AMINADO si Raymond Bagatsing na na nakaramdam siya ng takot sa pagkakakuha sa kanya para gumanap na Manuel Luis Quezon sa Quezon’s Game ng ABS-CBN Films’ Star Cinema at Kinetek Productions.
“It can make or break you kasi. Malaking challenge talaga ang pagkakuha sa akin dito. Kasi mahusay ka tapos biglang may, ‘ay hindi siya mahusay,’ may ganoon eh. Nakakanerbiyos pero excited ako sa challenge. Kung naniwala sa akin ang mga film producer kailangan kong maniwala sa sarili ko na kaya ko kasi hindi lang para sa akin ito kundi para sa kabuuan,” sambit ni Raymond na nag-audition para sa award-winning historical film at nagbigay-buhay kay Quezon at si Rachel Alejandro naman ang gumanap na asawa niya, si Aurora.
Ito ay nangyari noong 1938, ito ‘yung giyera kontra Hitler na nakipag-collaborate si Pres. Quezon kay U.S. Pres. Dwight Eisenhower at iba pang kilalang personalidad sa politics para sagipin ang libo-libong Jewish refugees mula sa ghettos ng Austria at Germany para maiwasan ang Holocaust.
Sambit ni Raymond, nag-audition siya sa role at nang malamang nakapasa siya bilang Quezon, “I researched, read books about Pres. Quezon and watched, studied his speeches that are available on YouTube, observing him and absorbing him.”
Sinabi pa ni Raymond na, “I had about a month to prepare before shooting started. Quezon is a very lively speaker, he really gives his heart and his whole body when he speaks. He smiles, he jokes. No doubt he’s a great man, but we also showed that he loves to drink scotch, he’s a good poker player, he smokes tobacco, in other words, taong-tao rin siya.
“But he really works hard and is very serious with his job as a president. I’m really thankful to be given the opportunity to portray him on the big screen,” giit ng actor.
Hindi rin naman agad ibinigay kay Rachel ang papel na Aurora. Tulad ni Raymond, nag-audition din siya, “And thank God, I got it. And filming it, proved an ultra nice experience to remember.”
“Quezon’s Game is a film inspired by the president’s open-door policy to welcome the displaced Jews, chronicles the challenges and the triumph of that political and moral undertaking,” ani Raymond. “This story could happen again, and I think it’s a good time to show this to remind people the horrors of what happened if you close your borders and if you don’t treat all men as equal,” dagdag pa ng award-winning actor.
Napaiyak naman si Rachel habang binabasa ang script. “When people are determined to do the right thing regardless of consequences, miracles can happen”
“It’s such a relevant thing to this day, because some countries are inward-looking now. It’s like, ‘Us first.’
There’s so much of that message going around, na parang, ‘Tayo muna, before helping others.’”
Nauna nang ipalabas sa iba’t ibang international film festival ang Quezon’s Game kaya agad itong umani ng maraming award tulad ng Best Foreign Film sa WorldFest Houston International Filmfest at tatlong Gold Remi Awards para sa Best Art Design, Best Producers, at Best Director kay Matthew Rosen.
Binigyan din ng pagkilala (Excellence in Acting) sa Cinema Worldfest Awards sa Ottawa, Canada sina Raymond at Rachel para sa Quezon’s Game.
Gusto namang maging proud ang mga Pinoy ni Direk Rosen, “What I really want for Filipinos after seeing this film is to be proud. That was really why I made it.
“When humanity had gone, the Philippines really led the way, and they had to fight to lead the way. It’s an inspiration to the rest of the world, that a whole people can have this moral standing. That’s what I wanted to put across.”
Bukod kina Raymond at Rachel, kasama rin sa pelikula sina David Bianco, Paul Holme, Billy Ray Gallion, at James Paolelli gayundin sina Audie Gemora bilang Vice Pres. Sergio Osmeña. Sa Mayo 29 na ito mapapanood sa mga sinehan.
ni Maricris Valdez Nicasio