MAUI Taylor plays her most challenging role to date in the controversial 9th film of the very prolific director, Darryl Yap, “69+1”. She plays a lesbian who’s in a relationship with Rose Van Ginkle, who is given her first starring role in this movie.
“It’s about a polyamorous or open relationship,” says Maui. “In the story, seven years na kami ni Rose and we want to test our relationship kung hanggang saan kami puede, so we got Janno Gibbs as the plus one, para maging threesome kami. I’ve worked with Direk Darryl before in ‘Gusto Ko Maging Pornstar’, so I asked him muna what is required of me and he explained naman everything to me, so I said okay, let’s do this.”
So she didn’t have any reluctance doing the movie? “None. Let’s face it, 20 years na ako sa showbiz, so when they made me read the script, sabi ko, okay lang ako. Sanay na ako sa ganyan, gamay ko na siya, e. But it’s the first time I heard about a polyamorours relationship. I never thought such a thing exists. But it’s 2021 na, so may ganito na pala. I’ve never been in a polyamorous relationship, but making this movie made me realize that it’s very hard to be in one.”
Has she experienced being in a lesbian relationship in real life?
“No, naranasan ko maligawan by someone sa same sex pero I never experienced it. Our generation kasi, we were put inside a box. We were made to believe na you have to be in a relationship na pang-boy and girl lang. So I never got to a point na mage-experiment ako with the same sex. But I admit na naranasan kong maging two-timer, sabay na relationships, both boys. But ‘yung same sex, I never go to explore it.”
So it must have been difficult kissing Rose Van Ginkel in the movie?
“Not really, kasi nagawa ko naman ‘yan before 20 years ago sa ‘Balahibong Pusa’ ni Erik Matti, with Rica Peralejo. But first time ko with Rose, so sabi ko sa kanya, nakakapagod kapag paulit-ulit ang eksena, so let’s give it our 100 percent agad para wala ng take two.”
Did she hesitate doing threesome scenes with Janno Gibbs and Rose?
“Actually, ‘yung love scenes with Janno is the fun part ng movie kasi comedic ang treatment. Magugulat kayo. We never had any problems shooting it. He being Janno Gibbs, he gives his 110 percent. ‘Yung comedic part, it just comes out naturally from him.”
Will she make her family watch the movie? “Ok lang for my family to watch. I’m always proud of all the movies i’ve done. Alam naman nilang I’m an actress and I’m just playing a role, so I have no reservations at all ipapanood ito sa kanila, anytime they want.”
She’s happy for Rose Van Ginkel who plays her first starring role in “69+1”. “When Direk Darryl told me about his plans for her, natuwa ako para kay Rose. Tapos na kasi ako sa ganyang launching. I’ve been there, done that, so let’s give this moment to Rose, para naman she’ll shine on her own. I was happy to guide her sa shoot. I always tell her that she has a choice. Kung ayaw niya gawin ang isang eksena, she can always say no.”
What’s her most challenging scene in the movie? “May scene kaming tatlo na fluid kami, kinunan ng seven minutes. When we’re told about it, ako, ang reaction ko, o sige, halika na, let’s do it. Pero afterwards, na-stress ako. For the first time, napagod ako. Kasi one camera lang ‘yun, tapos eight paragraphs ang pina-memorize sa aming lahat. One long shot, bawal magkamali. Dun ako na-pressure”
What can she say to detractors who find their movie “malaswa” or scandalous?
“Kahit anong pelikula naman na ganun ang tema, they will always have an opinion about how these movies are done. But honestly, for me, they’re free to say whatever they want to say pero sana, panoorin muna nila ang movie bago sila mag-judge. Di pa nga napapanood ang buong movie, andami nang sinasabi.”
Does the movie have any lesson at all? “Meron, the lesson in the story is saan ka ba sasaya? Sasaya ka ba sa isang relationship with just one person? Or would you be happier in a polyamorous relationship? So hopefully the movie will help you find out for yourself. Pero sa akin, in real life, I won’t go to that extent. Kung maghihiwalay kayo ng partner mo, di maghiwalay na lang kayo. We don’t have to get a third party to find out or prove that we love each other.”
Members of the LGBT community might not like their movie? “Ang feeling ko nga, LGBT members will like this kasi first time tinackle itong polyamorous relationship sa isang movie. I think they’ll love it and give it a standing ovation.”
“69+1” starts streaming worldwide on Vivamax on September 3.
Review of Cinemalaya film ‘Love and Pain in Between Refrains’ by Jay Altarejos
WE didn’t know top GMA teleserye creator and writer Suzette Doctolero is also into acting. We saw her in “Love and Pain Between Refrains”, a guest entry in the 17th Cinemalaya filmfest directed by Jay Altarejos. She played the role of the caring mother of the female protagonist, Elora Espano.
She is quite convincing in that scene where she tries to persuade her daughter to go back home with her because her husband is a wife beater.
We won’t be surprised if we’d see her in a GMA teleserye one of these days, playing the mother of Marian Rivera or Carla Abellana who are her lookalikes!! (Wooahh!–Ed.)
Going back to the movie, Jay’s latest movie is vastly different from the usual gay films he did like “Kasal”, “Lihim ni Antonio” and “Lalaki sa Parola”. This time, it’s about domestic violence. The male protagonist is his resident actor, Oliver Aquino, who we last saw in Jay’s graphic sex-drama about exploited sex workers, “Jino to Mari”, two years ago.
The material is not really new as it has been the subject of other films before, both foreign and local like “Kapag Napagod ang Puso” and “Ika-11 Utos”. But this one is the darkest treatment. It starts with them exchanging their wedding vows with Elora as Adelle pledging her “forever love”.
But it soon becomes clear that the character of Oliver as Noel, a musician who belongs to a band, is an asshole as he is more concerned with his lost cat than with his very pregnant wife, who is a teacher. When Adelle invited some co-teachers to their home, he gets unjustifiably jealous.
It’s obvious Noel has such big and serious daddy issues with his domineering and meddlesome dad, Richard Quan, and they nearly come into blows. This is in the scene where they’re about to have dinner and he loses his control because his dad keeps on yakking and complaining about everything in their household.
You know this will all end in tragedy and the final scenes are difficult to watch. It’s good the movie showed how they meet again by chance on top of an overpass after not seeing each other for ten years. Then it went back to the very first scene where the couple exchange wedding vows to show that time when they were still so sweet and loving to each other.
Jay multi-tasks effectively as writer, editor, producer, production designer and director of “Love and Pain in Between Refrains”. The film is very well acted by both Oliver and Elora and they both deserve to get better assignments in both film and TV.