AT 84, Gloria Romero’s career as an actress now spans more than six decades. She has worked with the country’s best directors from Gerry and Mike de Leon, Ishmael Bernal and Lino Brocka to Marilou Diaz-Abaya and Lauirice Guillen, and she has no intention of retiring yet. “As long as nakakapag-memorize pa ako ang lines ko, I will continue to act,” she beams.
She’s energized to stay in the showbiz all the more when her current show where she plays the title role, “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko”, hit the number one spot in the ratings recently. “Hindi ko nga akalain na sa edad kong ito, mag-na-number one pa kami,” she smiles.
Now, she has another new teleserye, the yet untitled primetime soap topbilled by the Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix loveteam. “Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi reunited kami rito ni Carmina Villarroel, who was just a kid nang una kong makasama in ‘Palibhasa Lalake’. We worked there together for 12 years and now, she has kids of her own. Siya ang gaganap na mother ni Bianca rito at ako naman, isang very rich haciendera na lola nila. Kasama rin dito si Marvin Agustin as the father of Miguel. First time ko silang nakatrabaho ni Jolina, mga teenager pa lang sila in ‘Labs Ko si Babes’.”
She just wished that the location of their taping for the soap is nearer. “Ang layo kasi, sa Batangas pa. E, may vertigo pa naman ako kaya ayokong natatagtag ako. Buti na lang, sa ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola’, most of the time, nakaupo lang ako as I present the story each week.”
Does she have a new movie? “Oh yes, kinuha ako ni Coco Martin sa ‘Ang Panday’, kaya may entry ako sa filmfest.
Noong una, may mga nagte-text sa’kin, gusto raw akong makausap ni Coco. Sabi ko, bakit, eh we have never worked together. Hindi ako naniwala, until Malou Santos ng Star Cinema told me na hinahanap nga raw ako ni Coco, so nag-usap kami and he gave me a special role. Naka-six shooting days rin ako sa kanya. Ang guwapo pala talaga niya in person at magaling ding artista na, director pa ng movie. Kinuha rin niya ang apo ko, si Christopher Gutierrez, para maging part ng movie. Kasama siya ni Jake Cuenca who plays Lizardo.”
JOEY TRUSTS IN PAOLO’S TALENT
JOEY De Leon was the one who popularized the original Barbi in three films he did before. What’s his reaction when he learned that it will be revived with Paolo Ballesteros playing Barbi?
“Okay na okay agad sa akin kasi bilib ako sa talent ni Paolo,” he says. “Sa ‘Eat Bulaga’, mahirap ang ginagawa nila nina Jose Manalo at Wally Bayola sa ‘Juan for All’ segment, pati si Maine Mendoza, kasi nasa labas talaga sila. Eh kami ni Vic, nakaupo lang sa loob ng studio. So Paolo has my full support dahil malaki ang paniniwala ko sa talent niya as a comedian.”
He’s not only just supporting Paolo by word of mouth but he also appears in the movie as Paolo’s mentor who helps transform Paolo into a woman after he got accused of a crime he didn’t commit and has to disguise himself.
Recently, he got a lot of bashing for his statement about depression, saying he doesn’t believe in it at ‘gawa-gawa lang ‘yan ng ibang tao’. How did he feel about it? “Nag-sorry naman agad ako kasi pati asawa ko at mga anak namin, sinabing nagkakamali ako at may kamag-anak nga raw kaming may ganung kalagayan.
Naging mababaw ang pagkakaalam ko about depression kasi akala ko, stress lang ‘yun. So, habang buhay pa tayo, natututo tayo at inamin ko namang nagkamali ako at humingi na lang ako ng pang-unawa.”
MOVIE REVIEW: ALL I SEE IS YOU
DIRECTOR Marc Foster is best known for giving Halle Berry an Oscar best actress award for the drama, “Monster Ball”, in 2001. He also got acclaim for “Finding Neverland” and “The Kite Runner”. He tried directing a James Bond flick, “Quantum of Solace”, and came up with a bad zombie movie, “World War Z”.
Now, he tries to come up with an impressionistic arty film in “All I See is You”, starring Blake Lively of “Gossip Girl” who was the girl who won’t get old in “The Age of Adaline” and just had a hit in the shark thriller, “The Shallows”. She plays Gina, the wife of James (Jason Clarke of “Terminator Genisys”), who got blind after a car accident. They live in Bangkok where James works in an insurance company.
After an operation, she gets the chance to see again in one eye and we think the movie’s point is that she gets to re-evaluate her life and marriage after she regained her eyesight. The movie takes its sweet time in unfolding the narrative and we won’t be surprised if you get bored at some point. Why the story has to be set in Thailand is not adequately explained but it gives you the chance to see the city’s beautiful sights, especially the floating market.
The movie can be quite dizzying when it takes Gina’s viewpoints as a blind and later, partially blind person and everything gets blurred.
The hyper-stylized camera work sometimes just gives us flashes of unblended colors with no discernible figures in them.
The problem is you don’t fully sympathize with Gina. To begin with there’s no chemistry between Blake and Jason. The film is supposed to be about the disintegration of their marriage and we never feel invested in their marital relationship.
Foster aims to show us that this is primarily a director’s film and the conclusion, which is rushed and the “bitin” type of ambiguous ending, felt like the director himself didn’t know anymore what to do with it.
After she regains her sight, James takes Gina to visit her sister who’s married to a Spanish guy, an artist who has no qualms about wearing women’s clothes and has no compunction asking James: “Are you afraid she’ll leave you for some better looking guy?” Her sister and brother in law take Gina to watch a live sex show, which is common in Bangkok but Gina has never seen it there.
Later on that night, she and James could hear the couple making love noisily in their room. Gina becomes more adventurous in kinky sex and later ties up James and blindfolds him while they’re making out. James backs out but later on, he keeps on watching the video which recorded their sexual adventure.
Meantime, Gina is getting more dissatisfied with her husband who she says is not what she expected.
She’s unhappy with their condo home and wants to move to a real house. And she’s also frustrated that they can’t conceive a baby.
A complication occurs as the film’s climactic third act approaches. Gina has a one-time affair with a hunky acquaintance she meets in the swimming pool and in the park. And quickly gets pregnant. The problem is that a doctor just told James that he’s not capable of having his own baby. Why James didn’t complain at all about Gina being preggers after she informed him about is beyond us.
The director throws in ominous shots of botched post operative eye dropper bottles that seem to insinuate that someone wants Gina to go blind again, there’s also an aging dog who gets overheated, and some guitar lessons with a girl with whom Gina gets to sing the film’s title theme song. But they all don’t add up to much and you leave the theater feeling that you didn’t get a proper resolution of it all as a viewer.