Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sana Dati: A bittersweet story with a beautiful ending (Another thinkers' movie)

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DIRECTED BY: Jerrold Tarog
CAST: Paulo Avelino, Lovi Poe, Benjamin Alves, Liesl Batucan, Carla Martinez, Nico Antonio, Cai Cortez, Chinggoy Alonzo, Ria Garcia, Gee Canlas,  Bong Cabrera, Nonie Buencamino and TJ Trinidad


Director - Jerrold Tarog
Screenplay - Ramon Ukit
Executive Producer - Joey Abacan
Producers - Daphne O. Chiu, Jerrold Tarog
Cinematography - Mackie Galvez
Production Design - Ericson Navarro
Music - Jerrold Tarog
Sound Design - Roger TJ Ladro
Editor - Pats R.Ranyo
(image source URL from PEP)
Jerrold Tarog and Lovi Poe
SANA DATI is a beautifully weaved story about love, the choices we make, letting go and so much more.

I never saw any trailer of this film, but when my friend and neighbor, Jean Reyes(Tarog's classmate in UPLB), invited me to watch a Cinemalaya Directors' Showcase entry in Greenbelt 3 last night(July 31, 2013), but did not know the title of the film(she just found out that this was megged by Tarog when we were already inside the cinema), I silently wished it was SANA DATI(There were two Cinemalaya features last night).  Why? Because there was 
one film by Tarog that left a lasting impression(I watched it a couple of times in 2011...wrote something about it on my defunct blog, but wasn't able to save it) so I looked forward to watching SANA DATI.  That movie was written and directed by him. It's called: Senior Year.   When we entered the cinema we thought it was a shallow film and we did not expect to enjoy it.  It just so happened that the production staff, I just can't remember if Jerrold Tarog was there, was going around the mall informing the "innocent bystanders" about this film.  Since our dear RJ was itching to watch a movie and we've seen everything except that, we purchased tickets.  Enjoying the film while sympathizing and empathizing with the characters were just added bonuses.

SANA DATI completes the Camera Trilogy(1st installment: Confessional in 2007 a Cinema One Original and the 2nd installment: Mangatyanan in 2009) of the very brilliant Jerrold Viacrusis Tarog

I must admit that I was not fortunate enough to watch the first two installments, but after being impressed with SANA DATI, I would definitely watch them.

Lovi Poe is one of the best actresses(or actors, if we want to be politically correct) in the country, if not the world.  She is not only beautiful, but she definitely can act.  Yes, she is the lovechild of the great King who almost became the President of our country, but notwithstanding that fact, she is a genius on her own.

She can be bitchy, sweet, innocent, scary and all those other adjectives. She is like a chameleon and any kind of role suits her.

Here in SANA DATI, she plays Andrea, a woman who has decided to marry a suitor who was sure that he loves her, but she was still trapped in the past.

Although she met Robert before she did Andrew, their mutual attraction started the moment they met.

Everything was going smooth with Andrew, except that he had arrhythmia and that they were hiding their relationship from her family because... (don't want to give spoilers)

TJ Trinidad plays Robert.  A politician turned businessman who truly loves Andrea, the main protagonist of this film.  I felt his agony, his concern and the genuineness of his fidelity to Andrea.  

Trinidad was one of the most in-demand leading men, but turned antagonist because of his stern mestizo looks so in the middle of the movie I was wondering if Robert would show his "true colors" or if finally, he was back to being the one.

Benjamin Alves plays Andrew Cesario.  A very handsome man who holds a lot of promise, but is sheltered and overly protected by his mom because of his debilitating health problem.  He knew that his life might be shortened if he continued to love Andrea, but he chose happiness over his health.  Alves is Cesario. Benjamin is Andrew. That's how good he is and yes, he is more than an eye candy.


Paulo Avelino plays Dennis, the mysterious videographer who makes Andrea waver with her decision to marry Robert.  The wedding is delayed and makes everyone edgy.  People in the cinema probably wondered:Will Andrea run away with Dennis? 

Avelino is more than just a heartthrob. He has proven himself many, many times. He can be lethal or sweet or lovable or someone you would love to abhor.  Like the three aforementioned actors, he becomes his role and in this role he IS Dennis.

No one slept while watching this movie.  There was not a single boring scene.  When the characters weren't talking,  nature(and lighting) did the talking.  It was nice to travel with them, eat with them, reminisce with them like you are really part of their lives, laugh with them, cry with them, get nervous with them...I could go on and on.

Everyone played their part well.  I'm sure the people behind the scenes all did their part.  Maybe I wouldn't be able to mention everybody, but I will try to.  Here goes...


Ria Garcia was so believable as the little sister who was so tense that she even lost her expensive cellphone inside the cab. Cai Cortez plays a beautiful woman who is so loved by her groom. Nico Antonio is the very lively host who eventually "entertained" everyone who was getting fidgety because of the missing bride.  Gee Canlas plays the very witty, but naughty best friend and co-host to the role of Nico Antonio.  She and my niece are being managed by the same agency, MSB TM.   Another MSB Talent, Bong Cabrera plays the groom of Cai C's role.  He is very funny and believable. Such a natural!


Carla Martinez plays the pushy and social climbing mother of Andrea.  If I did not know that she is a woman with finesse and class, I would want to pull her hair or give her my two cents worth. Anyways, her character is not all that bad.  She just wants the best for her children.  

Liesl Batucan plays Tita Baby who is very loving and majorly concerned about her nieces, especially Andrea.  Batucan is a professional theater actress who can play a socialite, a bitch, a pauper, a maid, a flight attendant or whatever else.  Every role simply fits like it was tailor made for her.   

Nonie Buencamino is good in anything he does, and he was great as the Judge/Officiator.

Chinggoy Alonzo What could I do? I could describe him versatile, because he is. I could describe him as talented, just because. I could say he plays his role well, because he does. Here, he plays the role of Robert's dad who obviously loves his son and because he loves him too much, he also wants to check if he, Robert, knows what he is doing. 

Everyone clapped when the movie was over.  I must say that even if I guessed a lot of things, the ending was still unexpected and I like it that way.

I hope more people would be able to see this film with breathtaking views, great acting and in toto a wonderful story. 

Try to catch up!
August 2 (Friday):
4:00 PM - Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3
9:00 PM - CCP MKP Hall

August 3 (Saturday):
6:30 PM - Trinoma Cinema

August 4 (Sunday):
1:30 PM - Trinoma Cinema 2
1:30 PM - Alabang Town Center

Oh, and thanks to this movie I met Thea Gutierrez and Rona Goyareb-Velasco.

All glory and praise belongs to God! :)

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