Josef doesn’t mind whether it’s big or small

November 17, 2022 Mario Bautista 1210 views


JOSEF Elizalde is back to playing a lead role in “Alapaap”. He played the leading man in “Doblado” and “X Deal 2”, then went back to playing supporting roles in the series “Wag Mong Agawin ang Akin” and “Secrets of a Nympho”. Doesn’t he mind playing supporting roles even if he has already done lead roles?

“For me, kahit nagli-lead ka na, okay lang to accept supporting roles kasi, no matter what you say, work is work and the important thing is you’re busy and not idle,” he says. “Also I enjoy working continuously, kasi you learn a lot from the directors and co-actors you work with, kahit lead or supporting man ang role mo. Besides, I also believe in the saying that there are no small roles, only small actors. The fact that Viva continues to give me lots of assignment means they are pleased with the work that I do for them.”

Josef is a PBB Teens inmate along with Robi Domingo and he did a lot of supporting roles in films and TV series, but it’s only now that he is given a break as lead actor in Vivamax movies. In “Alapaap”, Josef plays Erik Bengzon, a student who is being compelled by his parents, Cristina Gonzales and Lander Vera Perez, both doctors, to take up medicine and be a doctor just like them.

But Erik chooses to major in filmmaking and he is now finishing his thesis so he can graduate. He goes to Mindoro to do a documentary with the Banyan tribe (obviously referring to the Mangyans who are natives of Mindoro). He travels with his friends who will help him complete his documentary.

Erik is the movie’s narrator and it starts with him introducing all his friends to the viewers. First is his girlfriend, Antonette (Kat Dovey) who was traumatized when she saw her dad committing suicide by hanging himself.

Then there’s Paul (Ali Asistio), the son of a police official (Christopher Roxas) and a socialite (Carlene Aguilar.) Paul is a drug user and he supplies drugs to Eric and their friends with the drugs he secretly steals from the stash confiscated by his dad from drug traffickers.

Paul’s girlfriend is Cathy (Andrea Garcia) who goes to Mindoro with Joyce (Chesca Paredes), a lesbian. Cathy is actually a bisexual who enjoys making out with both Paul and Joyce. Traveling with them is Paul’s relative visiting from England (Paul Selby), who acts as the documentary’s narrator.

In Mindoro, they meet the local elders (Isadora and Erlinda Villalobos) who help them make their documentary. They also meet a lovely native lass (Angela Morena), who they make the main subject of their film.

Paul gets infatuated with her and starts flirting with her even if she already has a local boyfriend (Chad Solano), who gets terribly jealous and spikes their tea with a local plant that makes them all high, laughing uncontrollably and soon, doing unspeakable gory things that lead to a veritable blood bath.

‘Alapaap’ is the directorial debut of Friedrick Cortez with Brillante Mendoza as creative producer.

“Ever since, I’ve always wanted to be in the film industry,” says Direk Fred. “I tried acting but it didn’t work out. I met Direk Brillante in 2015 and I joined his team. He became my mentor in filmmaking. He trained me in production design, cinematography and directing. Now, he trusted me well enough to execute this project, ‘Alapaap’ as its director, so I’m really very grateful to him for giving this me break. This is my first film to direct, so i’m very excited.”

Direk Brillante said before the screening started that the movie is a homage to the 1984 movie of Tata Esteban also titled “Alapaap” and is told from the point of view of a scriptwriter who went up the mountains to do a docu on a tribe. It starred William Martinez with brothers Michael de Mesa and Mark Gil, introducing Tanya Gomez, who’s also made a part of the new movie in a non-speaking role.

The new “Alapaap” has some very good visuals but it doesn’t have much of a narrative to hold it together. They admit that they made it without any full script. And this is quite evident as the movie truly meanders and rambles on and on. It runs for two hours and really makes “laylay” in many parts.

But streaming subscribers won’t be disappointed as it has many of the obligatory Vivamax nudity and steamy sex scenes that they resort to each time things get boring on screen. The British newcomer has a lot of guts and even shows full frontal nudity, if anyone at all is interested.

A good editor can truly do wonders to make this film more compact and watchable. That entire episode about the group being arrested and detained by cops in Mindoro for smoking marijuana inside their van can be excised without the film suffering at all.

The film sometimes appears like it is conjured by the fevered, drug-induced sensibilities of those who made it from the point of view of a subculture steeped in drug use. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart but it can serve as a worthy reminder about the horrors of substance abuse with its characters who cannot disguise the emptiness of their blasted