“Gusto kong maintindihan ang mundo nila. Gusto kong isulat siya ng isang tao na mula sa mundo nila. Pati nga iyong music na ginamit dito, gawa ng mga bata. Ako kasi kapag sumusulat, perception ko lang ang bata , Iba kasi kapag ang bata na ang sumusulat tungkol sa sarili nila.”
Known to be the biggest and coolest movie of the season, Walwal is a reminiscent of the classic and well-loved Pinoy barkada flick in the ‘90s. Direk Joey Reyes even said that it’s an updated retelling of his Pare Ko which he did in 1994.
“It’s always been my dream to do it kasi noong nag-revival ang Pare Ko,nakita ko na mga bata pa sina Jomari at Mark Anthony. Sabi ko, gusto kong gumawa ng updated version. Tamang-tama naman na nagkataong nagtuturo ako. Gusto kong gumawa ng youth-oriented movie na hindi fantasy, iyong totoo,” he said.
The director also said that it would be tackling the same themes like his 90s movie; about teenagers facing numerous challenges in life, love and family, except that it also addresses gender fluid issues.
“Yes, it will be tackling the same themes, pero sa ibang level. Ito naman iyong kuwento na sasagot sa mga buhay ng kabataaan, like, Just how much would you follow the expectations of your family over your own life?’ How were you answerable sa mga ginagawa mo sa buhay mo, especially with your relationship with women? How will you pursue your own dreams as against what your family wants you to pursue? And then, I’m dealing with gender fluidity, which is wala roon sa Pare Ko. Kasi, ibang-iba na ang moralidad at perception ng mga bata ngayon,” he stated.
“I did not deal so much on social media here but more of iyong relationship nila with people, relationship nila with their parents and relationship nila with their barkadas,” he added. He even compared his experiences with Gen-Yers (pre- millennials) then, and Gen-Zers (post millennials), and that is now.
“Noong panahon namin, mga 24 years ago, napakasimple ng buhay Noon, wala pang social media. That’s why, sa age ngayon, ang daming cases ng depression at suicide because of social media. Sa social media, ang daming nabu-bully dahil masyado mong ini-expose ang sarili mo, but that’s only one of the disadvantages of social media. Ngayon, ang mga kabataan, masyadong glued sa internet (social media) na okey lang na wala silang kausap sa isang araw, basta may gadgets o laptops sila. Ang dami-dami na kasing impormasyon na available sa kanila . Minsan, hindi sa wala silang pakialam sa mga nangyayari sa paligid nila o sa current affairs. I think, wala lang silang time na isipin, i-proseso o i-digest iyong lahat ng information. Iba kasi iyong nakukuha mong information at iba rin naman iyong naiintindihan mo siya,” he explained.
Although, walwal, a popular slang synonymous to youth, alcohol and reckless abandon and everything related to them, Reyes avoided the issues of drug use and teenage depression in his film. “Pag pinasukan ko kasi ng drug use at depression, ibang pelikula na iyon. Deliberately, hindi ko siya ginawa. Iyong subject matter na iyon, if ever na gagawa ako ng pelikula about teenage depression, ibang pelikula siya,” he clarified.
He also revealed that his four male leads did not audition for their roles, but were handpicked by him. “Well, one thing is, the script came ahead, so the casting came after the script rather than the casting came before the script. So, noong binabasa ko, humahanap ako ng mga taong tugma at alam kong kaya ‘yung role. So, alam kong kaya ni Elmo (Magalona) ‘yung role niya, alam kong matutulak ko si Kiko (Estrada) doon sa role niya, alam ko na Donny (Pangilinan) is good for that role, and I even wanted Kisses (Delavin) kasi I realized, Kisses pala used to be from La Salle and this is a CSB – La Salle milieu where I came from as a filmmaker, a student filmmaker. Jerome (Ponce) has the hardest dramatic role because I know magaling siya, saka alam kong malalim ang paghuhugutan niya doon sa role niya,” he elucidated. He also said that he’s quite impressed with his actors.
“Very unique sila. Hangang-hanga ako sa professionalism ng apat because wala isa man sa kanila ang nagbigay ng problem sa akin, kahit nagkabuhol-buhol ang kanilang skeds. And one thing, iyong apat, they’re second generation actors. Ang dad ni Jerome, artista rin siya just like the rest, na nalaman ko lang noong nasa set kami,” he shared. To fully capture the youthful vibe of the film, he also justified why he had to hire Gerald Mark Foliente (his student at CSB) to do the screenplay of this ultimate barkada movie.
Walwal is a movie centered on a group of four friends – Dondi, Intoy, Marco and Bobby – who have forged their unbreakable friendship in high school and are now sophomores in college Bound together by the wealth of their past experiences and their natural love for the good times, they share a kinship so close that they will do anything to protect each other as they traverse the most critical period of their adulthood. It also marks the very first mainstream screen collaboration of young actors Elmo Magalona, Jerome Ponce, Kiko Estrada and Donny Pangilinan with multi-award winning screenwriter-director Joey Javier Reyes.
Also in the cast are Kisses Delavin, Devon Seron, Jane de Leon and Sofia Senoron as the boys’ love interests. Produced by Regal Entertainment, Walwal premieres in cinemas nationwide starting June 27.