To tell a story is beyond just showing moving images on big screens. It includes making people understand and feel the message being conveyed. Filmmaker, producer, podcaster, and director Antoinette Jadaone mastered this art as she continues to touch our humors and hearts at the same time with her craft.
Have a roller-coaster ride with these “laugh hard, cry harder” films by Tonette
Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay (2011): Jadaone’s First Film
Being the debut film of Tonette as a film director, this masterpiece says a lot of who she is as an artist. It starred Lilia Cuntapay, the Philippine iconic “professional” horror extra, as herself, taking audience into her experiences as an actress. Moreover, it tells us Cuntapay’s journey in preparing for her first-ever acting award nomination.
Antoinette Jadaone presented the story in a creative and comedic way. A lot of scenes surely tickled the Filipino humor we all share. Just imagine Lilia trying to introduce herself as a horror actress to someone who cannot recognize her. And to do that, she would deliver her iconic aswang acting in places where it’s unusual to do such. That and other scenes from this film took the humor at its peak, for sure.
On the other hand, as I continued watching it for the first time, I felt like something was getting into my chest. All those comedic scenes tells something of Cuntapay’s experiences as what others would call “extra”. Then, Direk Tonette started taking me into a more melancholic realizations: the likes of Lilia Cuntapay becomes underrecognized for not having the level of fame that main stars do. At the end, I just found myself crying harder than I did laughing at the beginning.
That Thing Called Tadhana (2015): One of Tonette’s Biggest Breaks
A lot probably started knowing Direk Tonette more in this film written and directed by herself. This served the ultimate hugot of 2015 starring Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman, playing the roles of Mace and Anthony. This film took me to the place where broken hearts go while getting to know the characters and feeling them more and more.
This Jadaone masterpiece made an excellent approach of making us feel the sentiments of Mace while laughing with the way she expresses it. One of the funniest scenes was the one that’s also in the official trailer. Overwhelmed with emotions from her recent break up, plus the emotions from the films she was watching, Mace took them out with a flight attendant who was just offering her a tissue. That scene really made me laugh hard.
No matter how comedic the scenes were, the lines hit me so badly! I am yet to experience heartbreaks but Mace and her lines didn’t fail to make me feel “wasak” and wasted. My tears can’t help from falling as I get to empathize with the character’s genuine hope to move on and get the excess baggage off her life.
Love You to the Stars and Back (2017): A Jadaone Masterpiece
Who doesn’t know this iconic Antoinette Jadaone film starring Joshua Garcia and Julia Baretto? Being a Star Cinema romantic-comedy girl, as Direk Tonette would identify herself, she knows exactly the art of telling such a story. This film took me into a road trip with Mika and Caloy played by the JoshLia love team and their journey towards a place where aliens could meet them
The storyline itself got me intrigued. While watching this film with my sister, we kept on laughing because of the hilarious scenes it offers. Every time I remember how the chance encounter of Caloy and Mika was, I can’t help myself from laughing. Just think of a boy and a girl responding to the “call of nature” in tall grass fields, then realized they were just steps apart. For a first meeting, that would definitely make a unique impression!
Direk Tonette took us to the peak of kilig moments between Caloy and Mika. On the other hand, she knows when to drop a bomb of emotions. Matched with Moira Dela Torre’s heartfelt rendition of Torete, the couple found things getting off the road while at the verge of falling in love. With that, crying was the only way to get things off the chest while watching this Tonette Jadaone masterpiece.
All the kilig moments, emotional scenes, and reality-hitting lines tell us a lot on how a mastered storyteller an Antoinette Jadaone is; making us laugh hard and cry harder.
Chud has always believed that to write is to live a human life as it is meant to be free and is destined to set others free -the very essence of humanity. He sees writing as a tool to bring the world closer to people. It is a challenge that he takes on in every story, poem, article and film he writes.