TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Whether the Weather is Fine’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2021 by - September 15, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Whether the Weather is Fine’

Kun Maupay man it Panahon (Whether the Weather Is Fine) is abrasive and frank. It’s full of characters who don’t tiptoe around when expressing their emotions. A young Waray-Filipino woman, Andrea (Rans Rifol) tells her friend Miguel (Daniel Padilla) that she thought he died during Haiyan or Yolanda, a typhoon that devastated Eastern Philippines.

The film, then covers the converging and diverging paths of those two friends as well as Miguel’s mother Norma (Charo Santos-Concio), a religious woman looking for her ex.

This film makes it evident that director Carlos Francisco Manatad is a hard worker, dedicating time to depict just how much destruction Yolanda caused. The art direction mixes is to die for. There’s probably a mix of CG here which shows up seamlessly.

Although yes, there is showiness at play here. A cynical yet valid view of this is that this is a Filipino version of Durnirk. Norma walks around Tacloban with her mission, the director decorating that scene with what seems like humanity’s worst.

Norma and Miguel take up a lot of screen time here, and they work better either by themselves or as foreground. Yes, all three belong in this film, especially Padilla, who is half-Waray himself. But putting these three next to born and bred Waray makes it obvious that they’re actors.

Nonetheless, the film mostly succeeds in portraying human dysfunction after a disaster. Viewers see how difficult orderliness is. There’s also the occasional musical number that feel, simultaneously, intentionally ridiculous and emotionally poignant.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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