Is “Whistleblower” about Janet Napoles?
By Ricky L. Calderon
“What I like about her is that even if she is Nora Aunor, she wouldn’t mind doing a scene again. If you ask her to repeat a take, she would do so with no complaints.”
Award-winning filmmaker Adolf Alix, Jr. has done three movies with Superstar Nora Aunor – Padre De Familia, Whistleblower and Kinabukasan – and episode of Karelasyon, the Saturday afternoon drama aired on GMA 7. And he welcomes every opportunity to work with the iconic actress and is looking forward to a new movie with Nora, with the veteran actress playing a nymphomaniac.
“I never had any problem working with her,” Direk Adolf told the media at the presscon of Whistleblower which is now showing in theaters nationwide. It’s a big thing especially for a director like me. She is open to new perceptions. Of course, she can say no, I am Nora Aunor and I would understand but she never made me feel that way.”
Whistleblower came about as pet project of Unitel Producer Tony Gloria who told Direk Adolf he wanted another film featuring three women, just like the award-winning filmfest entry Crying Ladies. He then pitched the story about Whistleblower and then the script was done by Rody Vera.
“But this is not a take-off from the Janet Napoles case. This is a story of three women – a victim (Nora), the victimizer (Cherry Pie Picache) and the journalist (Angelica Panganiban) who exposed the story. “Whatever it is current that we can inject in the story, we utilized it. If you will watch the movie, the similarity to the Napoles case is just the take off point. It seemed like it but it tells a different story,” said the director.
Direk Adolf said that part of the challenge in doing the film is gathering the ensemble cast. Nora was already given as the central character ZenyRoblado, the accountant who has been illegally detained. He then talked to Cherry Pie and Angelica if they would be interested to be in the film.
“I told Mr. Gloria that Ate Guy is interested to do the film. So the next would be to get the right cast for the roles. Part of the challenge is really to assemble a good cast. Everyone is busy so we really waited for their availability because we wanted the right actors for the roles. Luckily they all agreed like Direk Laurice (Guillen) and Ricky Davao. Everyone was open to doing even short roles to support Ate Guy, Cherry Pie and Angelica. The roles of senators in the film are crucial. And I am glad they all agreed to do the film,” he said.
Ate Guy, according to Direk Adolf, is Whistleblower’s central character. “She had been in showbiz for so long and I wanted to see her do a film where she plays a role where she’s middle class. I asked her if she wanted to do a role that she is not the bida and neither is she kontrabida. And she liked it. She hasn’t done a project like that. I wanted her to portray a different role.”
The socio-political thriller aimed to mirror what is happening in our country and in the government. And this movie aimed to show both sides of the story. More than sending a strong message, Whistleblower also aims to entertain, ended Direk Adolf.