Cinemalaya Movie Review: Kung Paano Hihintay ang Dapithapon

Kung Paano Hihintay ang Dapithapon is a poignant character study on closure and forgiveness thanks to a thoughtful script and fitting cast.

An old unmarried couple broke the monotony of their daily lives when the woman’s estranged husband reached out to them, seeking reconciliation and forgiveness.

Kung Paano Hihintay ang Dapithapon is the second Cinemalaya entry that deals with old age. Fortunately, indie film expectations keep these stories thoughtful.

While Mamang focused on senility, Kung Paano Hihintay ang Dapithapon is about forgiveness and closure. Bene spends the rest of his days rearing gamecocks and cockfighting until his illness catches up to him. He reaches out to his former – yet still legal – wife and old wounds are inevitably re-opened.

This simple premise is made engaging by its endearing characters, a thoughtful script that trusts its audience to figure things out, and little details that add to its theme.

The veteran cast does a great job of turning in sympathetic characters. Perla Bautista and Menggie Cobarrubias have an affable chemistry. The rest complete a thoughtfully written cast, each with their own relationship issues.

There are interesting contrasts here. The enduring relationship of an unmarried couple is juxtaposed against the broken relationship of a terminally-ill man.

The movie doesn’t judge its characters for being people. A son is past the point of anger that he’s drowned by his own apathy. There are two contrasting homes of two people who chose to live their lives differently.

It avoids falling into the trap of melodrama. It shows how a single event can create a ripple through people’s lives. There are no easy resolutions and contrived happy endings.

Bene has pretty much accepted his fate. Celso and Teresa do what they can to help, while knowing that someday they too will follow. It’s up to their children to decide what path they should take, on whether to repeat history or overcome it.

Kung Paano Hihintay ang Dapithapon is a poignant character study about how we choose to grow old. It reminds us that whether we build a home and nurture it for the future or let life take its course and decay with its crumbling walls, death makes us all equal in the end. All we can really hope for is have the chance to say goodbye before its too late.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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