Monday, August 12, 2013

Chikkaness Review: EKSTRA (The Bit Player) - Meshes Drama And Comedy With Panache

Anchored by stunning performances from Vilma Santos, Ruby Ruiz, and Marlon Rivera, as well as Jeffrey Jeturian's compassionate direction, EKSTRA meshes drama and comedy with panache. Vilma Santos always manages to get a very realistic tone to her character, which is quite refreshing.

It follows the story of a day in a life of a bit player, Loida Malabanan (Vilma Santos) during the shooting of a popular soap opera. As the shoot progresses, we get a glimpse of how production works, the people ruling it, and how the extras are treated on the set.

There are parts that are pretty cliché, but there are also scenes that are fucking flawless. The supporting cast around Santos is amazing including Ruby Ruiz who gives one of her best performances in this film. It has moments of laughter coupled in with drama that explores hope, love and passion, & the hardships of climbing the mountain of both show business & a relationship in a cynical world.

The script written by Zig Dulay, Antoinette Jadaone, & Jeffrey Jeturian is absolutely wonderful. The narrative is simple and effective. By giving his movie a very effective realistic look, by helping his actors to shape strongly believable performances, even when they are doing implausible things, Jeturian lends credibility to an inspiring story.

The film's message which says that if you stick to what's in your heart - to hell with everything else - works so great against a backdrop of showbiz-style relationships, the worshipping of the popular stars, and unfair treatment to extras that are so prevalent in this world. A wonderful movie for all people that may have felt that sometimes when life kicks you in the teeth you just have to follow your heart and move on.

EKSTRA falls into that category of films that simply need to be watched by everyone at least once.

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