The 2019 film Isa Pa With Feelings is an engaging film that is able to convey some typical romantic drama emotions in a unique way.
The film tells the story of Mara (Maine Mendoza) having just failed her board exam meeting Gali (Carlo Aquino), her deaf neighbor and how they fall in love while also learning a little bit more about themselves.
As the title suggests, the film is all about emotions and feelings. Gali and Mara express themselves differently, but they are able to find ways to understand each other. And this refers to both Gali being deaf/Mara still learning how to sign and the typical misunderstandings that hinder many a romantic film couple.
Carlo Aquino is of course an experienced actor, and a versatile one at that. Obviously, unlike the typical film, Aquino does not have speaking lines. That presents him a unique challenge as an actor, but he easily takes care of it. Being able to effectively convey Gali’s lines without speaking a single word is not going to be an easy feat for many actors. But Aquino does just that.
Maine Mendoza, meanwhile, delivers what may be her best dramatic performance of her career so far. While still including the comedic skills she’s been known for throughout, she shines in the quieter and more dramatic moments. The material is different from anything she’s done before. But Mendoza rises to the task with a careful nuance that is effective and realistic.
Together, Aquino and Mendoza share a good chemistry that grounds their relationship in every day life. They are both relatable.
The film is part-romantic melodrama with some romcom touches. But in many ways, the film is a slice of life and coming of age story as the two characters meet and fall in love. We are sure this is only the beginning of their story and that this is just a moment in time for them. But both characters also learn more about themselves, growing up and dealing with some of their personal excess baggage.
The film features great scenes in which the audience is put in Gali’s position, giving an insight into what an otherwise typical scene would “sound” to him.
However, the film isn’t about pitying anyone. It raises awareness in a way that helps people understand what others are going through. Perhaps, opening eyes to something people may not have even given a second of thought about. And it is an important reminder to convey.
But at its core, this is a romantic drama. Telling the story of two young people, at different and maybe difficult points in their lives, coming together and helping each other in whatever way they can. It is a simple premise, but an interesting and engaging story carried by two relatable characters..