Monday, February 15, 2016

Imperfections of a sincere and authentic relationship

Several films on relationship were on cable TV the eve of Valentine’s day.

TMC (Tagalized Movie Channel) aired Nicolas Spark’s The Best of Me an American production about an unlikely relationship between two young lovers that abruptly ended yet reunited again decades after.  On the same night, it telecast My Love, My Bride, a Korean film originally in Korean dubbed by Filipino voice talents  about the post honeymoon stage of college sweethearts who separately go through struggling moments in their lives kept to themselves not sensed by their partners except to friends. The undetected struggles were sufficient motivation for the mutual discomfort and dissonance.

Cinema One aired two 2013 Cinemalaya’s entries, That Thing Called Tadhana and #Y. That Thing Called Tadhana is film capture of an initially shallow developing into a sincere conversation between a woman striving to move on after a failed relationship and a stranger. That Thing has been dubbed as the “ultimate hugot film of the year 2013.” #Y is about the conyo generations’ ultimate escape from life, suicide after a failing to reconcile between self image and reality both in personal and family relationships.

My Love, My Bride is hilariously novel in character and situation. It is about a sincere and an authentic young relationship of an apparently perfect match put on a blind spot. He is a social worker and a budding poet, she an art teacher and a portrait artist. Set in modern Korea, the days of their respective his and her lives were dramatically executed with wit, humor, pain and seriousness. Daily, you empathize with the joys and sufferings of the busy professionals. Four separate episodes dramatize the ups and downs of their relationship starting with happy moments, showing conflicts and ending with the redemption of winning back each other. She got hurt when his friends sing and drink in their condo. He got hurt when she entertained her friend in the movie house. He got hurt when she watched the concert of her former musical director admirer. They both get hurt when she did not sense his pain of losing a poet mentor and he her medical condition. All these test their relationship giving reassurances of its sincerity.

Seemingly treated lightly, the movie eventually delivers a profound message of relationship expressed in a poem by a poet the social worker handles and from whom he gets advice on writing poems and in setting priorities “Ang buhay ay isang tula. At ang tula ang dahilan ng buhay. Kaya lang huwag mo sanang hayaang maagaw ng tula ang mga bagay na mahalaga.”

Similar to how That Thing Called Tadhana successfully captures the nuances of relationship in an engaging dialogue, My Love My Bride succeeds too but differently. The situations happen and the emotions are the real. And the reality is imperfect. It is the imperfection that deepens the tie that binds beyond the honeymoon stage. Life after the honeymoon stage after all is no longer a fairy tale but not totally a nightmare. My Love, My Bride shows it can be a maturing happy reality. Both films show the universality of falling in love regardless of cultural setting. One falls in love, falls out of love and recovers. If there is no recovery one moves on.


“My Love, My Bride is a 2014 South Korean romantic comedy film starring Jo Jung-suk and Shin Min-ah. Young-min and Mi-young are a young couple who get married after graduating from college. Following the honeymoon period, they begin to bicker with each other. As they struggle to make their marriage work, Young-min and Mi-young gradually understand what love really is.”

Tagalized Movie Channel is in Channel 82 on Sky Cable. Cinema One is in Channel 56.

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