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Rain (2019)

Rain (2019)

A girl finds true love in this unusual, marvelous, rain-soaked coming-of-age drama

The Very Best

8.1

Movie

Philippines
Tagalog
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
2019
FEMALE DIRECTOR, IRENE VILLAMOR
Aj Muhlach, Andrea Del Rosario, Angeli Bayani
96 min

TLDR

I just really, really love when filmmakers take risks.

What it's about

Every time it rains while it’s sunny, they say that the tikbalang– half-horse, half-human creatures– are getting married, even if the gods disapprove. Every time it rains, Maya ends up falling in love, and getting her heart broken, until one day, she meets a new person while taking shelter under a waiting shed.

The take

To those unfamiliar with Filipino folklore, some of the scenes in Rain (2019) might feel kooky, with horse heads and giant eggs and the personification of a typhoon popping up occasionally in between Maya’s quest for love. Even fans of Filipino romantic dramas and love teams might be taken aback by the last third of the film, which doesn’t take the usual route in the genre. But these eccentric choices work to characterize Maya as someone who loves being in love, as someone who grew up on mythology and fantasy to cope with the difficulties of life, as someone who nevertheless keeps that belief despite the terribleness of the mundane, the mismanaged inconveniences that pile up, and, of course, the multiple heartbreaks that she faces. It may be strange and unexpected, but Ulan is just one of the most unique Filipino romances ever created.

What stands out

Irene Villamor is known best for her understated romance dramas that focus more on the dynamic formed between day-to-day conversations, spontaneous connections, and time and location specific contexts– which makes Ulan all the more surprising, considering how fantastic, how ambitious, and how visually different Ulan is compared to the rest of her work. It’s a risk that paid off creatively, but it’s also a risk I wish she would take again.

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