Dubbed as the best stage musical in 2016, Vince de Jesus’ ‘Changing Partners’ that was adapted into film via CinemaOne Originals 2017 Festival is all set to have its commercial run on January 31 in cinemas nationwide.
From Rem Zamora’s direction onstage where it was first mounted in Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) in 2016; the film version is directed by one of the ‘Hugot’ directors in the country—Dan Villegas.
According to Direk Dan when he first watch the production onstage, “Mas maganda ito kung ginawa ring pelikula.”
When he was contacted early 2016 by de Jesus, the playwright of the musical for him to direct the movie version of the musical; he didn’t hesitate. It’s a dream come true for him to finally do a film via CinemaOne.
‘Changing Partners’ opens with Alex and Cris in their early part of live-in relationship. Their 15-year age gap seem to be no-problem and they are deeply in-love with each other. But after six years, their ‘differences’ have become difficult to deal with as well as the ‘issues’ they tried to confront together have surfaced and forced them to make tough decisions and all.
De Jesus’s way of presenting the story could be considered as an ‘unpredictable exploration’ of relationship of Alex at Cris. It becomes more intriguing and appealing for the moviegoers for it tackles possibilities of two people caught in the web of complicated situations—could be a relationship between a straight couple or a gay couple.
Alex is portrayed by both Agot Isidro and Jojit Lorenzo while Cris is also portrayed by Sandino Martin and Anna Luna.
Though the movie script reached to nine revisions, Villegas added that they (the creative and production team) did their best to be faithful to its original version through the help of de Jesus at Lilit Reyes, “Halos parehas ang sequences. Iniba-iba lang naming ang ibang parts. May ibang parts na nag-change kami para maging mas maganda ang shifting sa screen.”
Even if they were able to retain the four original lead actors from the stage musical Villegas said, “Puwedeng tingnan both ways. Puwedeng madali, puwede ring mahirap. Kasi pwedeng hindi clean slate ang pinaggagalingan ng apat na actors sa film version. Kasi meron na silang past notion na ‘ah dito ako manggagaling, doon siya manggagaling’. Kapag may gusto kang bagong idea na ipasok baka mahihirapan sila.”
Luna, one of the stars who played the female version of Cris is thankful that she was still asked to reprise her role in the film.
“Nininerbiyos kaming apat kasi muscle memory na eh. Nakapaloob na sa amin ang mga characters. Yung nuances, lahat, ang blocking and everything. Kaya ang feeling naming na kapag may maiba lang—nakakatakot, baka mag-iba ang dynamics, ang units na magagawa namin sa film.
“Which is yun naman talaga ang dapat. We totally surrendered to Direk Dan’s direction.”
The whole team reassures the moviegoers especially those who watched the stage version that there are still a lot of scenes that are similar in the stage and the film versions.