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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 16, 2010

Rosario is worth seeing

WE ASKED ALBERT Martinez at the “Rosario” preview how his younger brother William is doing after his stroke. “It’s a major blow for our whole family but we’re all there to support him,” he says. “It’s good he’s strong so he’s recovering very fast. We trust the Lord will help him and he’ll return to normal soon so he can also go back to work. We want to thank Yayo (Aguila) for all her support even if it’s common knowledge hiwalay na sila. This might be the Lord’s way para magkasama-sama uli sila ng pamilya nila at mas dumali ang recovery ni William.”

We first heard of “Rosario” from Albert about four years ago. It was just then a dream project for him and he’s thinking of asking Maryo de los Reyes to meg it with Bea Alonzo in the title role. Now, “Rosario” is a completed film and it’s he himself who directed it, with Jennylyn Mercado playing the pivotal role of the unconventional woman ahead of her time who’d become the grandma of mogul Manny Pangilinan. “Jennylyn gave full justice to the role. The film starts when she’s a teenager and ends when she’s 35 years old in 1939, with so many things happening to her. After watching the film, I can’t think of anyone else who can play Rosario as convincingly as she did.”

How does he feel about the predictions that it will win major honors at the filmfest awards night? “Hindi ko iniisip yan, pero kung papalaring manalo, di maraming salamat. Ang gusto ko lang talaga is to make a good film and show na puede tayong makagawa ng ganitong katinong obra. We’ve already scheduled screenings in the States and it’s shown with English subtitles.” He became so obsessed with “Rosario” that after doing its post production work in Bangkok and Hollywood that took three months to finish, he collapsed and was hospitalized due to high fever. “I was dead tired kaya bumigay ang body ko. The film is really expensive. Sa period production design pa lang and the 600 costumes used by the various characters, as designed by Miki Hahn (the girlfriend of his son Alfonso), talagang malaki na gastos. Then we used a very advanced camera, the Alexa, na isa lang sa tatlong ginagamit ngayon. One is in the U.S. being used by Martin Scorcese and one is in Europe. ”

After seeing the film, we can say it’s really technically well crafted, done with care and attention to detail with outstanding cinematography, production design and particularly the lyrical and unobtrusive musical score by Albert Chang. We have some reservations about it (that we'll tackle in a full review), but it’s still definitely worthseeing. We should be thankful there's still a producer who is willing to bankroll this kind of film that's definitely far from being commercial, PLDT and TV mogul Manny Pangilinan, who appears as himself in the film. Some of the acting is superb, especially Sid Lucero as the young man in the "aksesorya" secretly in love with Rosario and Dolphy as Rosario's son who's the film's narrator. They would surely compete as best supporting actor.