New York Film Academy-schooled director Quark Henares returns to the big screen with Quantum Films’ My Candidate which stars Shaina Magdayao Derek Ramsay and Iza Calzado.
The film unfolds with the signature vibrant and animated cinematography typical of a Dan Villegas work, which is primarily because he was part of the film’s creative team. Dan came onboard together with the same crew behind his box office hits English Only Please and Walang Forever.
Instead of capitalizing on the traditional rom-com (romantic-comedy), Quantum Films shook things up a bit with what they call as com-rom (comedy-romance).
The producers have not only shaken up the genre, but the cast as well. Essentially the script has allowed the leads to step out of their stereotypical roles.
Shaina, for one, was introduced as Billie Bono the tattooed, ex-drug addict who was a thing for rapping and whose bluntness comes across as the necessary brash motivation that her meek clients need. Gone was the innocent Shaina who cannot even throw a single curse word because Billie in this film was all about getting everyone to “dig” her unusual quirks, including ghetto music, alcohol, and her numerous rules when it comes to image building.
Derek, on the one hand, finally had a character named Sonny that goes completely against his typical charmer role. He was the sincere, good-hearted and honest to a fault reluctant senatoriable whose laudable character does not translate well to the public.
Iza, on the other hand, takes on the role of the trapo (traditional politician) Vera Sanchez, who, behind her endearing jingle lies, the ruthless politicians whose only goal was to trump her rivals. Her closet kontrabida role on the flick is one that many have been aspiring her to become, which of course goes against her “Mama Mary-like” angelic face.
Together the three figure in a mess set during the campaign season that had Vera and Sonny revealing their strengths and weaknesses as aspiring politicians and as normal individuals away from the public’s eye.
As Sonny learned to handle his image from pushy Billie, the audience too would come to realize the ideal makings of the public servant that they should be electing in the first place. While the attraction between Billie and Sonny has been quite apparent right from the get go, the story did not necessarily bank on it as it continued building what it was actually targeting to unravel—the things happening behind a politician and his campaign trail.
Meanwhile, dependable comedians Nico Antonio, who played the role of Sonny’s catty chief of staff Coco Mikael and Ketchup Eusebio, who played the role of scandalous YouTube star Jofer Katigbak added the necessary laughs to the film. Special props also go to Sonny’s creepy yet fashionable secretary named Marga, which was played by Happy Feraren.
Overall, underneath the mudslinging and pretensions brought about by political campaigns, which was colorfully showcased on the film, just like Sonny, the story centers on what really matters—having a heart for what you want to do. Whether it was about serving the public, bouncing off from an addiction or just being true to who you are.
Catch My Candidate starting May 11 in cinemas nationwide