Contributed by Sandy Cagurangan
On September 5, 2023, at Viva Cafe in Araneta Center Cubao, the leading love team for the upcoming film “Video City: Be Kind, Please Rewind” was unveiled during a media conference. Ruru Madrid, known as the Action Drama Prince, and Yassi Pressman, dubbed The New Face of Romance-Drama, take on the lead roles.
The film, written and directed by Raynier F. Brizuela, also known as “Mang Jose Puto,” draws inspiration from his own childhood experiences. He reminisced about his visits to the Video City store in Navotas near his home, where the friendly staff would recommend movies for him to rent. He shared, “I grew up with Video City… I had a little crush on one of the staff. Eventually, in high school, I realized that my love for movies was one of the reasons. I thought, what if I could time travel and revisit that girl? That’s where the idea for ‘Video City’ began. What if I could meet the person who inspired me to make movies?”
Yassi and Ruru, the lead actors, fondly recalled their memories of bonding with their families over rented CDs, a cherished pastime. They were pleasantly surprised to discover that they had frequented the same branch of Video City in Masinag, Antipolo.
Although Yassi and Ruru had last worked together ten years ago in GMA shows like Party Pilipinas, Dormitoryo, and Sunday All Stars, Yassi expressed her comfort and excitement about reuniting with Ruru as her leading man. She praised his unwavering humility and passion for his craft. Yassi was particularly drawn to the unique role in the movie and said, “This is one of the stories that I fell in love with on the same day (of the pitch). I said, ‘Okay, I want to do that.'”
Ruru, in turn, showered Yassi with compliments, likening her to a ray of sunshine. He emphasized that chemistry would naturally emerge if they poured their hearts into each scene. Yassi agreed, adding that as long as they remained true to their characters, a magical connection would manifest, evident to the audience.
In this cinematic journey, we are introduced to two distinct souls, Ningning portrayed by Yassi Pressman, and Han, played by Ruru Madrid. Their paths cross despite the vast chasm of time that separates them, weaving a tale of love and inspiration in the most unexpected of settings.
Han, a disillusioned student of the art of cinema, stumbles upon a peculiar relic—a VHS tape rewinder that inexplicably transports him to the year 1995. Within this temporal shift, the internet cafe he enters magically morphs into a Video City branch, a bygone era captured within its walls. It is within this transitory time warp that he encounters Ningning, a staff member whose presence effortlessly captures his heart.
As the narrative unfolds, their connection blossoms amidst the confines of time’s relentless march. Each visit to Ningning’s world draws them closer together, even as the moments they share grow increasingly fleeting.
“Video City” promises to deliver enchantment and nostalgia. The cast includes TJ Valderrama as Jepp, the Video City attendant; Dennis Padilla as a cafe attendant with old-school charm; Chad Kinis as Boss, the Video City store branch owner; Bodjie Pascua as Han’s thesis adviser; Suzette Ranillo as Han’s director mother; Soliman Cruz as Han’s father; and featuring Yvette Sanchez and Ashley Diaz as Han’s classmates.
Mark your calendars for the nationwide release of “Video City: Be Kind, Please Rewind” on September 20, 2023, and prepare to be transported back in time.