To be honest, I did not know who Maja Salvador was until I watched Thelma. I love the story, the setting of the story, and the acting. Maja made it look so real, that she IS Thelma — from her pretty face without make up, her bare feet, to her accent and family situation. I’m not an expert on the provincial life, but it just felt so real, so Filipino — that many of our countrymen experience what Thelma and her family experienced. Many poor Filipinos try hard to provide for their families, but their hard work never seems enough. Many poor Filipino youth are faced with many challenges as they try to get an education. Many have to walk miles without any slippers, let alone shoes, on their feet. Their desire to go to school outweighs the hardship. They have so much potential, but when there’s trouble at home, school is the easiest thing to give up.
I love how the natural beauty of our country was showcased as well. The Philippines is indeed beautiful. I want to go back to Ilocos!
The movie has a lot of heart. I have two daughters and we constantly teach them to love each other, take care of each other. Thelma’s deep bond with her younger sister Hannah, is such a great reference to teach my daughters what a sister’s love should be. Thelma did not complain when she was assigned to take care of her sister when Hannah got disabled. Her love compelled her to serve her sister and her family. She put their needs above her own. Though I do not expect my children to sacrifice as much, I would want them to have a heart to serve others, especially each other, out of love.
Hannah’s inability to walk hit home too. As you know, King recently had his own similar experience. The doctor actually told us that if King did not respond to therapy within a certain number of days, he would have to be operated on. Hannah needed surgery if she were to walk again. They have different cases, of course, since Hannah could probably learn to walk using crutches if she had them because only one leg was affected, while King could not even sit up at first, nor could be carried anywhere because it is his spine that was affected. But the emotions are the same.
In the end, though things were still rough for Thelma and her family, Thelma did not give up. Because somebody believed in her, she started believing in herself. Because she had the love, forgiveness, and support of her family, she allowed herself to dream and hope. Because she dared to dream and kept working towards her dream, she gave hope to her family.
Thelma is a truly inspiring film. And how great is it that I was able to bring the girls with us to watch it? Our movie industry needs more films like this — beautiful and creative, yet clean, wholesome, with a lot of heart. ♥
Kudos to the whole cast, director Paul Soriano, and executive producers Rino & Sam Que! 🙂