ULANDirected by Irene Villamor
Cast: Carlo Aquino, Nadine Lustre
“Remember this, nothing can stand in the way of love.” Who wouldn’t believe in something so romantic, especially when the words are spoken by a tikbalang–the mythical half-human, half-horse of Philippine folklore? And after listening to her lola’s superstitious stories of discovering true love in the rain, romance writer Maya longs for the same. Unfortunately, Maya is certain that she is cursed. Whenever a Mr. Right shows up in Maya’s love life, it begins to rain, washing away romance along with her tears. After vowing never to cry over a man again, Maya unexpectedly meets Peter, who just may be the sunshine she needs to turn her luck around. Too bad Peter is also a priest.
Superstitions serve many purposes, sometimes explaining the unexplainable or providing comfort for life’s unanswerable questions. For director Irene Villamor, folklore’s mystique and menace are given an essential role in ULAN’s melodrama–appearing in surprising moments with a craftlike quality far from any CGI heroics. With whimsy and gorgeous cinematography, ULAN uniquely positions love as something we find within, even when we desperately want to find it in someone else. ULAN ultimately asks, when the storms come, can Maya stand the rain?