Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011, Alvin Yapan)

Kinukumutan ka ng aking titig – R M

This impressive film could have been titled the Dance of the Flitting Eyes and it would have been just right. The eyes, more than the feet, do most of the important actions (and talking) in this scintillating, visually-appealing movie.

A lovestruck rich kid named Marlon Dionisio (Paulo Avelino) is stalking someone outside the Far Eastern University (FEU) campus. When he spots his love object, a middle-aged svelte lady (Jean Garcia), he homes in on her until she reaches her next working place, a dancing studio.

We soon learn that the sexy dancing instructor, Karen Pantoja, is also the literature class teacher of Marlon at FEU. She, with the wistful eyes, asks him about a poem of Ruth Mabanglo (R M). The student clams up and later rues his chance to make a strong impression on his dearly beloved teacher. He seeks the help of classmate Dennis Acejo (Rocco Nacino), who happens to be an assistant of Karen in the dancing studio.

Marlon enrolls in the dance class of Karen. He also secretly hires Dennis as a dance tutor. Marlon perseveres because he wants to shine and perform well in the eyes of Karen. Unknown to him, a different pair of eyes is showering him with love and affection.

Mahal, ako ay napapapikit – R M

With Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, I’ve finally found an Alvin Yapan film to adore. His first two Cinemalaya films Huling Pasada and Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe left me bewildered and unsatisfied. The screenplays of the two films seem better off being a nice read than being adapted for the screen.  

Third time’s the charm for Yapan. He has finally learned how to transpose his literary musings into chunks of engaging film language. A ballsy magnificent cotillion scene in Sayaw shows the two boys having an argument. Karen steps in to defuse the heated exchange. It sounds simple enough, but the amazing thing is the characters are ‘conversing’ using only their eyes! Bravo!

The Dance of Two Left Feet also utilized brilliant Filipino poems in a variety of approaches. A poem-song was used as accompanying music during a dance scene. Another poem about heartbreak was dissected by the two male leads. If you loved the poems so much, then I advise you to purchase the Original Sound Track. Included are the poems Kinukumutan Ka Ng Aking Titig (R M), Kontrapunto (Ophelia Dimalanta/Translated in Filipino by Rebecca Añonuevo), Litanya (Merlinda Bobis), Paglisan (Joi Barrios), Ang Sabi Ko Sa Iyo (Benilda Santos), and Nais Kong Madarang (Rebecca Añonuevo). It's a convenient and probably less expensive way of getting all the poems in one go.

The ending of Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa leaves the viewers with a mystery. But by then, we no longer need to unmask the secret in the wet eye of Marlon (and also the pensive eyes of the inexplicably single Karen). Prying more is akin to knifing brutally a ripe star apple. The gentle, graceful, and passionate poems/steps/gazes they shared with us have nourished and refreshed us like a bunch of delicious tropical fruits. Saktong-sakto lang ang pagkahinog. Mapapapikit ka sa sarap sa bawat kataga....

2 comments:

  1. hello! would you be interested in catching the press preview of our MMFF indie entry, Mga Anino ng Kahapon? i just don't know how to send you the e-vite. it's for tonight, dec 3.

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  2. Hi, Mr. Ang. I am very much interested but evening previews run afoul with my shift at night. Well, I guess I have to see your film during the indie week run of MMFF. Good luck on your preview night and thanks for considering me as a guest. Please send future e-vites to rj.costales@ft.com :)

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