THELMA: An inspiring movie for all ages

My husband is a runner. He actively joins races at least once or twice a month. That's not my cup of tea. I have tried running in an official race once and I don't think I'd do it again (at least, I tried!). No offense to runners, but I find the sport too physically exhausting.

However, I really have a high regard for people, especially women, who can maintain the energy to sustain them when traversing long stretches of road.

When I was invited to the press con of THELMA last week, I came filled with curiosity. I wanted to know how Maja Salvador prepared for the starring role because, based on my experience, running can be excruciatingly painful on the body, especially the legs and arms.

Maja shared that she spent six weeks training with Elma Muros to build up the endurance needed to shoot her running scenes. She gave in to the physical demands of the role that sometimes left her feet blistered and bleeding on some days. She learned to run with slippers on and even in her bare feet. After she collapsed on the set due to exhaustion and brought to a nearby provincial hospital, the competent and talented actress requested to go back to work after just a couple of hours. Her passion and dedication to her craft earned my admiration. I believe that it's not something all young ladies would be able to do.

For those who are not familiar with the movie, Thelma is the story of a girl who runs in the fields of her hometown in Ilocos. She felt that it is the one thing that sets her free from feeling unwanted and ignored by her family. Her father (John Arcilla), a farmer, wanted a son while her mother (Tetchie Agbayani) was in the middle of a possible running career when Thelma came along. Shadowed by a smart and younger sister (Eliza Pineda) who is favored by their parents, Thelma continues to love Hannah and consider her her best friend.

When the sisters met an accident that crippled Hannah, Thelma found out that she could use her gift of strength and speed to win races so they can afford the expensive operation needed for her sister to walk again as well as help her family overcome poverty and redeem herself from the past.

Thelma ran and won all the way to Manila where she blossomed as a beautiful female athlete. Faced with challenges, she ends up torn between giving up and going home, or pursuing her love for the sport and giving it everything's she's got.

I watched the trailer with amazement because all the actors performed really well. The cinematography, especially the aerial shots, are really beautiful thanks to the genius of Director Paul Soriano. I am looking forward to catching this film when it hits cinemas this coming September 7. I am sure the story will serve to inspire people to keep doing what they love and aim for excellence in wherever field they are.

* THELMA is produced by TimeHorizon Pictures in cooperation with Abracadabra Productions and Underground Logic distributed by Star Cinema

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