In preparation for his role as a schizophrenic guy, singer-actor Nico Antonio watched a lot of films and even conducted his own research for his upcoming Cinemalaya 2010 entry Magkakapatid.
"Mahirap palang gumanap na baliw! Pinaghandaan ko talaga," said Nico during the press conference of Magkakapatid held last July 6 at the Katre restaurant in Quezon City.
In this film, Nico plays the son of Ces Quesada. He has a split-personality disorder and he portrays two identities called Caloy and Cardo.
"Nanood ako ng No Country for Old Men and Silence of the Lambs," recalled Nico. Even without any prodding from director Kim Homer Garcia, he went to the National Center for Mental Health to conduct his own research. "Pero hindi nila ako pinayagan na mag-observe ng mga patients. Ang puwede lang ang gawin ay kumausap ng doctor."
"Caloy is such a mild-mannered guy," Nico told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) about his role. "Sabi ni Direk dahil lang sa food kaya niya napatay yung kapatid niya, pero gumawa ako ng back story na binubugbog siya ng utol niya kaya niya nagawa yun. Kumbaga, ang gumanti para sa kanya si Cardo [his other alter-ego]."
In the crucial scene of the movie, Caloy gets a schizophrenic attack that turns him into the murderous character of Cardo, who brutally kills his brother Lino (portrayed by Jerald Napoles).
The Voizboys member recalls the gruesome scene in the movie. "Nakakapagod pala yun kasi paulit-ulit akong tumataga para dun sa eksena. Noong una, ini-swing ko yung bolo tapos pinagsabihan ako ni Direk kasi totoo pala 'yon!"
Direk Kim Homer informed PEP that they used up five liters of fake blood when they shot the murder scene in two shooting days. They used up another quart of fake blood when they had a pictorial of Nico for Magkakapatid. For the movie's poster, they poured blood on the lead actor.
Is Direk Kim Homer afraid that the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) will not allow his film to be viewed because of the blood and violence of the film?
"Feeling ko hindi naman...tame lang ito. Pag binawasan pa nila ang mga eksena, wala nang matitira sa pelikula," the director said.
BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. The cast members of the movie shot this film in San Pascual, Batangas where the gruesome crime took place. Direk Kim Homer got the idea for the film from the murder, wedding and a funeral that took place in a span of one day in San Pascual, Batangas.
"Winelcome naman kami ng mga tao sa town," says Direk Kim Homer. "Medyo iba ang pakiramdam ko nung nag-research ako dun sa location. Doon kami mag-shoot malapit kung saan naganap yung incident kasi gusto kong ma-capture yung atmosphere ng location."
Nico points out that even though Magkakapatid tackles a gruesome incident, it also shows how tragedy can bring together a family.
"Sabi nga ni Direk, blood is thicker than water. Yung tatlong magkakapatid sa story, sina Ces Quesada, Raquel Villavicencio, and Julio Diaz, hindi sila gaanong close pero dahil sa tragedy na yun, ironically, yun ang naging paraan para maging close sila.
"Lahat sila may kanya-kanyang businesses—tulad ni Raquel, na nagdi-deal with adultery ng kanyang asawa, si Julio busy sa kasal ng anak niya—pero dahil sa tragedy na 'yon, nagbuklod-buklod talaga sila," says the singer-actor.
Magkakapatid also stars Mercedes Cabral and Kathlyn Castillo as the daughters of the character of Julio. Banaue Miclat is also cast as the daughter of Raquel Villavicencio.
UPCOMING QUANTUM FILM PROJECTS. Magkakapatid is one of the nine full-length films competing in the New Breed of Filmmakers category of the 6th Cinemalaya. The said film festival will run from July 9-18 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films is the co-producer Magkakapatid as well as another Cinemalaya entry titled Sampaguita, National Flower. The film about the Philippine national flower is directed by Francis Xavier Pasion, the director behind the much-talked about film Jay. Unlike Jay, which starred Baron Geisler and Coco Martin, Direk Francis decided to cast real-life sampaguita makers and vendors in his film.
(CLICK HERE to view the screening schedules of these entries.)
Atty. Joji will soon be collaborating with director Jeffrey Jeturian for a follow-up project after their highly-acclaimed indie film Kubrador.
"Sinusulat pa lang ni Paul Sta. Ana yung script but it will be about the basic unit of society, the family. We want to veer away from movies depicting poverty," the loyal-film producer said.
Next year, Quantum Films will also be producing a horror film created by a group of students who studied under Armando "Bing" Lao. The female producer mentioned that they plan to do a sequel of the comedy film Here Comes the Bride but only for next year since it will require many special effects. Here Comes the Bride, a co-production of Quantum Films, Star Cinema and OctoArts, was shown earlier this year with Angelica Panganiban, John Lapus, Tuesday Vargas, Tom Rodriguez, and Eugene Domingo.
Atty. Joji says that they have yet to cast the stars for the upcoming sequel.