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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.

Jan 2, 2014

Gov. Vilma Santos Going From Being An 'Ekstra' To An 'Alalay'

GOV. VILMA SANTOS’ award-winning Cinemalaya film, “Ekstra”, was shown recently at the Bangalore International Filmfest in India and here are the reviews of Indian critics about it.

From Tusshar Sasi in “Romancing Cinema”, 27 Dec 2013: “"I am aware of the Filipino culture and their language which could be one of the reasons why I happened to be amused by Jeffrey Jeturian's "EKSTRA (The Bit Player)" when I caught it at the 6th Bangalore Film Festival. But, that is not entirely the reason why the movie works big time! The prime reasons in that order would be...Vilma Santos, a sensational performer. She lives the character of an extra artiste in television soaps. Flawless, compelling and award-worthy, is her turn...To sum it up, Ekstra - The Bit Player is a poignant film which is certainly worth your time."

From Harsh Mander in “The Hindu”, 28 Dec 2013: "Adopting a diametrically opposite idiom of exuberant comic irony is Philippine director Jeffrey Jeturian’s Ekstra (Extra), an affectionate salute to the underdog. It follows one day in the life of a middle-aged woman extra, a bit player in television soap operas, after she is woken in the early hours of the morning one day to drive to a location shoot in the neighbouring countryside. The director subversively casts one of the Philippines’ best-loved actors, Vilma Santos, in the role of the extra. The viewer for once roots for the anonymous crowd — the farmer on the fields, the domestic help patiently waiting, and the guests in the background of a wedding — while the lead players strut and recite their lines. We watch the class system in the enormous gaps in food and lodging between stars and extras. The film mocks the hilarious script trajectories of the soap opera, and the vanity and fragile egos of its lead players. I often felt that if just the names were changed in the film’s script, it could have been located in India with no substantial changes."

Congratulations to Ate Vi and Direk Jeffrey Jeturian for the acclaim they got in India. This early, box office director Wenn Deramas is already preparing Ate Vi’s entry in the Metro-Manila Filmfest of December 2014, a dramedy that will pair her with Ai Ai de las Alas.

When the movie starts, Ai Ai is the alalay of Ate Vi, who’s rich and powerful, but their situations will be reversed at film’s end and it will be Ai Ai who’ll be the boss and Ate Vi who is the alalay. So if plans won’t miscarry, this means that Ate Vi goes from “Ekstra” to “Alalay”?