Movie Title: 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
Directed and Written By: Jason Paul Laxamana
In the Philippines, August marks our celebration for “Buwan ng Wika” (National Language Month) where we honor our national language—Filipino. Along with this occasion, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) launched Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, a week-long festival featuring 12 Filipino films. All cinemas nationwide will only house these movies (no foreign ones) from August 16-22 this year. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella (100 Poems For Stella) is one of the entries.
THE MOVIE POSTER
I love how they used a page/book-like as a back drop and doesn’t the sky look poetic? JC was shown writing (obviously the poems) though I would appreciate it if there’s a guitar placed beside Bela to show what she does or who she is in the movie. A collision of music and poetry! I’m in love.
Fidel (JC) is a college student who stutters. He can only talk properly if he’s reading something/from his index card. It wasn’t mentioned there about the origin of his condition but his therapist gave him the 3 word rule. He should only speak three words to avoid stuttering. On his freshman year, he met Stella (Bela), the rocker chick who cares about nothing but her dream to make it in the music industry. Their personalities don’t really match but it just shows that you don’t have to be the same to be able to give respect and kindness to someone, let alone be friends
(or more). The story sparse out throughout their college years with conflicts here and there—both peers and personal issues. Very relatable. It was set in 2000s and it showcases OPM music which I really love. It’s a nice way to revive not just writing poetry but also the music scene we have been loving since high school. The ending is sad but not tragic sad as some viewers claimed it to be. I shed tears of course because I am a soft person. LOL I like how it ended in a (kinda) positive tone after all the heartaches. Still, I just want to cry until credits.
Fidel’s character progression is admirable. I love how he developed confidence throughout his college years. Since he stutters, I find it a relief that he writes poems. At least there, he can release his emotions. Writing is very cathartic. He is also the epitome of “I’ll do everything for love.” CAN YOU BELIEVE HE WAS WILLING TO LET STELLA TAKE HIS OFFER BECAUSE IT’S HER DREAM. DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE LEARNED TO LOVE PERFORMING TOO. Sacrifice.
However, Stella is underdeveloped. Her angst failed to move me. I would appreciate more family background to really feel where she is coming from. Although I must really say that never judge someone with black lipstick to be like an evil human being. LOL It’s just a rock/punk thing. Mind your own style and genre. Stella is very stubborn and it frustrated me. Also, her means of chasing after her dreams are not to take credit for. It’s a no no no no no. I won’t call it passion. It’s desperation.
What I think in general:
It will be better if they give more focus on the poems since you know, the title. As someone who loves poetry, I expected so much from the pieces here. It lacks depth or maybe it’s just really me. It’s still a form of art after all. Hence, personal preference. I wish we get to read the 100th poem, though! Not just the gist of it.
What I really love about the poetry thing is that moment when Stella said that half of the latter poems don’t really mirror her life. I kind of agree with her in that sense. Fidel spent most years writing about Stella even if they are apart and he has no idea what she’s up too. In his head, he formed this idea of Stella instead of the actual Stella. He turned her into a poetry that isn’t her. Now, that’s deep.
BRICK NOKIA and FRIENDSTER. I love small details! They stick to what’s in during 2000s. The diskettes and cassette tapes are very nostalgic too!
SOUNDTRACK. Man, my teenager self is very happy. I also live for new bands, they featured The Juans! You can listen to it here.
IT IS CLICHÉ SOMEHOW BUT NOT THE ENDING. “I’ll run away and be a rebel because I have no one.” “I’ll push people away because I don’t deserve their kindness.” “You deserve someone better.” The usual. I will prefer a tragic sad ending though because I love suffering. HAHAHAHA! However, it made me think about this: would you rather have someone who give you words or someone who complete your verses? I don’t know if you’ll get that even if you’ve watched it. Let me know, please? Let’s talk about that!
I WROTE A POEM ABOUT THIS, BY THE WAY. I started writing it the moment I got out of the cinema. It was my first time watching alone and it felt nice. I had Belgian fries and Oreo milk tea for company.
REGRETS BETWEEN PAGES AND VERSES
WHILE WRITING THIS, I JUST REALIZED IT SOUNDS TRAGIC. DOESN’T IT? AAAAAA MY HEART.