Let It Not Be Massacre

Carlo J. Caparas began as a komiks writer, worked on classics such as Ang Panday, before the late Fernando Poe Jr. decided to turn this opus into the widescreen and made him its director. The brilliance of Caparas, though, was at its peak, not in his fantastic universe, but in the translation of realistic action and drama into film, in his most critically-acclaimed Pieta in 1983.

His downfall began in the nineties when his fascination with action turned heavily mimetic and engineered the era of massacre films. Most of them, if not all, were critical failures, though generally box-office victories, until the viewing public seemed fed up and pulled Sharon Cuneta’s fame into shame in The Vivian Velez Story.

Tuesday last week, Caparas (with his wife Donna, but of course) was back in the news after he signed up a contract with ABS-CBN to direct the station’s latest TV series—guess what—FPJ’s Ang Panday itself. How would Susan Roces have reacted to this, about a month after she exclaimed on national TV, in the same station, these words: “Galit ako sa inyo ABS-CBN”?

Would the station win back the original Panday’s supporters, the “masa,” that heavily corrupted term of recent national politicking, the same collective which Susan alleged to have stopped being “kapamilya” for the station’s so-called bias coverage of the FPJ campaign in the last national elections? Would Jericho Rosales, the annointed one according to Caparas, pull himself off as the new Flavio? But is there a better alternative to Echo? I guess, a new talent, someone without prior TV exposure, is best. Jericho Rosales, although I have nothing against his acting, is Jericho Rosales of The Hunks. I just cannot imagine a hunk holding a sword and raising it to protect the people. A hunk is supposed to exude his phallocentric ego in the least subtle and least “literary” manner. Goma is an epitome.

Anyway, with Caparas, and Lamangan with his Vietnam Rose, the ABS primetime will be a powerhouse showcase of directors, now already with Roño in the running. I hope Joyce Bernal or Jose Javier Reyes begins a comedy series (ala Labs ko si Babes years ago when Jolina was still a kapamilya), so that it’ll be a fantasy-drama-horror-comedy marathon in the evening. Oh, I’d just love that kind of variety.

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