BY MADS BAJARIAS | First, take a movie still of Sharon Cuneta in full careworn splendor. Enlarge it! More! Bleed out the glamour by tacking on strands of dull hair to suggest a hard life (or a shampoo shortage). But not too much! The image must be resolute, not beaten-down. Now take a generic London pic. Remove those dreary English skies. Soft focus. Presto!
A Sharon flick must be like a double-edged sword for a movie-poster designer: It ensures a substantial marketing budget, but it also means that the bosses expect her mug to be plastered prominently in the posters, dampening the design process.
In this case, megawatt star power trumps imagination and originality.
So what we have in the poster is this: The proud city of London—the city that refused to bow to Hitler—finds itself under the nose of Sharon Cuneta. Her brimming tears threatening to rain down and flood the Houses of Parliament.
The producers of the movie "Caregiver" are not mooks, of course. They know that Sharon is the big kahuna here. So just slap on her face to a poster, surround it with immaculate white to evoke a Virgin Mary-like aura, and for good measure, paint London's landmarks gold to symbolize the treasures that await those willing to toil like Sharon's migrant worker. All hail Ate Shawie!
The image is a promise from the producers: As God is our witness, there will not be a dry eye in the house! Entire movie houses will be swept away in a Mudslide of Tears.
Does this poster alone make me want to run over to the cinema and fork over Php140 to watch the movie? Not really. I am no Sharon worshipper. I want unpredictability. I want a fresh idea. I don't want a Tsunami of Anguish. I see enough of those in my life, thank you. If I watch the movie, it will be for other reasons.
I wonder how Londoners will react to this poster. Surely the apparition hovering over their Big Ben like a blimp must be a puzzling sight to the natives? I imagine a perplexed London-born Hugh Grant asking: Who the bloody hell is she? Ah, she's the Megastar.
8.6.08 UPDATE: I've watched the movie. Where "Ploning" has a superb poster for a less-than-impressive movie, "Caregiver" has the opposite. The movie "Caregiver" steers clear of the cloying sentimentality and idolatry found in the poster-cum-Sharon closeup. In the movie, Sharon's healthy tear ducts were kept in check. Histrionics were at a minimum. The dialog was light, and clever at times. Simplicity, an element I failed to recognize in the poster, rules the day. Pretty good movie. Sharon worshippers will be proud.