“Si Intoy, sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, parang natutuo na yatang magmahal pero hindi tiyak kung minahal ba siya o kinailangan. Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, parang Math problems, tama ang sagot, hindi nga lang maipakita na tama ang solution…”
I picked up a copy of Eros Atalia’s Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me because I got curious. Why would someone want to make a film about this? Is it any good? It must be if someone was inspired to turn it into a film, right? I’m not going to answer that.
A few weeks ago, I caught Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me at the Cinemalaya Film Festival. I was underwhelmed with the film, but at the time I attributed it more to the fact that it had too many love scenes. I was, more or less, fine with the rest of the film. And now that I’ve read the book, I can say that I feel the same way about the book–sort of.
Wait, let me clarify: I don’t think there are one too many love scenes in the book. Actually, I think there were only two–and both were plot points that moved the story forward. What I meant was that I was underwhelmed with the book too. This time though, it wasn’t because of the love scenes. Our protagonist rambled on way too much. It was endearing in the film, as it really made his character whole. In the book, it got annoying–especially in the second to last chapter which I feel really didn’t have anything to do with the story that the novel was telling.
Actually, I did enjoy the novel. I found it easy to read, and it does have a good narrative. The only thing I can’t get past is the fact that it takes a long time for a point to be made.
The funny thing is, now that I’ve read the book, I now have a deeper appreciation for the film. Because the screenwriter knew which parts to cut out of the story and which ones to play up. Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me the novel doesn’t have a clear timeline, and the film does a good job in making it more cohesive. Not that the book wasn’t cohesive–it’s just that if you translate the book into film as is, you’re going to have a lot of confused viewers.
Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me is available in bookstores nationwide.