Two of Philippine cinema’s best actors – Cogie Domingo and Sid Lucero are pitted against each other in MJM Productions’ epic love story “MULI.”
Based on Jerry Gracio’s Palanca-winning screenplay, the film chronicles the love affair between an innkeeper/activist and a lawyer set in the picturesque Baguio City spanning four decades. They try to struggle keeping their affair going despite several setbacks but ultimately find themselves irresistibly drawn back to one another, compelled by their burning passion and inexplicable desires. “MULI” showcases both actors’ thespic skills highlighted by their intimate encounters and memorable acting confrontations, as some kind of battle royale between fine actors -proving that they’re indeed among the best of their generation.
Cogie Domingo had his memorable breakthrough performance in “Deathrow” which gave him nominations from various award-giving bodies and later for “Anghel sa Lupa.” Then Cogie was swamped with lead roles in films and TV series megged by respectable directors. But the work load apparently took a toll on the young actor he had to take a leave and do some soul-searching.
Meantime, Sid Lucero had an unheralded entrance into the business. Starting off as a pretty face in a snack commercial, then essaying bit roles in TV fantaseryes, another true-blooded Eigenmann (son of actor Mark Gil) took his first lead role in his first indie movie, “DONSOL,” as a Bicolano tour guide who falls for the Angel Aquino character who hasn’t moved on from a tragic love affair. The following award-season, Sid got nominations and won the 2006 Golden Screen Awards’ Breakthrough Performance for “DONSOL.” Every project that followed was much-awaited as a reason to celebrate. In his next significant indie movie ”SELDA,” he won Best Actor awards: in 2007 Urian, and abroad in Thessaloniki Film Festival (tying with “Selda” co-actor Emilio Garcia. He also won Best Actor for the Cinema One Originals’ “TAMBOLISTA.”
Then, just like in the case of Cogie, Sid was deluged with roles from a major TV network and for consecutive seasons, earned popularity in the households hooked on these top-rating teleseryes.
This period that Sid was becoming a household name, Cogie was tending the family business here and in the USA.
But the acting itch hasn’t left Cogie. As the saying goes: “Once an actor, always an actor.” So here he is: trying to catch up, getting into form once more, with the boyish appeal when he broke into the business, but this time with the attitude befitting a mature artist who has no qualms in doing roles that are off-beat to prove that he’s serious with his acting comeback.
After the jampacked work-in-progress screening of the film during the Cinemalaya Film Festival at Cultural Center of the Philippines last July 17, drumbeaters said Cogie and Sid tackle their roles differently. Sid is flamboyant, open with his emotional highs and lows as Jun, going through different relationships as he waits for his great love. Cogie, on the other hand is subdued, hiding the pains and confusion inside of him as Errol who is torn between love and the realities of life. Everybody agreed that both actors will definitely fight it out in the acting derby next year.
Catch the Director’s Cut of “MULI” this August 4, 2010, 6 p.m. at the U.P. Cine Adarna (formerly U.P. Film Center).
The film also features a fine ensemble supporting cast: Max Eigenmann, Rocky Salumbides, Marco Alcaraz, Evelyn Vargas, Kenneth Ocampo, Angeli Bayani, Arnold Reyes and with special participation of Joross Gamboa, John Manalo and the great Anita Linda.
MULI is produced by MJM Productions and directed by Adolfo B. Alix, Jr.