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Analysis and Application of the Sociocultural Theory in the Movie DED NA SI LOLO

Submitted by Juvy G. Mojares, in partial fulfilment of the requirements in DEVC 201 (Communication Theory) First Semester, AY 2010-2011 under Pamela Custodio, PhD, Overview of DED NA SI LOLO The movie is about how a family of five adult siblings coped with the death and the wake of their father. But within that bare context, Mr. Topacio was able to inject very familiar Filipino situations that make us laugh out loud, and tug some heartstrings in the process. A central theme element is the depiction of various irrational superstitions that surround death, the wake and the funeral. It also tackles uniquely Filipino practices during the wake, including the gambling operations (saklaan). The inter-family conflicts among the siblings are also very well-limned and very realistic. As it is sharp, the words of the script were really very witty. It is very obvious that the movie also succeeds because of the excellent cast. Mr. Topacio himself acknowledged that the secret of this movie's success is that he was able to get the actors he wanted. The siblings were played by veteran actors Dick Israel, Elizabeth Oropesa, Gina Alajar, Roderick Paulate, and Manilyn Reynes. Paulate, as expected with his flamboyant role as the gay son Junie, steals all his scenes, even when he does not have dialog. They play their comically-overmelodramatic roles with gusto and fun. Their interactions are quite carefree and natural, in both funny and dramatic situations.

The Sociocultural Theory Sociocultural approaches to communication theory address the ways our understanding, meanings, norms, roles, and rules are worked out interactively in communication. Such theories explore the interactional worlds in which people live, positing that reality is not an objective set of arrangements outside us but constructed through a process of interaction in groups, communities, and cultures (Littlejohn & Foss, 2008, p. 43). This tradition theorizes communication as a symbolic process that produces and reproduces shared sociocultural patterns. It explains how social order is created, realized, sustained, and transformed in microlevel interaction processes. It states that everyday interactions with others depend heavily on pre-existing, shared cultural patterns and social structures (Craig, ___, p.144).

Analysis of the Film Ded na si Lolo in relation to the Sociocultural Theory The movie clearly manifests how everyday interactions with others depend heavily on the pre-existing, observed and shared cultural patterns and social structures. Ded na si Lolo as a movie, portrays how beliefs affect the living of a family in a community, that the way the family members behave all depends on the accepted superstitious beliefs which no one knows where they originated, basta sabi nila. It shows how people value the importance of superstitious beliefs with the fear of bad luck. So, they just blindly embraced it with the thinking that they will not be harmed if they follow such belief. However, theres one character who tried to be rational by asking why they have to emulate such beliefs which no one knows how and where did it come from. But as usual, in the Filipino family setup, the eldest should be obeyed and followed. Therefore, the youngest has to obey and follow also the rules implemented by the eldest in consonance with the pre-existing traditional beliefs. Among the many irrational superstitious beliefs which gaudy Junie tried to question are the following: Bawal maligo ang miyembro ng pamilya sa loob ng bahay mismo. Bawal magsuot ng pula. Kailangang putulin ang rosaryong tangan ng patay. Bawal magtinda kung may patay na miyembro. Bawal maghatid ng bisita ang miyembro ng pamilya. Bawal magwalis sa lamay. Dapat lagyan ng sisiw ang ibabaw ng kabaong kapag pinatay ang namatay. Dapat lahat ng abuloy gastusin sa patay. Bawal matuluan ng luha ang kabaong. Dapat ilagay ang perang hinawakan ng patay sa walet. Dapat pag-angat ng ataul, basagin ang palayok, sabay linis.

Dapat maghagis ng barya habang ipinuprusisyon ang patay. Dapat itawid ang bata sa ibabaw ng kabaong bago isilid ang kabaong sa nitso.

In the end, though, characters are different when it comes to the observance of these beliefs, they find love and unity not just in their family but as well as in the community. There is social order at the end of the communication process.

References: Craig, Robert T. and Heide L. Muller. 2007. Theorizing Communication. USA: Sage Publications, Inc. p. Littlejohn, S. W. & Karen A Foss. 2008. Theories of Human Communication. Ninth Ed. Thomson Wadsworth.