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A game of Love and infidelity amid lockdown
the short film Game Over, Julia Clarete and Joshua Bulot are Kate and John, who spy on their cheating partners on the night before the announcement of the community quarantine in Metro Manila. Along the way, they face issues about infidelity, life and love in the time of COVID-19, and become victims of their own conscience and betrayal in the process. LOVE INFIDELITY amid lockdown A game of and By CHARMIE JOY PAGULONG Julia and Joshua with director Carl Angelo Ruiz (center) confirming that her husband (Dan) was really cheating on her.” Julia’s character finds herself drawn to John because he listens to her. “And that’s exactly what Kate needs. So yun, it’s hard not to fall in love with someone who gives you what you really need. Kung ano man yan, kahit listening or affection, lambing, time,” the actress said. “It’s something that you really need kahit may boyfriend, girlfriend, or asawa ka. If you don’t get it from that person, you will really fall in love with the person who can give it to you.” Love and commitment The former Eat, Bulaga! co-host cited Kate’s commitment as a wife as something she can relate to. “Yung commitment ko hindi lang 100 percent,” she said. “To the point na parang I don’t even think of myself. I would be devastated if the same thing would happen to me, na katulad ng nangyari kay Kate.” In fact, Julia finds it challenging to fully get into the character of Kate because she is happily married to husband Gareth McGeown. “I can’t really relate to her at this point in my life. I have been blessed with a very good husband.” Julia and Gareth returned to the Philippines over two years ago after living some time in Kuala Lumpur. Her husband was offered the chief executive officer position of Coca-Cola Bottlers in the country. For his part, Joshua, who is in a long-term relationship, said that his main takeaway from the short film is self-love. “Love yourself bago ka mag-mahal ng isang tao para malaman mo kung ano yung worth mo. Kasi ako minahal ko din talaga ang sarili ko bago mag-mahal ng iba,” the JBK member and Rak of Aegis actor said. “‘Pag niloko ako or something na may nangyari, hindi ako nagsisisi kasi ginawa ko naman yung best ko. “So ako feeling ko sa ‘kin, madali akong makamove on lalo na if I give my best,” Joshua continued, “kasi binigay mo naman yung (best) mo. Siya naman yung, ‘Sinayang mo ako,’ parang ganun.” Infidelity and loss of trust But make no mistake to get into the other side of Joshua as he made it clear that once someone commits a wrongdoing in a relationship, it will be hard to trust that person again. “Para kasi sa akin, once na nagawa mo na yun, parang ang hirap kasi na mabalik na 100 percent yung sarili mo,” he said. “Kumbaga ‘pag sugat, ‘pag nandiyan na yan, may peklat na yan. Kumbaga nandiyan pa rin yung memories na ginawa mo yun at maalala mo rin.” He referred to his short-term relationships in the past but he was willing to make an exception. “Pero depende kung sobrang mahal mo yung isang tao, sobrang tagal niyo na. Siguro may pagkakataon.” Julia, on the other hand, said that infidelity is a “fluid concept” pertaining to “emotional and moral issues.” It could be defined differently from person to person, but for her, “I had a share of experience when it comes to infidelity. I notice that my tendency is to try to mend it, fix it, and try to get my head around why it happened.” “Pero kung hindi na talaga maayos, hindi na talaga,” she added. “I’m the type who would hold on. I’m the type who would try to mend and understand it. And ultimately, forgive. Pero ang napansin ko, it usually ends in separation. Mahirap ibalik yung tiwala.” She further likened it to a broken glass, “Hindi mo na talaga maibalik sa original state. But it could also be an ingredient to make your relationship stronger and more beautiful.” Movie inspirations Game Over is helmed by Carl Angelo Ruiz, who described the romance-drama as an “intimate and subtle visual piece that is characterized by many visual repetitions and voyeurism approach.” He got inspiration from Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love but with a different setting,
STAR/ File

A game of Love and infidelity amid lockdown

Charmie Joy Pagulong (The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2021 - 12:00am

As the lead stars of the lockdown-inspired short film Game Over, Julia Clarete and singer-theater actor Joshua Bulot can’t help but share their thoughts on love, infidelity and the ongoing pandemic.

In the 21-minute narrative directed by Carl Angelo Ruiz, Julia and Joshua play Kate and John, who spy on their cheating partners on the night before the announcement of the community quarantine in Metro Manila. Along the way, they face issues on infidelity, life and love in the time of COVID-19, and become victims of their own conscience and betrayal in the process.

Joshua takes on the game developer role in the upcoming flick and finds connection with John whom he described as chill and relaxed.

“May sarili siyang mundo kasi mahilig siyang mag-games,” he said in an exclusive interview with The STAR. “Every time na magkasama sila ni Kate, game lang siya ng game. Pero nakikinig siya lagi kay Julia. Feeling ko makaka-relate ako dahil masyado siyang relaxed.”

On the other hand, Julia described Kate as someone who “gave everything of herself to her marriage” and “couldn’t come to terms with the possibility of confirming that her husband (Dan) was really cheating on her.”

Julia’s character finds herself drawn to John because he listens to her.

“And that’s exactly what Kate needs. So yun, it’s hard not to fall in love with someone who gives you what you really need. Kung ano man yan, kahit listening or affection, lambing, time,” the actress said.

“It’s something that you really need kahit may boyfriend, girlfriend, or asawa ka. If you don’t get it from that person, you will really fall in love with the person who can give it to you.”

Love and commitment

The former Eat, Bulaga! co-host cited Kate’s commitment as a wife as something she can relate to. “Yung commitment ko hindi lang 100 percent,” she said. “To the point na parang I don’t even think of myself. I would be devastated if the same thing would happen to me, na katulad ng nangyari kay Kate.”

In fact, Julia finds it challenging to fully get into the character of Kate because she is happily married to husband Gareth McGeown. “I can’t really relate to her at this point in my life. I have been blessed with a very good husband.”

Julia and Gareth returned to the Philippines over two years ago after living some time in Kuala Lumpur. Her husband was offered the chief executive officer position of Coca-Cola Bottlers in the country.

For his part, Joshua, who is in a long-term relationship, said that his main takeaway from the short film is self-love.

“Love yourself bago ka mag-mahal ng isang tao para malaman mo kung ano yung worth mo. Kasi ako minahal ko din talaga ang sarili ko bago mag-mahal ng iba,” the JBK member and Rak of Aegis actor said. “‘Pag niloko ako or something na may nangyari, hindi ako nagsisisi kasi ginawa ko naman yung best ko.

“So ako feeling ko sa ‘kin, madali akong maka-move on lalo na if I give my best,” Joshua continued, “kasi binigay mo naman yung (best) mo. Siya naman yung, ‘Sinayang mo ako,’ parang ganun.”

Infidelity and loss of trust

But make no mistake to get into the other side of Joshua as he made it clear that once someone commits a wrongdoing in a relationship, it will be hard to trust that person again.

“Para kasi sa akin, once na nagawa mo na yun, parang ang hirap kasi na mabalik na 100 percent yung sarili mo,” he said. “Kumbaga ‘pag sugat, ‘pag nandiyan na yan, may peklat na yan. Kumbaga nandiyan pa rin yung memories na ginawa mo yun at maalala mo rin.”

He referred to his short-term relationships in the past but he was willing to make an exception. “Pero depende kung sobrang mahal mo yung isang tao, sobrang tagal niyo na. Siguro may pagkakataon.”

Julia, on the other hand, said that infidelity is a “fluid concept” pertaining to “emotional and moral issues.” It could be defined differently from person to person, but for her, “I had a share of experience when it comes to infidelity. I notice that my tendency is to try to mend it, fix it, and try to get my head around why it happened.”

“Pero kung hindi na talaga maayos, hindi na talaga,” she added. “I’m the type who would hold on. I’m the type who would try to mend and understand it. And ultimately, forgive. Pero ang napansin ko, it usually ends in separation. Mahirap ibalik yung tiwala.”

She further likened it to a broken glass, “Hindi mo na talaga maibalik sa original state. But it could also be an ingredient to make your relationship stronger and more beautiful.”

Movie inspirations

Game Over is helmed by Carl Angelo Ruiz, who described the romance-drama as an “intimate and subtle visual piece that is characterized by many visual repetitions and voyeurism approach.”

He got inspiration from Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love but with a different setting, milieu and storyline.

Treatment-wise, the lockdown setting of the story is very relevant in this time of pandemic.

“Nararamdaman lahat ng tao sa ngayon, nakakulong,” Carl said. “Kaya ‘pag pinanood mo ‘to, you’re like part of the scene. You’re part of their actions. The camera and shots are repetitive. These are the daily lives sa ngayon. Nakakulong, paulit-ulit. May pattern siya.”

Despite the typhoon warning, community quarantines and some challenges, the Game Over team was able to finish filming in Angeles City, Pampanga and plans to make either a sequel or a full-length version. Carl assured they strictly followed the health protocols.

Asked how he found his stars, Carl said he has worked with Joshua in several PETA projects, while he took a chance on Julia by sending a direct message to her Instagram about the film. Julia is also a fan of In the Mood for Love, one of the factors why she said yes to direk Carl.

“They have this natural chemistry (Julia and Joshua),” the director said. “Nagkita lang sila once, prior to the shoot. Hindi ko nakita ‘yung ilang sa isa’’t isa. Sobra silang comfortable working with each other. And they are helping and motivating each other in every scene.”

Lockdown realizations

As the film also provokes reflections on the current health crisis, The STAR asked the lead stars about some of their pandemic realizations.

Joshua disclosed that he was COVID-19 positive and contemplated on his experience. “Parang nasa huli ang pagsisisi, kasi hindi rin ako masyadong naniniwala sa COVID,” he said. “Kasi nga, ‘flu lang yan.’ Pero nung tumama sa akin.”

He also realized the importance of saving money at times like these. “Kailangang matuto kang mag-ipon pala. Gumawa ng other ways para kumita tsaka para hindi ma-idle ang mind mo. Kasi ‘yan yung pinaka-kalaban ngayong pandemic eh, yung mental health mo. Mahirap din, kailangan talagang labanan.”

Julia, on her part, made a noteworthy observation about the role of artists in society.

People tend to look down on artists, she said. “Kasi artist ka lang,” she said. “’Wag kang magbigay ng opinyon. Ang tingin kasi sa artista, maganda lang, gwapo lang, sexy lang, ganun lang kadali yung trabaho. Pero when the pandemic happened and everyone was in lockdown, the one thing that kept people from going insane was the arts. They were watching movies, TV, Netflix and even TikTok.”

She hoped that people would give artists the respect they deserve. “We deserve respect from people for what we do. It’s not easy, especially now. We are the hardest hit — theater, TV, film (industries) and musicians. Sana people realize and give us more credit than what we have been getting for the longest time. The arts is a very important profession and vocation.”

(Game Over is also written by J-mee Katanyag and presented by Greenlight Studios. The short film will be streamed via ticket2me.net from July 17 to Aug. 17.)

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