The showing of Kamkam (Greed), an independent movie directed by Joel Lamangan, this July 9 is considered timely in the light of the turn of current events in the Philippines.
According to Direk Joel: “Napapanahon dahil napag-uusapan ang pagkamkam…”
Written by Palanca-awardee Jerry Gracio, Kamkam tells the story of greed in a “sitio” in Cavite.
Direk Joel and the film’s lead star, Allen Dizon, introduced the film during a press conference at the Bantayog Center, Bantayan ng mga Bayani, Quezon City last June 13, 2014.
Kamkam (Greed) is about a local kingpin named Johnny (played by Allen Dizon) who has three wives.
As a way to make ends meet, Johnny gives his first wife, Salud (Jean Garcia) kickbacks from the sitio’s gambling activities. His second wife, Evelyn (Sunshine Dizon) receives kickbacks from the area’s illegal water and electricity consumption. His third, newest, youngest and favorite wife Shane (played by Jackie Rice) eventually takes the kickbacks previously managed by the first two wives.
Allen Dizon is joined in this photo by the women who portray his three wives: (L-R) Sunshine Dizon, Jean Garcia, and Jackie Rice
Despite Johnny’s illegal activities, the local authorities turn a blind eye as they also receive kickbacks from Johnny’s illicit schemes.
Allen Dizon also recognized the film’s bearing on current events. “Napapanahon itong pelikula…pinapamukha natin sa manonood na `di maganada yung ganun na mga illegal na gawain. May karma ang balik..`di lang [puro] masaya.
According to Allen, the film is based on true events.
Direk Joel Lamangan adds: “May mga maraming mga tao sa ating lipunan…gusto nila kunin ang lahat, kamkamin lahat. Kelangan marealize natin na `di dapat ganun lalong lao na ngayon.”
When asked to elaborate on the reason for politicians’ tendency to be greedy, the director explains: “Dahil ni-nurture ng sistema. Ni-nurture ng system para maging ganun sila. [Napansin ko] kung anong pinaglaban namin noon, hanggang ngayon ganun pa rin. Lalo pa ngang sumasama yata. Sa movie na lang [ituloy ang pinaglalaban namin]. Ilagay sa pelikula para mapapanood ng tao. Para `di nila tularan mga ginagawa ni Johnny.”
Asked by a reporter about his previous interest in running for office, the director was quick to reply: “Ay hindi na…ayoko na...[sa pelikula ko na lang ilagay] gusto ko iparating. Doon na lang. Mas effective. Ayoko na sa pulitika. Ayaw ko na maging mangangamkam.”
Given the mature theme of the movie, how was Direk Joel able to convince mainstream stars such as Jean Garcia, Sunshine Dizon, Jackie Rice to do an edgy film?
Direk Joel points out: “Na-convince ko sila dahil authentic yung role nila. Kaibang kaiba yung mga babae. Ibang-iba talaga sila.”
Jackie Rice even had a misunderstanding with her father after he saw her love scenes in the movie.
(Read: Jackie Rice reveals her dad stopped talking to her when he saw her daring love scenes)
How was Jackie Rice’s performance considering it is her first time to do daring scenes?
Direk Joel answered, “Na-shock ako sa professionalism ni Jackie. Na-shock ako kung gaano siya kahusay, kung gaano siya ka-sensitibo…she should be given more roles that will challenge her…She is an actress.”
Kamkam also features young stars Joyce Ching, Lucho Ayala, Rita de Guzman, Kerbie Zamora, Hiro Peralta.
The veteran director also praised the performances of the teens: “Magaling din mga bata. Mahusay sila…umaagapay sila…Lahat ng mga bata sensitive naman sila. Alam naman nila mga papel. Ready na sila. Mahusay sila, mahusay si Joyce Ching, yung rebeldeng anak.”
ON PLAYING A LOCAL KINGPIN. Allen, who plays a 41-year-old thug with three wives in the movie, describes how he is able to relate to his character:
“Siyempre natural yun noong mga kabataan ko…maraming friend, maraming iba-ibang girlfriend. Sumama yun sa idea ko kung paanong acting gagawin ko.”
In reality, the 36-year-old actor is married and they already have three young daughters.
Allen reveals one trait that he shares with his character Johnny: he is also afraid of his mother.
According to Direk Joel, “Si Johnny takot sa nanay niya.”
Playing Johnny’s mother in the movie is veteran actress Elizabeth Oropesa.
Allen admits, “Takot ako sa mommy ko…kasi siya lang yung kaya ka pagsabihan. Unlike your wife, pag nag-away kayo, okay lang. [Pero ‘pag] gumawa sa `yo, [nanay mo], takot ka.”
How challenging was it to portray a man with three wives?
“Mahirap…napakagaling pa ng mga kasama ko… first time ko gawin ganitong storya…dapat lumelevel ka sa kanila.
“First time ko sa lahat. First time kay Sunshine, first time kay Jean, first time kay Jackie…Lalo na sa first scene namin ni Ms. Jean, yun yung love scene, yun yung kissing scene namin. First time namin makatrabaho, yun yung first day namin magkasama. Sabi nga ni Ms. Jean sa `kin, ‘Siguro sinusubukan tayo ni Direk.’”
Allen adds, “`Di ito feel-good movie, `di siya commercial film...Itong [Kamkam] may laman.”
Kamkam (Greed) is written by Jerry Gracio and directed by Joel Lamangan. It will be screened in selected cinemas nationwide starting July 9, 2014.