Hintayan Ng Langit
Directed by Dan Villegas, based on a play by Juan Miguel Severo
QCinema has the reputation of bringing local talent to the forefront of Philippine theater (and bringing in some notable foreign films, too). And in this year’s Circle Competition is Dan Villegas’ Hintayan ng Langit, based off the play of Juan Miguel Severo.
The fact that the screenplay is also from Severo was proof enough to us that the beloved play would be beautifully written out. But actually seeing it evolve to the big screen was something else—and proof of that is in the way the audience left the cinema house.
Hintayan ng Langit follows the story of Lisang (Gina Pareño) as she overstays her welcome in The Middle, awaiting the moment she’ll finally make her way into Heaven. She’s crass, doesn’t get along with the management and shouts at the other souls who dare laugh in the hallway outside her door. Then enters Manolo (Eddie Garcia), recently deceased and new to The Middle.
There’s been a surplus of souls recently and the two must room together. The catch here, of course, is they were old lovers back on the ground.
As the two get reacquainted, we learn about their past. They weren’t just any old lovers or a fling from each other’s childhoods. They were in it for the long haul but they were young and made a few—arguably—wrong decisions. They lived their lives, married other people and had kids. But what happens when they find each other again?
It goes without saying that Pareño and Garcia, while the years might have aged them slightly, have not lost an ounce of talent. Pareño still screams atop her lungs, her signature tone evident in every “Hoy” and “Tumahimik kayo!” Garcia, meanwhile, is as endearing as ever. His moves are sly, his dancing quirky and his lines (while not unimagined) take on new meaning.
The film grows on you as you watch the two veterans reconnect on screen. Their banter is charming, their hidden smiles nostalgic and the underlying story that unweaves itself keeps you hooked. It’s a little slow going as the foundation is laid out in the beginning scenes; there’s a lot to understand about how The Middle is presented. But once that’s down, the film takes on running.
The scenes between the two protagonists keep your attention. The lines they say and the words they exchange hit you one after the other; every revelation is a piece of the puzzle you don’t expect. And in between the toughest of scenes, you get bits of Pinoy comedy to give you a little breather. Inevitably, you see in the end that the sum of the film is worth so much more than its parts.
Hintayan Ng Langitis now showing in Gateway, TriNoma, UP Town Center, Robinsons Movie World SM Megamall, SM Manila, SM Southmall and SM Fairview.