Belittling roles for erstwhile big actors

January 07, 2020

THE stars of three actors in the recently concluded MMFF seem to have dimmed in their respective entries. We were honestly shocked when we saw Mark Anthony Fernandez playing just one of the prisoners in “Miracle in Cell No. 7”. Mark has played many lead roles in movies and TV shows, so it’s quite a shock for us to see him as a prisoner who is just one of the antagonists to Aga Muhlach in the movie.

He’s not even one of Aga’s friends but a contravida. Not only that, everyone knows that in real life, he spent about a year in jail in Pampanga for some marijuana found in his car. And here he is shooting a movie in prison. Wonder how he felt while they’re shooting his scenes behind bars.

Then there’s Sam Milby. He used to be one of Star Cinema’s top leading men in many romcoms he did before. Now, he plays a bad guy in “3Pol Trobol, Huli Ka Balbon”. He even tries to rape Jennylyn Mercado and ends up being a villain who is brutally killed by Coco Martin with a spear that pierced his chest.

Wonder if he’d still be able to go back to doing lead roles after this movie. But as someone says: “Nag-contravida na rin naman siya kay Jericho Rosales sa TV soap na ‘Halik’.” So maybe, he has really accepted being relegated to villain roles.

Then there’s Jose Manalo. When 2019 started, he played the lead title role no less in the very first movie shown last year, “Boy Tokwa, Lodi ng Olongapo”, which was released right after the 2018 Metro Filmfest. As 2019 ended, he is seen playing a very mean, scheming contravida to Bossing Vic Sotto in “Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity”.

It’s not even a villain role with a redeeming factor. He’s a baddie through and through, even framing up Vic, his own brother, for a crime that Vic didn’t commit. But at least, Jose is known more of as a comedian and we have no doubt he can quickly bounce back with the help of his regular exposure in “Eat Bulaga”.

There are two other stars who people thought would help the movies, where they appear in as special guests, entice more people to watch it in theaters. These are Yorme Isko Moreno and the long MIA (missing in action) John Lloyd Cruz. Sadly, their presence is not enough to attract more viewers. Yorme Isko is in “3Pol Trobol”, appearing in three sequences as the town mayor who helps Coco Martin get to the president to reveal the corruption of Tirso Cruz III and Edu Manzano. As we all know, “3Pol Trobol” did not even earn as much as the previous MMFF entries of Coco, “Ang Panday” and “Jack Em Popoy”.

John Lloyd appeared in “Culion” as the ex-boyfriend of Meryll Soriano who visits her in the leper colony. There was a big to do about this on the part of the production company that made it. But alas, not even his presence could help the movie at all at the box office, which is the tailender among the entries and earned a pitiful take of only P4 million during its entire run.

Well, to begin with, who’d be interested to watch a movie about characters with decaying faces and hands that look like chicharon during the holiday season? It’s Christmas and everyone wants to feel light and happy and not get depressed over the sad plight of people suffering from a disease that disfigures them horribly. This should be a lesson learned for all producers.