By Heinrich Domingo
People tend to cast stone to any item put on the pedestal. The case of Kung ang Ulan ay Gawa sa Tsokolate is no different. Being awarded as CineFilipino’s 2016 best short film, the movie’s flaws and shortcomings were emphasized. Sans the first prize award, it could have passed off as a decent film piece.
In a dystopian future, a mother (played by Neomi Gonzales) bid goodbye to her daughter (Shekanaiah Gamit) before going to work in another country. She left her in a child care facility and then underwent a futuristic medical procedure called emotional transference. Through this, her brain will be rewired to transfer her emotional bond with her daughter to her employer’s child.
It is a sad story that reflects the worsening industry of human labor exportation in the country. While the government boasts the contribution of migrant workers’ remittances in strengthening the economy, families are torn apart simply because of having no choice. If our economic condition would allow high wages within our lands, Filipinos wouldn’t suffer being exported like mere objects. This problem is sufficiently captured by the story of Kung ang Ulan ay Gawa sa Tsokolate. Its plot is consistent on what message it wishes to deliver.
With the story being set in the future, the plot required futuristic technology. The visual effects did not come too awkward unlike those typically seen in many low-budget productions. All visual effects seemed realistic.
The screenplay is clear yet subtle and the production design praise-worthy. The only problem with the film are some scenes which were done poorly. All film sequences involving the child care facility were dubbed and awfully edited. Hence, we see a film that is good in its story yet failing to deliver a technically beautiful piece.
Kung ang Ulan ay Gawa sa Tsokolate is a well-thought story teeming with fresh outlook in the society. It is a film so effective that audience will find themselves eternally singing the song “Kung ang ulan ay gawa sa tsokolate, O kay sarap ng ulan.” It is best appreciated when viewed differently from its competing films in the festival.