Custodio: On unhappy endings

I WATCHED "Meet Me In St. Gallen" last week. If you haven’t watched it and was planning to do so, I’m sorry. My title gives it away. Too late to stop reading.

It was a beautifully made movie and I liked it a lot. I will not go into details but suffice to say, it was a well made movie and deserves the recognition that it is getting despite the fact that it does not star your usual big-named actors. It makes me proud to see that films like it are starting to be accepted by the movie-going public.

I cannot help but think how much the MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) from two years back made a good decision to prioritize indie films over the usual commercial ones. To date, that year was the best MMFF ever. I sincerely believe that it alleviated the quality of Philippine movies. That being said, let’s go back to St Gallen.

It really was a good film. I liked the fact that it was so unstereotypically Pinoy. This film did not use the usual formula which was a breath of fresh air. It showed just before Valentines. Tamang-tama.

The cinema was nearly full and as the movie rolled, the reactions were so animated, I found myself chuckling most of the time. It seems that a lot of people actually identify with the film.

Like I said, it was good. However, a lot of people left rather disappointed. Some couldn’t contain themselves and had to express their dismay. Moviegoers who were exiting the theater were shaking their heads because of the story’s unexpected twist. The protagonists did not end up with each other. Yup. The story did not end happily and it was unacceptable especially when Valentine's Day was just a few days away.

Heart wrenching, I have to admit. But art imitates life and life is not all happy endings. We have become so used to seeing boy-gets-girl and love conquers all that anything that deviates from this formula is not good at all. In fact, it can be very disconcerting.

Filipino movies have been quite a haven for these fantasies of forever happy endings. We love it because it feels good when it ends that way. Escapist, yeah. We want to be entertained because we want to be happy, heartbroken.

But real life in make believe stories is good too. I like the fact that the movie is actually believably possible. It could happen to any of us, whether we deny it or not. So what’s the point of this article being written for you to read today?

Life sucks but we have to suck it up.

It is never always sunny. There will be bad times. We will be thrown lemons and there will be times when we can’t make lemonade out of it.

Fact of life. There are things that we just have to endure. There are times when we have to be strong enough to get through unfortunate things that we can’t control. We need to learn to accept things for what they are and do our best to make it bearable till the whole thing blows over.

If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. I always tell myself this. And it is true. The best thing about it though, is the fact that none of my heartbreaking trials in life has come close to actually killing me!

That in itself is a blessing, right?

We should all take life in as it comes. We should accept much of it as we can, tweak the ones that we can tweak to our advantage, and just pray for strength for those that seem helpless. For what it is worth, we know there is much to learn from it so we should learn our lessons well. Life is made up of yin and yang so we have to take the bad with the good too. We should learn to appreciate everything for what it is because it enhances our experience, knowing that we have ‘lived’ other side. Agree?

And as for Philippine movies? I am happy! We are at the point when more people watch quality Filipino films. The fact that more and more people go out and watch Pinoy films make me so happy!!! You should all try to watch one. Maybe you can start with "Meet Me In St. Gallen".
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