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Saturday, July 9, 2011

In the Name of Love

I recently watched the Filipino film, “In the Name of Love” – a story of a man and woman in love and were separated by unfortunate events of life. After some years, they reunited, found out they were still in love with each other – but at a time when the woman was already engaged to another man. To make the long story short, they tried to fight for their love with the two men getting shot in the end. My heart was racing watching the man (who the woman was in love with) trying to save the woman’s life and getting shot as a result. My heart ached thinking it might be the end of their love story. I was about to enter into a cathartic moment as tears started to well up in my eyes, when shortly, I took a sigh of relief after seeing that the man was alive.

My tears turned into joy as I watched the two lovers riding off to happily ever after to the tune of a nice love song. Shortly after, though, I realized the film had not been careful at leading my emotions. It was a tragedy from the very beginning – but a fairytale in the end. After building up heavy drama in my heart, it would tell it to not shed a tear. Then I realized I wanted the movie to stop at the death scene. It didn't, so I found myself searching for a sense of resolution - one the movie had not given me and this is where the real tragedy happens.

I like happy endings – please don’t get me wrong. I even watch Disney films and like the 3D animated parody of Romeo and Juliet (Gnomeo and Juliet) which changed the tragic ending to a happy one.

But “In the Name of Love” should have been faithful to its theme. In the name of love, people would risk dying and hurting and letting go of something precious. That was my time to cry – but the movie didn’t let me. It soothed the pain of my heart in a bad way. I didn’t need a happy ending – I needed to cry.

What’s wrong with a tragic movie? If it had been so till the end though, Aga and Angel fanatics would have hated it.

I wonder when Filipinos would be ready for a catharsis – when we will outgrow our fantasies, our happily ever after’s.

We always find reasons to hope and celebrate – but sometimes, the best way to do so is first to face tragedy as it is – grieve over it and to look at it in the face instead of sugarcoating everything with laughter because laughter is not always the best medicine. 

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