In his latest film Daybreak, Adolf Alix Jr. tells a tale of passionate love that takes place in a chilly Tagaytay setting. The movie, which takes place in a span of one day, explores an affair between a married man and a young boatman.
William (Paolo Rivero) is a pediatrician who is becoming weary of his marital problems. While spending a weekend in his vacation house, William gets to meet a tour guide named JP (Coco Martin) who has a girlfriend of his own. The doctor is drawn to JP's youthful looks and tanned skin. The two men soon start an affair. Daybreak depicts the crossroads in their relationship. Can William leave behind his lover?
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) spotted Adolf checking up on the movie during the first screening day of Daybreak at Robinsons Galleria yesterday, February 20. He pointed out that he wanted to rely less on directorial technique for this movie. "I wanted it to be very minimal. The less the audiences noticed the camera the better. I wanted the performance to shine more than anything else."
The director was also impressed by the way the two actors, who are both straight in real life, were able to pull off the very intimate scenes. "Realism was my utmost concern. If it wasn't convincing I wasn't going to do it. There had to be lust because they hadn't seen each other for a long time. Whether it blossoms into love is what the movie is about."
JP (Coco Martin) is a commitment-phobe. His relationships normally range from three weeks to a couple of months. JP thinks nothing of having one sexual relationship after another. Coco's portrayal of JP has both naiveté and worldliness.
Paolo, who plays the confused doctor, is effortless in portraying the domineering William. Despite the dictates of his mind, William's heart is still very much ruled by his attraction to JP.
Very much like Adolf's past works, Daybreak takes place in a picturesque part of the country, this time in Taal Lake. In Donsol (2006), he showed us the waters of Sorsogon visited periodically by butanding (whale sharks). Batanes (2007) highlighted the rocky cliffs and lush hills of the most northern islands after which the movie is named.
In Daybreak, misty fog covers rows and rows of pine trees at dawn. The sun sets on a golden lake with a volcano at its center. "I like using nature to represent what's going on in my character's relationships," he explains. "When you think of Tagaytay, you think of cool weather, so it's definitely an important element in the story."
Noel Ferrer, project manager for GMA Films, is the executive producer of Daybreak. He admitted that he was bent on tapping Adolf for this project. "When I started on this project, I had no other director in mind but Adolf. His reputation for coming up with consistently successful films is one of the factors. His strong creative sensibility and ability to simplify complex human relationships draws audiences to the theater."
Producer Arleen Cuevas recently worked on The Amazing Truth by Queen Racquela, which won the Teddy Award for Best Feature in the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival. Arleen co-produced Queen Raquela, which wasshot on location in Cebu. The all-Filipino cast was headed by Nordic director Olaf Johanesson.
Daybreak is rated R-18 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board and approved without cuts. It will be screened at Robinsons Galleria from February 20 to 26, Robinsons Ermita from February 27 to March 4, and Robinsons Bacolod from March 5 to 11.