Back to the basics
There's nothing new in Sana Dati. It is, for purposes of classification, a love story. A woman gets married to someone she doesn't quite know, just about a week after her fiancé—a respectable, intelligent, rich man—had proposed to her. She gets the jitters, complains of stomachache, but looks disinterested during the video shoot hours before her actual wedding. We later get the idea that something is wrong: she loves someone else; that person, however, is already dead.
The narrative is ordinary, but there's something refreshing as to how it has been told. Maybe that's the difference. It does not use the usual Star Cinema romantic film formula. The characters speak naturally, as normal people in Metro Manila do. There are no obnoxious best friends, character-less entities usually fielded as dialogue fillers in other films. We don't feel kilig; we feel sad and supportive and hopeful that things will turn out well. The scenes are solemn and contemplative, all expertly shot—a great feat, given that the film only had a little less than three million to be produced. The music, too, does not invite giggles.
It is a simple movie told extraordinarily, certainly worth your while.