DIFFERENT FILM. 'Ulan' is a romantic drama with some elements magic realism. All photos by Alexa Villano/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – It's going to be a mix of movie genres – both familiar and unfamiliar – with Ulan starring Nadine Lustre, Carlo Aquino, Marco Gumabao, and AJ Muhlach.

Directed by Irene Villamor, the movie tells the story of Maya (Nadine), an editorial assistant in a publishing company. After she gets her heart broken twice, she meets Peter, who many think is a suitable boyfriend. But everytime she finds herself with something good, it rains.

What does it mean? (WATCH: The 'Ulan' full trailer is here)

Here's what you need to know about the movie, which opened in cinemas on March 13: 

1. Nadine's first movie without James Reid. Ulan marks the first time Nadine will work without on-screen and real-life boyfriend James Reid.

During the press conference, Nadine admitted there was some adjustments in doing a movie without him. "Nakakapanibago kasi sanay nga ako na palagi nandiyan si James, kami palagi ang magka-eksena. Pero hindi naman po ako nahirapan kasi sobrang sarap magtrabaho sa movie na ito," she said.

(It took some adjustment because I'm used to having James, doing scenes with him all the time. But I didn't really have a hard time because I had fun doing this movie.)

FIRST MOVIE WITHOUT JAMES. 'Ulan' is the first time Nadine will not be working with on and off-screen partner James Reid.

2. Magic realism. Director Irene Villamor said that the movie is a work of magic realism.

In the teaser trailer, two tikbalangs (half human, half horse creatures) are seen getting married. Director Irene Villamor said that the movie isn't a work of horror despite the appearance of the tikbalangs.

"Magic realism kasi siya, yung pagka gamit ng mga supernatural or magical elements into a narrative," she said. (It's magic realism, wherein you made use of the supernatural or magical elements into a narrative.)

Villamor also said that unlike other films, Ulan does not really have a specific genre, despite being described as a romantic drama.

"[It's] a mix of... hindi siya romantic comedy, hindi din siya drama love story, it's a mix of a lot of genres, plus may magic realism factor siya. So I think yung ano ng movie is it's new relatively sa Pilipinas... bagong ihahain," she said.

(It's not romantic comedy, it's not also a dramatic love story. It's a mix of a lot of genres, plus there's magic realism. So I think this movie is relatively new to the Philippines.)

3. Xian Lim was originally part of the cast. Xian Lim was originally supposed to be part of the cast. However, Villamor said that due to conflicting schedules, Xian had to drop the project. Carlo eventually came in as part of the film. 

4. The story was based on a short story. According to Villamor, the idea for Ulan came from an exercise she did in her days at the University of the Philippines as a film student.  The main character's name was already Maya back then. It became a short story and years later, a film.

"She (Maya) evolved into a short story when I was already a script continuity supervisor under Direk Joyce [Bernal].... By this time, I was already reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Allende stories – all those fantastic stories with magic realism elements. So I wrote about Maya seeing tikbalangs, and the mother became the Lola."

5. Rivermaya's classic song is the movie's theme song. Janine Teñoso reinterprets the classic hit "Ulan," by Rivermaya for the movie's theme song. Another song, "Heto na Naman" by Rice Lucdo is also part of the soundtrack.

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Source: Rappler

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