The other day, I overheard two folks on board a UP-Pantranco jeepney talking (actually, one of them was politely trying to look interested, while the other one simply cannot shut up) about a class where the professor discussed the finer points of a proto-nobela. The rather boring and esoteric soliloquy got my attention when the yapping passenger mentioned the movie Mulawin. Apparently, UP professors patronize the Metro Manila Film Festival.
The ranting went thus: Urbana at Felisa is supposed to be a proto-nobela, because there is no plot. Characters come and go, say their lines in between, and never to appear again, for no apparent reason whatsoever. In other words, some elements of the literary work do not make sense. Which perfectly brings us to Mulawin.
In the film, or so the professor supposedly said in class, when Alwina (played by uber-babe Angel Locsin) was stabbed, they immediately brought her to Encantadia, where she can be healed. Yet, when the exact same thing happened to Aguiluz (Annabelle's kid, Ruffa's brod. Yeah, I pity the man, too), nobody thought of bringing the birdboy to fairy land.
It was also mentioned, that when the Mulawin (good birds) went to battle against the Ravena (dirty birds), they went to battle with an imposing troop count of, tada, twenty Mulawin (when was the last time anybody went to battle with twenty men? In the contrast, the folks at Masada were stacked - thay had at least a thousand). Also, while the two lovebirds were at Encantadia, they decided to get married right there and then, for no apparent reason other than the fact that they are at Encantadia. Oh, and meanwhile, the epic battle rages on.
All this, according to the professor, makes this film (which by the way got a rating of A from the Film Ratings Board) a proto-pelikula. I have no clue what it is, but that sounds just right.