Friday, September 28, 2012

Recycling Kabit Movies

Revivals and covers have been the name of the game in almost the last two decades in the Filipino Pop Music landscape.

Some would be subtle and proclaim that its all about honoring the Filipino talent or some sort of tribute, but I am sure that it would not take an Einstein to point out that the main consideration has always been commercial success if not an explicit deficiency in creativity.

This trend recently found its way in mainstream Filipino movies with one persistent theme- the lives and feelings and struggles of mistresses (kabit, kerida, kalaguyo, kaagaw, kulasisi)

And no, there are no pretensions.

They come in using the almost the same cast, exploring the same themes and often times the same punch lines- save for some tweaks here and there of course.

BREAKING: Senator Sotto denied he has anything to do with this trend. How can someone steal or copy the story of a film when clearly they have different titles?

Unless the trailer is misleading Anne Curtis and Derek Ramsey’s upcoming film: A Secret Affair tackles, hold your breath, the same theme that has been tackled by ‘No Other Woman’ and only recently ‘The Mistress’.

‘No Other Woman’ is the second highest grossing Filipino film of all time raking in a total of 275 Million pesos in revenue while ‘The Mistress’ is this year’s frontrunner in the domestic box office charts pocketing almost 200 Million pesos (and it is still showing!)

So what makes them a resounding success?

One, the kabit this time is not the kontra-bida (antagonist) but rather a fine-looking, sympathetic, educated woman, victim of circumstance rather than choice whose only sin was to love and be loved in return.

This is a large contrast to the stereotypical kerida who is flirty, devoid of manners, downright evil and seeks nothing but money in trade of flesh and youth and vigor and adventure.

The success and effectiveness of these kinds of film, apart from their box office draw, is the fact that viewers end up sympathizing with the ‘kabit’ rather than the wife.

Wala na bang iba? You might ask.

My dear friends, I have two propositions either we do mash-ups or ‘revive’ some popular films of the past.

To start of, we can do a revival (with a twist!) of some popular films of the recent past. Examples:

Slumdog Mistress- a mistress joins the popular television quiz show ‘Who Wants To Be A Legal Wife’ and is just one question away from snatching the man of his dreams. The woman only has one lifeline, which is ‘call the wife’. Will the wife  help the mistress succeed? Or will she be the last hurdle in the mistress and his husband’s dream of being happy together?

Ang Tanging Kabit- a heart-warming story of the sacrifices a ‘kabit’ has made to raise her 12 kids (of different married fathers) amidst the judgment of the society, the financial difficulty and the emotional trauma.

City of Kulasisi- An angel chose to be human to be with the mortal woman he loves. Unknown to him the woman he chose in exchange of immortality is a mistress. It’s a tear jerker that is sure to instigate thoughts on immortality and immorality.

How bout we do a mash-up of the vampire theme and the kabit premise?

‘ Ang mundo ay isang malaking Capiz maraming bampira! Kung hindi ka lalaban magkaka anemia ka, lumaban ka!’ --- Carmi Martin, in the movie No Other Vampire

‘Ano ba ang mas mahirap na kalaban ang vampire na puta? O vampire na kabit?’ --- Christine Reyes, in the movie Bampirang Kabit

Or perhaps a mash-up of horror and the mistress theme?

‘Baybreytor’ (sequel to the movie Pridyider) an erotic-thriller outlining the story of an electronic pleasure device which is possessed by the devil and brings havoc and grim to any woman who uses it. The spell can only be broken if the woman can convince a married man to dump his wife and be with her instead.

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