Alonzo Muhlach makes his bid for child stardom
After Yesha Camile in “Hawak-Kamay” and Jana Agoncillo in “Dream Dad,” the latest talented tyke to make a bid for stardom is former child superstar Niño Muhlach’s own “mini-me,” his 4-year-old son, Alonzo, by way of the MMFF film, “My Big Bossing’s Adventures,” starring Vic Sotto.
Alonzo’s bid for stardom is particularly attention-calling due to his looking so much like his dad, who first delighted viewers when he started appearing on TV at the even more precocious age of 3!
That was a full 40 years ago (would you believe? How time flies)! But, it looks like the Muhlach clan’s acting genes have really long “legs,” because cute, little Alonzo is fast gaining his own bevy of fans, even before his movie’s official screening date.
This is due to the fact that Alonzo has been doing a lot of guest stints on shows like “Vampire Ang Daddy Ko,” and even news-magazine programs like Jessica Soho’s “State of the Nation.”
Cute as a button
So, how does Alonzo register on-cam? Like his dad in his precocious boyhood, Alonzo is as cute as a button—but, he comes across as less spontaneously smart and wise-cracking as his dad did, four decades ago. He’s more “aral” or rehearsed and mentored—but, he still acquits himself reasonably well. (After all, there can only be one Niño Muhlach “phenomenon,” right?)
On “Vampire,” Alonzo interacted with Ryzza Mae Dizon, his costar in their MMFF fantasy-comedy flick, so the sitcom served as an advance plug and sneak peek to prompt viewers to make a mental note to watch the film later this month.
On “State of the Nation,” aside from interviewing Niño and Alonzo, Soho also made Alonzo ape some of Niño’s “iconic” screen portrayals. This is “cute” and “precocious” and all that, but it really shouldn’t be encouraged, because it promotes the “gaya-gaya, puto-maya” copycat attitude, which is ultimately a dead-end street.
Little Alonzo can’t create a stellar career for himself just by being his dad’s mini-me and Xerox copy, can he?
Yes, by all means, initially make full promotional use of his looking so much like his father—but, after the initial “amazing” impression has been made, a TV or film vehicle should be created for Alonzo, in which he can strut his own precocious stuff—to hopefully similar “amazing” effect!
Joyous celebration of the arc of life itself
Most movie producers love it when the films they bankroll are shot and shown as expediently as possible. The longer it takes for a movie to be produced, the more expensive it becomes, since huge casts and production staffers have to be housed and fed, especially when a film is shot on location.
Judged by this expedient and economical yardstick, the producers of the new film, “Boyhood,” must be “crazy,” or else have a lot of extra cash (and time on their hands), because they’ve come up and done the exact opposite of what their colleagues do, and opted to make a movie that has taken all of 12 years to be completed. —Huh?!
Truth to tell, however, producer-writer-director Richard Linklater isn’t crazy—in fact, he’s being impressively original and has intentionally refused to follow the “practical” roles of filmmaking—because his unique project absolutely requires it.
You see, “Boyhood” is a film about time, the unfolding of the life of a young boy, whom we first meet at age 6, and get to know as he grows up—eventually, into a young man about to go to college!
Other producers could have shot the movie in much less time, by sequentially casting different young actors to play the story’s central character (about three or four look-alike young talents of increasing age could have pulled off the cinematic trick quite handily).
However, it was very important for Linklater that viewers would actually see the same young actor (Ellar Coltrane) literally growing up before their very eyes. So, he opted to do the improbable by shooting with the same group of actors (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are also in the stellar cast) for a few weeks each year—for some 12 years!
As they went by the utterly unconventional shooting schedule, everybody grew older, and the finished, edited film reflects this thematically significant passing of years in the life of a boy and the members of his family.
Given this decade-long and most unique take on plot and character development, one of the most admirable hallmarks of “Boyhood” is its felt attention to seemingly “insignificant” but actually most insightful and revelatory detail—the “small” and “ordinary” things in life.
Most movies strive to sweep viewers along with “exciting” storytelling, unexpected twists and turns of plot, “big” developments that push the dramatic proceedings to the peaks of climax and consequent catharsis. “Boyhood” eschews all of these potent ploys, and daringly chooses to concentrate on an “ordinary” day unfolding, in which “nothing” much happens—except life.
A decade of “ordinary” days, when edited together, turns out to be quite an original view of life—and “Boyhood” is now being celebrated precisely because of the new insights that it enables viewers to arrive at.
Some viewers may find it tedious and uneventful, but many more see what it’s trying to do—and respond to it as a joyous celebration of the arc of life itself.
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