Most of the time, when you see a movie being advertised across social media channels or almost every television show, the typical question would be, “Who will play the lead roles?”
We should not omit to ask though, “What is the movie about?” Regardless of which question gets answered first, the most important thing is how the message is conveyed to those who came to watch the film.
That feeling you get when you order food from the restaurant, and you get to smile while you’re eating and finally burp in satisfaction – yes, that same set of emotions while watching is what I personally wish to feel. Because let’s admit it – you don’t want to watch anything for nothing. A movie, as cliche as it gets, is tagged, impacting with the message it conveys, how it is conveyed without having to say so much. “Isa Pa, With Feelings” is all that, both literally and figuratively.
But how does this movie prove that there’s more beyond words?
1. You are understood and fought for by a person who chooses to without having to say a word.
Gali, a deaf, independent man, played by the award-winning actor Carlo Aquino, struggles to find himself a place in the world of those who can hear, especially after having to go through a bad break-up with Anika (Arci Munoz). Anika chose to end her relationship with Gali because eventually, she got fed up “taking care” of him. This triggered Gali’s fear of entrusting his heart again to someone.
Mara, a once goal-driven woman whose only aim was to make her family happy enrolled in Sign Language classes where Gali became her teacher. A friendship sparked between the two, especially at a time when she grieved her failure to pass the Architectural Board Exam. Gali made her see through the world beyond silence, and she chose to stand by him despite whatever circumstances in his disability even when at first, his resistance was strong.
Because really, there need be no words spoken when a person chooses to understand and fight for you regardless of the odds.
2. Your failures do not define you.
Mara’s failures made her doubt her ability to be a part of any world – her chosen profession and even in the life of Gali when he decided to shut her out of his life. Gali, on the other hand, failed in his previous relationship and somehow chose to dwell in it.
There are times when we all think our lives end when we fail, may it be examinations or being a part of our significant other’s presence. We blame us for not winning every battle. But these challenges aren’t all of us. Failures do not have to end our lives. It may be tough, but we have to start seeing through things in silence. Discovering a part of us, seeing through to ourselves, and believing that there’s more to failures than tears and grief.
Mara chose to understand and see through people, even fought for it that even when she seemed to have lost the battle, she knew she had to do something the moment she gets the chance. Gali meanwhile, stood up to “Gusto kong patunayan sa sarili ko na kaya ko.” (I want to prove to myself that I can do it.) when he diligently learned to dance despite his disability.
3. People face battles we know nothing about.
You have a choice to wear bravery as armor and kindness as your sword amidst the world’s chaos.
Sometimes, we have to listen to the world in silence. Chaotic as it may seem, every single person we meet may be facing battles we are not aware of. When Gali and Mara met the first time, they knew nothing about each other. Each of their battles would have been impossible to be understood.
In that particular scene where Mara’s mind was out of nowhere, causing a car accident between the two, Gali had a choice to wreak havoc despite his disability, but he chose to see through the person’s eyes. He rather wanted to lead Mara to his world and cheer her up.
The world may already be chaotic that we instead choose to see the good in things and people. While it’s never easy to be in despair because of circumstances we think we could have controlled, we have to decide to wear bravery and fight life with kindness. A world full of judgments will certainly weigh lighter when we understand the reality that each one of us is fighting a battle we’re not aware of. Your kindness will undoubtedly make a difference.
— Black Sheep (@Black_SheepPH) October 20, 2019
4. To love is sweet in silence.
Love doesn’t have to say a thing. It doesn’t even have to be spoken to be felt. In Mara and Gali’s case, they thought they needed to be there for each other. Each one of them could have been fighting a battle with themselves, but in the end, they instead chose to love in silence, to love despite it all.
One may be deaf and the other not, but in reality, most of us are deaf of the true meaning of love. We rather choose to understand from our perspectives, but looking at it in a pensive, love is more than what others can say and what you choose to hear. Gali and Mara decided to love in the silence of their hearts.
It’s sad when people poke fun of those who choose to love despite shortcomings, may it be a disability or any form of imperfections. They see through the person, and they don’t have to explain why.
5. Everything is definitely more than words.
When Gali and Mara danced to the beat despite his disability, there could have been fear and hesitation. The fear of failing and hesitation because of judgments. At a time when fear suddenly struck Gali during the performance, Mara without even having to utter a single word patiently led him through to the dancefloor until the music came to an end.
Our Filipino parents would have probably instilled “Makuha ka sa tingin.” (Allow my eyes to speak.) That brought shivers down our spines growing up. Thinking through it, they also meant to teach us to understand more than words. It’s sensitivity in every single situation and knowing what to do to pull things through.
The lead roles did a great job of portraying their characters in the movie. We’ve always known how Carlo Aquino’s eyes say something without having to say a word. And yes, this was another side of Maine Mendoza that we were able to see. The movie as a whole didn’t only see through the Deaf Community, but those with Disabilities in general. It’s indeed a movie that’ll make your heart full the moment you step out of the cinema.
Happy Saturdaaaay, friends! Whatchu gonna do this weekend? Wala pa bang plano? Eh bakit di nalang manood na ng Isa Pa With Feelings? Nandito lang kami ni Carlo, o! Sinusundo ka na namin, cheret. #IsaPaFeelGoodWeekend pic.twitter.com/QtfWPee9U7
— Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) October 19, 2019
“Isa Pa, With Feelings” is a movie that aims to tell a different story, convey a message, and did hit the right spot. While the people behind the said project didn’t at all aim for a huge box-office, its impact on the people didn’t have to ask for anymore with feelings because it already has it.
Kudos to the cast and crew behind this marvel and the Director Prime Cruz through Black Sheep Entertainment!