenes. But during the course of the film, I thought, yup, he’s a pretty convincing dead kid inside character
  • Now that I think about it, it does seem to be a good film to me. Technical wise, acting wise, storywise – because overall, I can’t dismiss it as just another Kids-gone-wild film
  • And regarding the first bullet on #Y? There were a lot of scenes where everything was just pretty much in Miles’ head. Even one particular character. I dunno, the thing that Happened with Miles, you couldn’t help but wonder if that was just in his head too?

3 thoughts on “Cinemalaya X 2014 (Day 2): Dagitab, #Y – Generation Gap

  1. I didn’t like #Y so much, it was an attempt to tackle something profound but failed or was rather ill-conceived because of the horrible acting (except Colleen Garcia & Chynna Ortaleza).

    Dagitab on the other hand was quite lovely, it does actually give off a Haruki Murakami vibe, though some of the scenes were long, dead and unnecessary- at least for me.

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