Beware of spoilers. You have been warned.
So I finally watched “Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa” with my friends.
As a Communication student who took up Film as an elective, I can’t help but analyze and appreciate every scene and the hidden messages and symbolisms, and of course, the story itself.
The film starts with Sam walking to the LRT Katipunan Station. I like how he wasn’t fully revealed at first as he was turning his back on the camera. What I like in the first sequence is that it is taken in “one shot,” there were no cuts, just the camera following the Sam continuously.
This technique was used in other scenes as well. Like in the scene where he met with his girlfriend, Isa. As they walked to LRT Line 1, the camera follows then goes ahead of them. The transitions were smooth, and shots were not shaky (thank you, stabilizer).
Symmetry shots are
On their way to LRT 1, Sam stopped and looked at the view, saying “symmetry” and pointed out its artistic value. And indeed it is art, the scene, the view, and how they were divided by the symmetry line. Perfect.
Another scene which showed this combined with the rule of thirds. They were at the cafeteria, in silhouette. They were talking about something sensitive to them (see symbolisms later lol). The framing is just as beautiful. It was symmetrical when they were seated in front of each other. As Isa stood up and left, it became Rule of Thirds. What adds to this is the “grid effect” of the windows.
Other than those, the angles and camera works are superb. There were variety of shots used in the film, which adds to the “indie film effect.” (Because indie films usually go out of the box).
I remember saying “I’m gonna get their camera and stabilizer” multiple times.
One of the things that I really like about this film is the soundtrack. Everything is a perfect fit- from start to end. They got indie artists to compose songs for the movie. My favorite so far is the most famous, “Walang Hanggang” by Quest in which where the famous line “ang sabi mo walang hanggan, pero eto tayo sa dulo” came from. It played at the near end of the film, where Sam and Isa broke up.
Listen to the soundtrack here!
What I like about indie films is that symbolisms are everywhere. It seems the writer and the director scattered bits and pieces of symbolisms through out the film. And if you are keen and observant enough, these symbolims – especiallt the deep ones – will struck your heart, leaving you mindblown.
One of these symbolisms are obvious. The scene when they were in the cafeteria, the one I mentioned the symmetry about. They were in silhouette. And sillhouettes are unclear, right? They were having misunderstandings that time,making their relationship a bit unclear.
On their way home from Route 169, they took a cab. There, they had a heart-to-heart conversation about their relationship. As they talk about what lies ahead, the taxi is just going on. Until they were silent. They lean onto each other. You will notice the vehicle had stopped moving. Well, yes because of traffic. But this is a film, there something behind that silence, that pause. And that is: when it comes to love, time stops.
They arrived at their destination: Isa’s house. On their way there, they broke up, by the way. They talked and lie down for a moment, until Sam decided to go home. Isa was crying despite Sam saying “walang iyakan (don’t cry).” This scene is heartbreaking, especially when Sam left. As he leave, you can only hear the creak of the door, nothing else, even the room noise was removed. It was complete silence. A symbolism for loneliness and solitude, which symbolizes Isa is now alone, that she has no one now. ((my feels for this scene, my God.))
And the end of the film, Sam enters the classroom and asks for his students’ script outputs (
THIS BLEW MY MIND BECAUSE I THOUGHT HE WAS A STUDENT). Isa enters the room and submits her work. I expected it to be their story because they were dropping hints throughout the film, and her script title read “Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa.” He searches for the end of the script and erases “wakas” (“the end”), symbolizing their story is not over yet- well, at least for him. (And hey, there will be a sequel).
The story is obviously about them- Sam and Isa. It was rather linear, because it totally revolves around them- especially Sam, who gets more point of views than Isa. It starts when Sam receives a phone call on his way to school. At the start, it already suggested he has talent in filmmaking, having an invitation for the Berlin Film Festival. In film, we reap what we sow. And yes, it became a factor in the story (their conversation in the cab and at the end of the film).
In the first part, you would really think they are just a normal couple in college who are both into art and film, having discussed music, symmetry, and writing. Normal, yes, until you discover they aren’t your average couple at all.
The questions and the complications planted in the story were resolved in the end. The way Sam stresses about their relationship being wrong ended, he accepted his Berlin invitation, and Isa went away.
A good film finishes a story… unless it’s not really over yet.
The way it ended was kind of frustrating. You thought they had their own lives, happy and contented- until you notice that they crossed paths again without them knowing!
In typical movies which involves third paries, we usually see only the side of the one affected and the one who committed it. In this movie, however, we were given a glimpse of the other side: the side of the third party itself. It showed that they too, have hardships and that they know it is wrong, yet the feelings are strong.
Based on my observations, the theme has to be “forbidden love,” or “a love that’s wrong from the start will end up soon,” and its consequences.
Why? Their love was wrong from the start for two reasons
- Isa has a boyfriend, Frank
- Sam is a professor, Isa was his student
- Sam’s overthinking
- Secrecy of relationship
- Isa, having break ups twice in a day
- It is never ever easy
I would give it a 8/10. I just love the cinematography and the plot itself, as well as the symbolisms scattered throughout the film. However I feel that something is missing. Overall, it’s good. Can’t wait for the sequel!