Review: Walang Kawala

Apr 8, 2011 by

A digitally-made movie, this piece sent shockwaves to my already-abused mind. Starring Polo Ravales, Joseph Bitangcol, Emilio Garcia, Jean Garcia and directed by Joel Lamangan. I knew it was a gay movie. I just didn’t know it was THAT gay. I was supposed to watch it with Em but the last minute changes didn’t make me very happy staying home and watching Mamma Mia on DVD, so I put on a lose shirt and went inside the cinema for salvation.

PLOT: Joaquin (Polo Ravales),  a married man who earns a living as a fisherdude, finds clandestine love in a high school twink, Waldo (Joseph Bitangcol), who reciprocates it with intense passion perhaps due to puberty. One day, the fisherdude’s wife arrives from Dubai and devours her husband like a sex-starved maniac who exclaims 3 minutes after they are first reunited, “Ikaw ang ulam sa almusal ko!” Classic. So they fornicate their brains out, but alas the fisherdude, Joaquin, is eaten up by his true feelings towards Waldo. Waldo becomes jealous of Joaquin’s wife, understandably, because when they fornicate the wife screams her lungs out disturbing the entire fishing village. Waldo’s imaginations of envy leads him to escape town and start anew in — dyaraaan! — Manila. Once Joaquin finds out about Waldo’s departure, he decides to disclose his real sexuality to his wife who at this moment is pregnant. Irresponsible gay fatherhood is the first moral lesson. So Joaquin flees to find Waldo. As expected, Waldo turns out to have taken a job as a macho dancer (hello, a probinsyano with thick foundation? In Manila? In the movies? What do you expect? A McCann-Erickson job?). But he isn’t in the club anymore as he found a rich customer and goes home with him. Joaquin follows Waldo’s tracks and by this time, I don’t understand why he cannot conclude what a whore Waldo is. Love is blind, that’s our second moral of the story. The story builds up, with more underwear scenes, more macho dancing, more prolonged torrid male-to-male kissing, butt exposures (lots of it), tight shirts and tight pants, and a fairly lengthy frontal exposure of a half-erect penis.

This is art, isn’t it?
The movie moves towards a complex exposition of a twisted plot: Waldo falls into the hands of a human trafficker who works as a cop by the day, Rufus (Emilio Garcia) who has a wife that he regularly beats up(Jean Garcia). Rufus lures promdis (both boys and girls) into his confines by buying them cellphones, giving them petty cash, and forcing them to suck his staff and roughs them bareback. I dunno how much truth is put in this aspect of the story but I’m beginning to see a different light to human trafficking. Of course Joaquin chases Waldo, gets entrapped by Rufus, gets a good beating and gets raped badly, connives with Rufus’ wife to an escape only to get caught by Rufus and …. it has an exciting end.

Rufus (Emilio Garcia) raping Waldo (Joseph Bitangcol)

Polo Ravales and Joseph Bitangcol delivered their goods well. Aside from their incredible state of physicality (those muscles just can’t be found by the shores, trust me. It would have found its way to some sleazy nooks in Maynila way earlier!), their acting was sincerely done. Although there were moments of utter awkwardness — them kissing each other, fondling the crotch and stuff like those — the camera-work subdued them alright. The supporting cast in Emilio Garcia and Jean Garcia were good. Who can go wrong with veteran TV soap actors? The scoring kind of annoyed me, but it’s so far negligible.

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