Tulad ng Dati is a semi-biographical movie about The Dawn. It follows the life of Jett Pangan, a real life member of The Dawn, who suffers from selective amnesia after being assaulted by burglars. He forgets everything that happened after 1988, when his band was at the peak of its career. He is unable to absorb the realities of the present and goes on an emotional struggle of coping up.
Jett Pangan’s surreal confrontations with a Teddy Diaz’s ghost were really creepy. (Teddy Diaz is a member of the band who was murdered on 1988). It actually spooked me more than Sukob did. Which is good. But that’s just me. I also found their “bagay na nawala, hindi mahanap, hindi mapalitan, hindi makalimutan” discourse profound and worth pondering on.
The scenes with Ratbunitata, a ‘rival’ rock band, were hilarious, based on how other people in audience laughed, but for me they were really annoying. And some of their lines were just off. Audiences will also be treated to a few acts by The Dawn, and it will feel like watching a free concert. Some people might not like that though, as they were unsolicited, full-song acts that could have been cut shorter. I liked how the film handled the theme of nostalgia, in light of coming into terms with the present in order to move on.
I enjoyed the movie. But alternative rock band groupies will probably like this much better than I did. There were some lines uttered in the film only they seemed to especially appreciate. This, I think, will be a (minor) weakness once the film goes on the international circuit.
This movie is Cinemalaya 2006‘s best feature-length film. Hopefully, it gets distributed in mainstream cinemas so that more people will be able to see it. There’ll be a last showing later at 9PM in Cine Adarna.