Robin-Mariel movie stumbles at the box-office

by Nickie Wang

It was a decent week for Star Cinema’s Catch Me…I’m in Love. Amid drop in ticket sales, the film managed to breach the elusive P100-million-mark, the first local movie to do so in 2011.

Meanwhile, Tum: My Pledge of Love was a tragedy at the tills.

Also produced by Star Cinema, Robin Padilla and Mariel Rodriguez’s first movie team-up is a total disaster earning just over a million peso in two days of its commercial release.

The movie, shot almost entirely in India, was released on April 6 alongside Hollywood flicks Rio, Hall Pass, and Ghost Ship.

Tum, which literally means “you” in English, follows the love story of Ravaan (Robin) and Linda (Mariel). Linda is a Filipino Catholic volunteer appointed by the head of Alipur (the setting of the story) to manage and take over the only school in town. Along the way, she meets an arrogant Filipino Indian named Ravaan, heir to the Alipur clan. But before he takes over his father’s position, he must marry Linda first—also a condition before he gets his inheritance. Although reluctant, the two agreed to marry. Despite a rocky start, the newly-wed is able get along, but as soon as they both feel comfortable with each other, Ravaan’s leadership is challenged by religious extremists who want him out of power.

The film delves on how two people of different religions can break the norms and traditions for the sake of love. It is a universal premise and an exciting one to begin with. But that’s just it. The movie itself has a serious intention to touch a very sensitive issue but it failed to do it in a creative and logical manner. Its objective to advance unity amid religious diversity is not achieved at all.

There are clear answers why moviegoers are ignoring the film. First, it cast Filipino actors as Indians and imitated their accent, which sounded ridiculous if not funny (Robin sounds more of Chinese martial artist with a twisted tongue). Secondly, even if it’s obvious that the director himself poured out his heart on this project, it cannot be considered as a work of art—weird camera angles are just disturbing. Finally, Filipinos would rather watch a true Hindi movie (with subtitle of course) to have a clear picture of the same conflict that the movie discusses. Nonetheless, it’s a notable experience for Robin who now wants to become a full-fledge film director. He can do better next time.

Box-office royalties

It’s official! Vic Sotto and Senator Bong Revilla are the Box-Office Kings and AiAi delas Alas is the Box-Office Queen of 2010 according Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Awards.

During the announcement on April 9, the veteran actors were named as this year’s box office royalties taking into consideration the successes of the films they starred in. Vic and Bong top-billed fantasy-comedy Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote that raked in a total of P159 million in its two-week run as an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival last December. On the other hand, AiAi’s movie, Ang Tanging Ina Mo, Last Na ‘To!, also an MMFF entry, has grossed P157 million on the same period.

Last year’s Box-Office King John Lloyd Cruz, who reigned for three consecutive years, was named Film Actor of the Year for starring in two blockbuster movies. The Kapamilya actor, who is more than deserving than Vic and Bong, delivered more than P288 million of box office receipts through his films My Amnesia Girl, opposite Toni Gonzaga, and Miss You Like Crazy, this time with Bea Alonzo.

Dingdong plays boozer

A new movie is in the offing and it will star Kapuso main man Dingdong Dantes. Initially billed as Aswang Chronicles, it will be helmed by Erik Matti and is set to compete at the annual Metro Manila Film Festival in December.

Dingdong started his career on television with recurring roles, he is always the dashing leading man capturing the heart of his onscreen partner. The 30-year-old actor is also known for his romantic roles in the films You To Me Are Everything, One True Love, and Moments of Love to name a few. Obviously, it’s about time that Dingdong consider playing roles that will drastically change his appearance or something that will enable him to maximize his capabilities as mature actor.

In the new movie, on the other hand, Dingdong will be playing an unconventional role—a drunkard, who will, because of sudden turn of events, become a small town hero.

Dingdong seems to be focusing more on making movies this year. He is also set to make two more movies apart from the first mentioned. Recently, he had an “exploratory talks” about teaming up for the first time with Kris Aquino. He is also set to shoot a movie under Viva Films titled Ang Mundo Ni Andong Agimat.

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