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What is "Para sa Broken Hearted" and Why was it Suddenly Trending on Netflix?

It was the only Filipino film on Netflix's top 10 at one point.
What is "Para sa Broken Hearted" and Why was it Suddenly Trending on Netflix?
IMAGE Netflix
It was the only Filipino film on Netflix's top 10 at one point.

Netflix’s top 10 trending list has been the cause of controversy lately. To catch you up, director Erik Matti slammed the lack of Filipino movies and TV shows on it, in favor of K-Drama content starring “Faux Cinderella stories with Belofied actors whiter than white.”  He even went as far as to declare that local “movies and TV are doomed in the future.” Suffice to say, it caused quite the stir on social media.

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A week after the uproar, it seems the director’s statement has once again been proven wrong as 2018 Filipino film Para sa Broken Hearted found a seat in the streaming site’s current Top 10 most-watched.  As of writing, it had been the only local content that made the list after the 2019 comedy Born Beautiful. Nevermind that it’s still a story about love. If the sudden flood of tweets reacting to, and resonating with the movie are any indication, then it clearly deserved the spot.

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In fact, aside from Netflix Phiiippines, the film also ranked at number seven on Qatar’s own top 10 list as evidenced by the Tweet below.

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So what is Para sa Broken Hearted and why was it so popular? At its core, Digo Ricio’s  melancholy yet whimsically framed work is a drama that follows the lives of five young adults all intertwined by heartbreak. It was based on Marcelo Santos III’s bestselling novel of the same name and stars Yassi Pressman, Sam Concepcion, Marco Gumabao, Louise de los Reyes, and Shy Carlos. 

With a premise rooted on something as universal as heartbreak and moving on, it adds to fuel the hugot culture so deeply embedded in Filipinos, especially now that millions are stuck in their homes, hence, stuck in their heads and their own emotions.

Case in point: scrolling through the movie’s tag on Twitter will reward you with an endless string of users picking up on the film’s relatable hugot lines.

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At the same time, while Para sa Broken Hearted does take on a trite topic, the delivery is nothing short of fanciful either. Wrought with animated sequences, La La Land-esque dance numbers, and other escapist elements, the film essentially breathes a fresh perspective into a tired trope. 

Then again, while we can’t explain for sure its sudden spike into virality, perhaps lawyer and resident film critic Oggs Cruz puts it best, considering our current situation. In review of Para sa Broken Hearted back in 2018 for Rappler, he writes “the film is almost about our infatuation with heartbreak, how it consumes our psychologies to the point of forcing us to abandon routine to take a sudden trip out of town, how it becomes the bond that will connect two individuals who do not know each other, how stories about it combat not just boredom but also sadness. “

Watch Para sa Broken Hearted now on Netflix.

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