Nora Aunor, Cherry Pie Picache and Angelica Panganiban topbill the socio-political thriller Whistleblower.
Directed by Adolf Alix, Jr., the movie revolves around three women who are caught in a web of lies, deceit and corruption.
Teresa (Angelica), a young journalist, joins the NBI raiding team that will rescue Zeny (Nora), who had been illegally detained by her boss, Lorna (Cherry Pie).
Apparently, Lorna is involved in a political scam that gives her and other politicians financial status at par with billionaires.
Zeny then became the whistleblower of anomalies of the government. However, Teresa discovers something more behind Lorna, Zeny and their involvement in the culture of corruption.
Aside from its compelling and exciting storyline, here are five things to look forward to from Whistleblower:
Known for their performances in different TV shows and movies, Cherry Pie, Angelica and Nora were tapped to portray the controversial roles of Lorna Valera, Teresa Saycon and Zeny Roblado, respectively.
According to Cherry Pie, this is the first time she worked with the Superstar in a movie. Prior to this, they starred together in ABS-CBN’s primetime series Bituin.
She also said during the press conference of the movie that it is a dream come true for her. She even recounted one unforgettable scene with Nora.
“Meron akong isang eksena, yung sa basement. Tapos meron kaming isang eksena na wala masyadong dialogue si Ate Guy (Nora’s nickname), tapos tumingin lang siya sa akin.
“Siyempre nasa character ako as Lorna. Pero sa subconscious ko, pagtingin niya, ‘Yun o, si Ate Guy.’
“Kasi yung sa mata pa lang, [umaarte na siya]. Those were the moments and the encounters that you will never forget.”
Nora, on the other hand, felt nervous while doing her scenes with Cherry Pie. "Si Cherry Pie, magaling yan. Ay parang nakakatakot at nakakanerbiyos. Totoo nga naman, ninerbiyos at natakot ako sa ilang eksena ko."
Angelica and Cherry Pie have worked with each other in several TV series and movies. But this is the first time that three of them are brought together on the big screen.
Madonna Tarrayo, one of the movie’s producers, gave her observation about the three lead stars: “Iba-iba yung degree na ibinigay nila according to their character.”
This eye-opening movie is produced by Quento Media and Unitel Productions, with the latter producing the hit 2003 movie Crying Ladies.
The success of Crying Ladies--starring Sharon Cuneta, Angel Aquino, Hilda Koronel--inspired them to create another film that featured three women as central characters.
Director Adolf Alix shared how the concept was brought up. “Yung pelikula po kasi, iyong idea po, si Mr. G [Tony Gloria] noon, prinoduce po niya yung Crying Ladies, parang tatlong babae rin po.
“So everytime na nagkakausap kami, parang gusto niya gumawa ng political thriller na tatlong babae rin.
“Dito lumabas yung idea na kumuha ng tatlong characters na kung saan pwede lumabas yung mga nangyari na entertaining.”
Thus, the trio of Nora, Cherry Pie and Angelica was formed for this movie.
Tony Gloria also shared that it took two to three years before the movie started filming.
“Matagal na 'to, e. Kasi noong nire-research ko ito, yung pork barrel [scam] na yan, matagal na yan.
“Tapos sabi ni Adolf, hindi naman yung person yung tinitignan dito, yung sistema.
“Tapos noong ni-research ko, nakalagay, anatomy of pork barrel. Gusto ko tatlong babae pero iba naman, kasi yung Crying Ladies, comedy. Ito political thriller.
“About 2-3 years ago, nabuo yung parang germ ng story.”
And from there, he revealed that there had been plenty of choices before they came up with the title Whistleblower.
“Ang unang title niyan, The Witness. Naging Whistleblower, naging Mastermind. Gawin nating babae [yung lead]. Along the way, lumaki ng lumaki yung cast.”
Direk Adolf also explained, “Pinangalanan lang po siyang Whistleblower kasi in a literal level, yung character po nilang tatlo ay whistleblowers.
“But if you take it figuratively, because when you’re a whistleblower, you open up to something.
“And when you open up to something, you open possibilities, either the truth [or not] and you allow yourself to be examined.
“Yung film po examines the truth doon sa tatlong characters. At the end of it, you take what you want to take.”
Celebrities such as Rosanna Roces, Celeste Legaspi, Liza Lorena, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Ricky Davao, Cogie Domingo, Lauren Young, Allan Paule, and Benjamin Alves will portray short but vital roles in the film.
Seasoned actors such as Anita Linda, Leo Rialp, Bernardo Bernardo, and Laurice Guillen are also expected to be seen in the political thriller.
Ina Feleo and Carlo Aquino’s roles also have connections with the main characters.
Cherry Pie noted that her character might remind moviegoers about Janet Napoles, the lady believed to be the mastermind of the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam.
However, she reminded moviegoers that the movie focuses more on showing the system of corruption that is being perpetuated in society.
“Basically, a lot of people will relate to the character, like yung sa akin, they will relate right away being Janet Napoles.
“Pero more than that, ang maganda po doon sa pelikula is about three women who got into a system tapos pag nakapasok ka, hindi ka na makakaalis.
She added, “I’d like to look at it in a way na, kahit sinong characters, pag napasok ka sa kahit na anong sistema, whether it be on the industry, business, politics.
“Di ba, merong certain point na nagcompromise ka na, tinanggap mo na yung sistemang yun, there’s no turning back.
“And it will be hard for you to turn back kasi pumayag ka na sa sistemang yun, e.”
Direk Adolf added, “Lahat naman po tayo, we take a stand kung ano yung take natin on certain issues.
“Noong ginagawa ko po yung Whistleblower, nakikita ko kung paano gumagalaw yung sistema tapos kung minsan yung biktima, nagiging victimizer, [and] yung victimizer minsan nagiging biktima.”
Nora also said that this movie should have been shown earlier. However, they moved the playdate in time for the 2016 elections. “Dapat matagal nang nalabas ito, e. Pero hinintay lang ang eleksyon kaya saktong sakto lang po.”
Whistleblower will have its theatrical run starting April 6 in cinemas.