After creating a stir in Philippine cinema for bringing a powerful ensemble of film thespians for the first time in a movie that crosses genres, "Everything About Her" generated new excitement for the Filipino community, members of the press and online denizens in the recent virtual press conference held three-way among the ABS-CBN Middle East, Europe and Manila offices.
Like a literary oxymoron, "Everything About Her," combined two genres to present a twisted plot about an alphawoman named Vivian (played byVilma Santos) diagnosed with a terminal disease. She hires a private nurse Jaica (played by Angel Locsin) who she eventually gives the almost impossible task of bringing home his estranged son Albert, played by Xian Lim.
The press conference revealed more welcome contrasts as director Bb. Joyce Bernal admitted that the most challenging part for her while doing the film was the fact that she is aNora Aunor fan and she directed what the industry experts call her arch rival, the Star for All Seasons.
"Noong ime-meet ko na siya (Santos), sabi ko kaya ko ba ito? Mabait si Ate Vi. Pero the moment na sinabi kong kaya ko ito, nahirapan ako. Iyong proseso madali pero iyong before or after, hirap na hirap ako. Nakakasira ng bait si Ate Vi. Isa po siyang actress na kailangang paghandaan. (When I met her, I asked myself can I do this? Ate Vi was kind. But the moment I said I can do this, I fell short. The process was easy but I had a hard time with the before and after. I went crazy. Ate Vi is one actress that one needs to prepare for."
The online press conference, the second for ABS-CBN Europe, Middle East and Africa, also welcomedKapamilya Heartthrob Xian Lim to face the FilCom and the members of the press who were delighted to see Lim in dramatic movie on his own (outside his famous KimXi love team) and deliver against two seasoned actresses.
According to Kai Rodriguez, ABS-CBN Middle East, Europe and Africa Managing Director, Lim and Santos and Locsin's performances are proof that the Philippines is not just rich in culture but also in talent and TFC has the avenues, such as the mainstream screenings, to bring this to the fore.
"TFC is bent on bringing the Filipino talent to the world stage. We are happy that Filipino communities and members of the media help us in sharing the good news on the Filipino's greatness or 'galing ng Filipino,'" Rodriguez shares.
In the film, critics are saying that Lim truly delivered as an actor. Lim admitted: "Naranasan ko na mabigyan ng oras ang characterization at pagi-imerse with the direction of Direk Joyce. Ang pinaka-importante is what the people don't see. Iyong script, given na iyan. Lalo na iyong mga experiences na binibigay ni Vilma Santos, that's priceless. Hindi lahat ng artista hindi makakatanggap ng ganoon. (I gave time to internalizing and immersing under the direction of Direk Joyce. What's most important is what people don't see. The script is given. But what's priceless is things like the advice of Vilma Santos. Not all artists get to have that."
Lim adds that he can relate to Albert "Mga 80 to 90% of his character. Noong binabasa ko iyong script, may mga instances na sinasabi ko ako ito eh. (About 80 to 90% of his character. When I was reading the script, there were instances that I tell myself that this is me).
Most overseas Filipinos could also relate to the story as well as it narrates the story of a mother and son estranged not only by physical distance but also by their personal differences. Bernal shares that what is most important is that despite everything, people try to go beyond their differences and move on.
Anne Lora Santos of The Filipino Times said "Everything About Her" is a finely made movie that teaches OFs like her, a lesson. "It is the right combination of comedy and drama. It is a movie that will remind you of what's important in life and it should defy pride and ego and achieve love and forgiveness."
Bernal confirms that this was the lesson she wanted to impart. "You try to forgive every day. Kung puwedeng po sana mag-forgive po kaagad. Huwag mag-create ng pain or sakit na iyong hindi ka nakaugapay. Ang gusto ko sana ay kung may nanakit sa inyo, o nakagawa ng kasalanan sa inyo - try to forgive agad-agad. We try to have a good relationship with our friends and co-workers but we find it hard to have an easy relationship with family, Bernal ends. (You try to forgive every day. Forgive when you can, as soon as you can. Don't create pain and wallow in pain. I wish that you forgive the people who hurt you or have caused you pain)."
Adelina Duenas of Albayanon UK said that this lesson is her greatest take away from the movie. "We are only in our borrowed time in this earth so we should do the best for others and learn to accept mistakes and be ready to forgive."
Nikko Tolentino of Planet Philippines agrees and says I've learned that forgiveness is an important theme that people take for granted." Tolentino adds that he is excited to see the first on-screen collaboration of Locsin and Santos. "I'm looking forward for the great interaction of the Star for All Seasons, the box office royalty and the Kapamilya Heartthrob," Tolentino ends.
Turning the press con from a mid-day revelry into an entertaining exchange was Lim who reenacted his dance scene with Locsin, much to the delight of the members of the press and Filipino community.
"Everything About Her" is extended in Vue Cinemas in Shepherd's Bush in the United Kingdom on February 13, 14 and 16 and select cinemas in the Middle East until February 17.
Hosted by DJ Jhai Ho of "Pangako Sa `Yo," MOR and abs-cbn.com's "Hotspots," the press conference plus the complete listing of theatrical screenings of "Everything About Her" can be seen on emea.kapamilya.com