‘UNTRUE’: An ‘acting piece’ for Xian and Cristine

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  • When there is violence in a marriage, you can expect conflicting narratives from the couple involved. “Untrue”, a psychological-drama-thriller from “Kita Kita” writer/director Sigrid Bernardo, will show that there’s a lie in every story, unraveled in her latest offering via a dark and intriguing ride.

    Cristine Reyes and Xian Lim play Mara and Joachim, two lonely Filipino migrants in the country of Georgia who find solace and companionship in each other. They hastily get married, without even getting to know each other very well.

    When their fiery romance turns into heated arguments and physical abuse, Mara goes straight to the Georgian police. Following her narration of how she married a mad man, Joachim defends himself with his own version of events, pointing to his wife as the real lunatic.

    In this he-said/she-said film, a strange apparition of a woman adds to the suspense. As Mara and Joachim fight to discredit each other, truth, lies, and a dark past are brought to the surface.

    Director Bernardo described “Untrue” as “an acting piece,” and in previous interviews commended Reyes and Lim for their dedication to their roles which resulted in remarkable performances.
    “Untrue” had its world premiere as a featured film at the prestigious Tokyo International Film Festival in October 2019 along with seven other notable Filipino films.

    Recalling the beginnings of doing the movie at media conference last week, Reyes and Lim shared how they went through an intense 10-day acting workshop before leaving for Georgia since they only had a precise number of days to shoot abroad.

    Reyes, who had to dye her hair red to portray the fiery Mara, elaborated “We only had three weeks to shoot in Georgia so we needed to do our rehearsals before leaving. When we got there, we worked every single day — no days off — to be sure we fulfilled every sequence in the script.

    Shot mostly in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, Lim also recalled how the cast and crew had to endure the freezing weather.

    “It was extremely cold and the temperature dropped to negative-one,” the actor, who in turn had to gain 20 pounds and grow a beard for Joachim, related. “The shoot was really challenging for everyone. We were acting in really strong winds, freezing, doing heavy drama… nothing came easy for this movie.”

    According to the pair, Georgia was chosen as the film’s setting because the story called for a place that isn’t filled with too many migrant Filipinos. In fact there were only 30 Filipinos living in Georgia when they did the shoot and they met every one of them.

    Promising “a totally different Cristine and Xian” in their first offering for 2020, Viva Films, in cooperation with The IdeaFirst Company, will run Untrue in cinemas nationwide beginning February 19. (TMT)

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