Kamandag actor Marcus Madrigal teams up with indie-theater actor Josh Deocareza for the psycho thriller Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa. Building on the success of their hit Compound, Mariposa is another collaboration of filmmaker Will Fredo and executive producer Greg Macaraeg of HUBO Productions.
Marcus Madrigal is recognizable from his past TV shows and from the critically acclaimed film Pila-Balde (1999). Apart from Kamandag, he was also in the top-rating show Marimar of GMA-7. This time, he plays a character named Agustin Vergeire, whom he considers as one of the most challenging and complex characters he has played. He is cast as a sepak takraw player who suffers a debilitating injury that paralyzes his body.
Because of his special needs, he meets a caregiver named Carlito, played by the young, boyish Josh Deocareza. He has already been part of a number of theater productions and numerous TV commercials. Josh has also been part of two other independent films. He played the younger brother of Andrea del Rosario in Rome & Juliet and was also cast as a teenager out for revenge in Baliw (directed by Redd Ochoa).
Marcus praises director Will Fredo for his attention to the craft of acting. "Will likes to rehearse a lot before the shoot. Nagworkshop kami with other cast members, so malinaw kung ano yung kailangan namin gawin."
Although his character is paralyzed, Marcus explains that Agustin still feels the need for sex as a form of release. Before his character had the accident, Agustin was seen in a hot love scene with his girlfriend Nelle (played by radio personality Lily Chu). The sensuality and passion of his character is evident right from the start. So when Agustin and Carlito find that the bond between them becomes sexual, it becomes believable.
Mariposa however, is far more than just a titillating sex film. Very similar to Compound, there's a touch of violence, mystery and psychological drama. Some viewers may find Will's directorial style confusing. But most critics appreciate his innovative style, which is not commonly found in local films.
Will uses film editing and changing time sequence to tell his stories. "I particularly enjoy making my audiences think. If they are engaged in that way, it becomes more than your typical movie experience. For example, in Compound, I get four different interpretations of the ending from audiences. And I love that. No two people can interpret a story exactly the same way and that's what I'd like to encourage," Will tells PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the film's preview at the Teatrino Greenhills last April 12.
"My own character Carlito isn't at all what he seems" shares Josh. "He may look timid and shy at the beginning but there's a deeper conflict that's brewing inside him. When we shot the ending it was really surprising."
Josh likes creating back stories for his character based on the script. He even discusses his motivations with CJ Mercado who plays his girlfriend Tammy in the film. Josh considers CJ as a mentor ever since they worked together in the theater production of Little Prince. CJ, on the other hand, was cast as a voice talent for a notice in the PLDT Prepaid service. She shared that the recent death of her father made it easier for her to portray the somber scenes in Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa.
As far as performances are concerned there is one minor role that cannot go unmentioned. Acclaimed theater actor and director Leo Rialph's depiction of a stroke victim was nothing short of brilliant. Rialph did not have any speaking lines but because of the small movements and twitches of hands and head, he was able to convince viewers of his affliction.
As mentioned earlier, Lily Chu plays Agustin's girlfriend. Lily used to be a vocalist for a band named after her, called Lilian. Her former band members have joined the band Area 5, which contributed a song to the movie's official sound track. She currently works as a DJ for Mellow 94.7 on the weekend slot from 4-8 pm.
During the press preview, executive producer Greg Macaraeg was grateful for the support that they received for the movie. "There are people who have been helping HUBO since Compound who are with us for Mariposa. This is because they believe in what we're doing. But four people in particular who have been instrumental for this movie are producer Ida Tiongson, executive producer George Sommerrock, Jay Garcia, and Joan Manalang. They share my faith in Will's vision and talent."
Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa will soon be screened at Robinsons Galleria's IndieSine. The official soundtrack of the movie, Brave New Music: Songs from the Original Motion Picture Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa, is available in select Astrovision / Plus and Fully Booked stores.