Imagine being engrossed in a film and feeling the weight of the characters’ joys and tragedies tug at your fragile heartstrings. Imagine being left with a heart full of feels as the credits roll. Then just as the cinema lights turn up, you see the characters you were rooting for in the flesh, like they’ve jumped out of the big screen.
Moviegoers at the Gateway Cineplex screenings of hit indie rom-com “Kita Kita” were treated to a surprise appearance by its stars Empoy Marquez (Tonyo), and Alessandra De Rossi (Lea) last August 3. Fans screamed in delight upon recognizing the film’s unconventional love team, who excitedly addressed the fans, thanking them for their support.
“Para sa kanilang lahat ito,” said Empoy, during a brief interview with the pair before entering the cinemas to surprise the fans.
When asked how she felt about the public’s reception of their film in relation to Filipinos’ shifting viewing habits from mainstream cinema to indie, Alessandra said she was “shocked” because the original plan was to break away from the normal rom-com format, and despite other filmmakers’ recommendations of sticking to the tried and tested formula, the movie became a hit, “binasag namin ‘yung formula, tapos ito, kumita.”
She added, “‘Yun talaga ‘yung plan, pero para lumaki siya ng ganito, nakaka-shock. Pero very, very grateful ako sa lahat ng naka-appreciate ‘nung change na ito.”
Empoy says he is happy about this shift, because people are given the chance to show authentic stories. He added how mainstream and indie are now becoming one and the same, “Ngayon patas na lang…mainstream, indie, nag-co-collide sila.”
Set in the scenic streets of Sapporo, Japan, the hit film tells the story of Lea (de Rossi), a blind woman who slowly falls for comic figure Tonyo (Marquez). Directed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo and produced by Philippine cinema industry big shots Bb. Joyce Bernal, and A-list actor Piolo Pascual, a huge part of the film’s success could also be attributed to Alessandra and Empoy’s (“Alempoy” as they call themselves) undeniable chemistry.
Alessandra quotes from some people who have seen and loved the film that it’s very “natural,” “parang kasama ka sa journey ng characters, like they are your friends.”