Vilma Santos’ ‘Ekstra’ makes waves in India

MB.com.ph: Vilma Santos’ ‘Ekstra’ makes waves in India

Vilma Santos (center) in 'Ekstra' (Screengrab photo)

Vilma Santos (center) in ‘Ekstra’ (Screengrab photo)

The first independent film of actress-politician Vilma Santos, “Ekstra (The Bit Player),” has created a buzz in India.

Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, the drama-comedy flick was showcased recently at the sixth Bangalore International Film Festival in Karnataka.

“Ekstra” is said to have filled the capacity of the cinema and even earned rave reviews from Indian movie critics.

An amused film writer Tusshar Sasi, who claims to be “aware of the Filipino culture and their language,” commended the story, film treatment, technicalities and Santos’ acting.

“Perfect reflection of how cinema/serial industry works in developing countries. The plights of each character have been defined beautifully. Certain elements leave a huge lump in your throat while others will have you giggling from ear to ear. The ‘product placement’ part is hilarious, in particular,” he wrote on his website.

Harsh Mander of The Hindu is also awed by the script and Jeturian’s directing style. For once, he said, the viewers noticed an anonymous crowd that adds texture to the setting as background.

“Adopting a diametrically opposite idiom of exuberant comic irony is Philippine director Jeffrey Jeturian’s Ekstra (Extra), an affectionate salute to the underdog.

“The film mocks the hilarious script trajectories of the soap opera, and the vanity and fragile egos of its lead players. I often felt that if just the names were changed in the film’s script, it could have been located in India with no substantial changes,” part of the article read.

The 113-minute film will soon compete at the Black Movie International Film Festival in Geneva, Switzerland and in Australasian Film Competition in Sydney.

“Ekstra” revolves in the story of a middle-aged woman, Loida Malabanan (played by Santos), who is toiling away as a bit player in soap opera. The film competed under the Directors Showcase category of 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, where it won a number of awards.

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