Jan 13, 2009

Walang Kawala: a reaction

I didn’t want to waste the very long Christmas break so I took an unplanned hiatus from blogging. But the holidays are quite over and I think that 2009 is looking to be a very good year so I’d like to greet all of my readers a very happy new year! I won’t write a 2008 recap post but instead I’ll get down to business and give my reaction—I refuse to call it a review—to the last gay-oriented movie I saw last year and this is the Joel Lamangan-directed Walang Kawala.

To get to the point, Walang Kawala is not a very good movie. But it’s not entirely crappy unlike Hugot. And while the acting of the two lead stars, Polo Ravales and Joseph Bitangcol, leave much to be desired, I can definitely say that their kissing scenes are pretty hot (unlike, say, the ones between Harold Chua and Justin de Leon in Ang Lalake sa Parola). The only acting I liked in the movie were those of Emilio Garcia and Polo’s real-life ex-lover Jean Garcia.

I found it surprising that the review board did not cut Marco Morales’ frontal nudity gay bar scene—the overly-hyped daring act whose only purpose is to woo the gay audience but did nothing whatsoever to advance the plot or to add to the movie’s artistic value. It’s a blatant in-your-face display of cheap film cheesiness. (Yet, I would be hypocritical if I say that I didn’t appreciate the cheese; Marco Morales is uber-hot especially when I saw him one time in Megamall. Hehehe.) Other standout gay-cheese scenes include Paolo Rivero’s loving caress of a sleeping Joseph Bitangcol’s body and Emilio Garcia’s power-tripping sexual acts on both Polo and Joseph (for those who are inclined into sado-masochism).

As for the plot, I didn’t find it remarkable nor did I get anything redeeming from it. I think that it’s just an elaborate game of Where’s Waldo? It’s basically the story of two gay lovers from the province where one, Waldo (Bitangcol), went to Manila in a fit of jealousy after the wife of the other guy, Joaquin (Ravales) came home. Joaquin leaves the wife and comes looking for Waldo and they both became ensnared into the human trafficking operations of Rufo (Emilio Garcia), a corrupt cop. Aside from the story, the cinematography and the music are also quite forgettable.

I guess the movie is good enough to watch at least once, but I’d recommend you and your friends just chip in to buy or rent the DVD, if you haven’t seen it in the theaters.

Here are some other choice reviews and reactions of the movie elsewhere:


Simply Manila / Pinoy Hotties wrote on January 15, 2009 at 5:34 PM:

Hi, we’re doing a survey and we’d love to add your vote to the final tally. Please visit this link and list down your 10 or more “most desirable Filipino hotties of 2008.” Final tally will be released on January 23. Thanks.

By the way, I haven't watch the movie myself, but this "reaction" and The Bakla Review's review stirs my curiosity. I might watch the movie on DVD only because of Marco Morales. LOL.

markey wrote on January 16, 2009 at 4:32 AM:

Is this out in DVD na po ba?

Julius wrote on January 16, 2009 at 12:05 PM:

i am an avid reader of your blog. i finished reading all your post, it's very discreet indeed. i discover lot of things that will help me...

hope that i can have more this year. happy year of the ox!

banjo wrote on January 16, 2009 at 11:47 PM:

I just opened your blog accidentally while browsing the net and found it really interesting and informative especially the discreetionary portion. I left Manila in 2005 and stayed here in Bangkok since then. I missed the gay life in Manila. Bangkok has better options to offer though, yet still cruisin around Metro Manila with PLU ( read: kababayans) is preferred better because of culture similarities and language. Your blog speaks the real Pinoy Gay Culture with a panache and based on the kind of writing that you do, YOURE ONE FINE EDUCATED MAN with a decent background. COUNT ME IN AS ONE OF YOUR FANS....My best regards and MORE POWER TO YOUR BLOG. ps. DISCREET MANILA is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to all sexes!!!!

Mac Callister wrote on January 19, 2009 at 7:37 PM:

how come they come up with a gay themed movie that sucks?i hope I will finally watch a good gay movie that is really great and will have a great impact

Vince wrote on January 19, 2009 at 10:59 PM:

Simply Manila, I've given my vote. :-)

Markey, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it's not yet out.

Julius, thanks! I hope to publish even more posts this year.

Banjo, glad you dropped by and liked what you saw. I agree that Bangkok has definitely a better PLU environment, but nothing beats home. And much thanks for those kind words. Nakakataba ng puso. :-)

Mac Callister, there's been plenty of gay-themed indie films released last year. It stands to reason that some of them would be sub-par. One possibly good film is The Thank You Girls and I'm looking forward to seeing that.