The long-awaited opportunity for the Marcoses to tell their side of the story finally arrived. After 36 years, Senator Imee Marcos, with the help of controversial director Darryl Yap, took to the big screen to show the narrative from their perspective.
Yap relayed the story chapter by chapter to highlight every character in the film.
It opens with Cristine Reyes as a young Imee Marcos, evidently copying Madonna’s style with her edgy look complemented with the appropriate accessories. She’s in Singapore with her family for medical reasons. A few minutes in, she receives an overseas phone call from the Philippines.
Right off the bat, Cristine established that her character isn’t one to challenge. She exuded the strong personality of the eldest daughter born in an Asian household. In her case, however, she’s the firstborn among three children of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. and former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.
As the eldest, her siblings depended on her to get things done around Malacañang, address their family’s political affairs, and find solutions to many of their problems.
Throughout the movie, Cristine embodied a restless Imee who was continuously scheming to get her family away from the Palace. Her dialogue, actions, and wardrobe worked together to portray a woman who will always find a way to get what she wants.
Senator Marcos, a creative producer for the film, also ensured her strong bond with her father is evident between Cristine and Cesar Montano, who played the late President. Their interactions were raw and heartfelt, showing how the Senator looked up to her father.
Despite the film’s title and scenes focus on the help in the Palace, viewers are in for a big revelation as the real maid in Malacañang who knows the most about the people in the area and does nearly impossible feats to secure everyone’s safety is Imee all along.
The late President praises his eldest for being the best maid the Palace ever had, even if he doesn’t pay her for her efforts to secure her family’s interest.
Yet Cristine wasn’t the only one who stole the movie throughout the spotlight. Ella Cruz (Irene Marcos) and Diego Loyzaga (President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.) also matched the intensity and mildness of Cesar and Ruffa Gutierrez (Imelda). They starred alongside each other to show the relationship between the members of the former first family, where they poke fun at each other, get into misunderstandings, and put their family first.
With the Marcoses struggling to get through the last 72 hours in power, viewers can feel the heavy atmosphere lingering around the characters as dread slowly sets in. However, Yap added elements of comedy through Karla Estrada, Elizabeth Oropeza, and Beverly Salviejo, who played the three loyal maids, Santa, Lucy, and Biday, respectively.
In several scenes, the movie focuses on the various quirks of the three characters, which helps lighten the mood when things get too heavy.
The ending, however, is true to Yap’s reputation as a controversial director. Giselle Sanchez brings the late President Corazon Aquino to life with a portrayal sure to earn some comments from fans and critics alike.
Maid in Malacañang will premiere on August 3 in local and international cinemas.