By RONALD CONSTANTINO
GRADED A – Jason Paul Laxamana may well be called “Graded A director.” His entry, “Bakwit Boys,” to the nationwide Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Aug. 15-21) was graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, exempted 100 percent from amusement taxes. In last year’s PPP, his “100 Tula Para Kay Stella,” was also Graded A…and topgrosser to boot.
Needless to say, it’s tough combining quality and commerce in a movie. Will direk Jason Paul again nail it this year with “Bakwit Boys”?
He’s keeping his fingers crossed. Ditto T-Rex producer Rex Tiri, the cast and staff. It’ll be recalled that T-Rex PPP entry last year, “Patay Na Si Hesus,” also did well at the box office and merited good reviews.
FOUR BROTHERS – “Bakwit Boys” is the heartwarming story of four musically-lined brothers, played by Vance Larena, Nikko Trinidad, Ryle Santiago, Mackie Empuerto, who come to Manila after their province was ravaged by a supertyphoon. “Bakwit” (refugees) they are called.
They are discovered by a lover of music, portrayed by Devon Seron.
Together they weave a touching tale of failure and success, of music and the struggle to make it. “Bakwit Boys” is a romantic musical, a “rock drama,” this columnist calls it.
‘MR. COOL’ – On the set, director Jason Paul Laxamana is “Mr. Cool.” He does not raise his voice, does not really speak much. But he delivers. Direk Jason Paul says that is the way he is. Which can be intimidating in way. But he assures that when he remains silent after a take, it means he’s happy with the acting. If not he says so…ever so gently.
He’s also producer-friendly. He stays within the budget, knowing how much money a producer risks in making a movie.
Also he does not believe in overworking the cast and staff. No shooting until early in the morning. He is especially concerned with the crew who carry all those heavy equipment and stay behind to attend to this and that even after the shoot is long over.