GELLI De Belen just finished doing the heavy drama “Ika-5 Utos” on TV and she’s now doing comedy for the big screen. She was just seen in “Ang Sikreto ng Piso” and she now follows this up with “Pansamantagal”, which is written and directed by Joven Tan and opens in theaters on March 20. “Pansamantagal” is not your usual slapstick comedy but a romcom with a heart and a touch of drama. Gellli is paired for the first time with comedian Bayani Agbayani. So how’s the experience?
“We’ve worked together before, mostly sitcoms on TV, but this is our first movie together na kami pa ang magkapareha,” she says. “Iba ang working relationship namin ngayon ni Bayani rito. Siguro dahil mas mature na kami, we’re more comfortable with each other. First time namin to play romantic leads together and we help each other with our lines. We ask each other: how can we make this line funnier? Or more meaningful?”
She says she liked the movie right away upon reading its screenplay. “Yung role ko kasi rito, ngayon ko pa lang nagawa dahil I’m made to deliver risque lines. I said the Tagalog word for a man’s sex organ 14 times, all in all. Siguro kung nung bata ako, hindi ko basta masasabi ito. Mag-aalangan ako. But I’m older now. 46 na ako sa May 25, so I have less inhibitions. R-16 ang movie kasi nga adult ang language and may scene kaming ginawa na hindi puwedeng i-reveal dito, pero delicate siya, so panoorin nyo na lang. Kahit mature ang tema niya, it’s a feel good movie.”
In the story, she plays Agnes, a woman having a mid-life crisis after breaking up with her partner who is supposed to be well endowed. To help her forget her problems in the big city, she goes to Sunset Paradise, a distant beach resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan. There, she meets Bayani as Leo, who’s also running away from his past. Their accidental meeting leads to an unexpected friendship and some confusing chain of events and emotions. Considering the adult nature of the material, would she allow her two sons to watch “Pansamantagal”?
“Ay, puwede na sila, 20 and 18 na kasi ang age nila, e. Saka hindi naman basta laswaan ang movie. It has a beautiful message about love and relationships. Maski si Ariel (Rivera, her husband), nagustuhan niya ang script nito. 'Yung trailer namin, ang ganda ng feedback from those who’ve seen it. It was just sent to us by Direk Joven Tan para mapanood namin. Si Bayani, he sent it to his friends who immediately uploaded it sa internet and in three days, naka-3 million views agad. As of now, 9 million views na raw at ang comment is ‘ang ganda ng trailer nyo’. So ngayon, ang panalangin namin, sana yung 9 million na 'yun, hindi lang trailer ang panoorin kundi ang buong movie kasi we assure them na hindi naman sila magsisisi.”