Seeing the film ‘Pare, Mahal Mo raw Ako’, written and directed by Joven Tan for the second time around during its premiere night—it gave me more appreciation of the movie, which was lifted from the hit song of the same title that was sung by one of the stars—Michael Pangilinan. Edgar Allan Guzman is Mark and fell in love with Pangilinan, who played Red, the guy best friend.
There were flaws in the storytelling, which I agree with my fellow writer-friend Arnel, but I just had to point on the good points of the film. First, it didn’t present struggles of how to accept gay people in a heavy drama. Yes, there were emotional scenes, but those were needed to highlight the emotions and the tensions between Mark and Red and so as Mark’s mother portrayed by Nora Aunor.
Second, Guzman could very well claim that this is one of his most natural and best performances ever. He was able to prove that acting needed not to be acted out. He has that depth and could deliver certain emotions even with hackneyed dialogues. His subtle actuations and the nuances of a ‘paminta’ gay were greatly displayed. In his scenes with more seasoned actresses—La Aunor and Ana Capri—he didn’t lag behind. While for a newcomer, Panglinan proved that he has potentials to have more chances of getting film projects.
Lastly, it has successfully concluded the film without any tragedy. It means that there really is a great hope for gay people to be happy in this world as long as people (especially between friends) would embrace and accept for who they are and for what they are capable of—to love without any boundaries. The line—‘sa pag-ibig walang forever, pero sana sa pag-ibig walang gender’—is witty and one quotable quote.
The film is set to open on Wednesday, June 8 in cinemas and is distributed by Viva Films.
Coming from last year’s film festival, which was once focused in creating shorts, this year along with the head of the subcommittee of the said event—multi-awarded international TV and film director—Maryo J. Delos Reyes; it has been elevated to be the first-ever Buhayani Independent Film Festival and revealed recently three films to be featured as written and directed by talented Calambenos.
This year, the festival’s theme is ‘Rizal and His Advocacy for Peace’.
According to Mayor Justin Marc ‘Timmy’ Chipeco, “The festival is an opportunity for Calambenos to showcase their talents and at the same time popularize the ideals and works of our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.”
‘Ama Namin’, ‘Talumpati’, and ‘Nasaan si Crispin?’ are the three featured films. Homegrown Laguna actors and actresses star in the said films.
In the film ‘Ama Namin’, actress Ana Capri plays the mother of a young Rizalista named Buboy. Its story revolves around the confusion of the young boy who was born and raised in a home where Rizal is revered as ‘Amang Doktor’ and ‘Inang Kalikasan’ was their god. Amidst that, with the help of his mother, he will find out why he is ‘different’ not because of his physical deformity but because of their family’s faith.
Meanwhile, ‘Talumpati’ is about a Manila-based journalist portrayed by Lagunese actor and currently the tourism consultant for Laguna province—Leandro Baldemor, who comes back to Calamba as an invited guest speaker to his alma mater on the occasion of Rizal’s birthday. Going home to the place that raised and educated him will also bring back his traumatic past—he, being abused by his drunkard father and was abandoned by his OFW mother.
Lastly, a modern-day retelling of the timeless character named Crispin created by Rizal in the novel ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and the folklore of Laguna are the ones tackled in the film ‘Nasaan si Crispin?’ While hanging between life and death, has an out-of-body experience and allowed him to meet Maria Makiling, the devil, a young Pepe, and an all-powerful aswang as well as his mother and brother. Despite the challenges he encountered, he still found hope as he got reunited with his family.
Chipeco hopes to make this festival as the traditional festival of the said city and will not change it even with a change of administration; as he urged the Sangguniang Panglungsod headed by Vice Mayor Roseller H. Rizal to pass an Ordinance institutionalizing the initiative.
The awards night or ‘Gabi ng Paggawad ng Parangal’ is set next week, on Wednesday, June 17 at SM City Cinema 1, Crossing, Barangay 1, Calamba, Laguna.