I watched Ulan tonight out of pure curiosity. The trailer didn’t give much – pouring rain, tikbalangs, Nadine and Carlo. I walked into the cinema clueless and I walked out refreshed.
If there’s anything constant the entire film, it’s the pouring rain (thus the title). It played a very symbolic role in Maya’s life.
She believed that tikbalangs are getting married when the rain pours on a sunny day. She believes that even the heavens cannot stop true and destined love.
She saw the world with her own pair of innocent eyes, rooted on her childhood beliefs from a world she created.
From believing eggs can stop rain, to heartbreakingly figuring out rain is a natural process of precipitation; her understanding of rain evolved as she grows.
The return of her long-lost love, a kid standing up for her against the bullies, a prince dancing his way to her heart, a fateful meeting with the perfect guy; in all the ways she met a guy, it was all romance formula by the book.
But the film threw these romantic idealisms as fast as it embraced them. The long-lost love has a kid & is married, the prince left with another princess, and the ideal guy is, well, sort of taken.
For Maya, rain became nothing but a heartache.
The final twist crushed her beliefs. All the sunny and bright cinematography succumbed to a darker frame of defeat.
When the rain pours one more time, she saw no one else but her younger self. It was, all over again, sunny and rainy both at the time.
We finally see that everything else in her world, even the rain, just became an instrument to her self discovery.
It’s as if the film is reminding us that sometimes it’s okay to be a child again. Even after the pain, it’s okay to believe again.
I feel that these kinds of films (which are very poetic in nature) gives us an extra blank space to take it in and interpret it through our own lenses and experiences. This is mine, and it might differ from yours. But the fact that we’re talking about it means it has done its job.
Have you seen the film? We wanna hear your thoughts!