When I saw the cut version of Sagwan at Robinsons Galleria last month, I found it pointless. And upon reading the comments left by viewers on these two posts over at the Hot Men in the Philippines blog, I knew why. Take out the frontal nudity and gratuitous sex scenes (that many viewers commented were simply blatant exploitation on the part of the producers and the director) and you're left with a movie devoid of substance and plot.
Sagwan also demonstrated some of the limitations of the digital film medium. I don't know why the producers of the film scrimped on the technical details of the filming but the version they showed in the theater was uber-pixellated—it seems that the resolution used was like 320×240, which is YouTube quality. I wish they've gone with 720p HD-quality at least. Another problem is that they should've known that digital films are projected using digital projectors, which distorts colors and bleeds the bright spots in the scene. As a result, the messages written by Cecilia, the mute character, were not visible at all. You can actually feel the palpable disappointment of the viewers when the big screen is filled with Cecilia's notepad but you can't actually read anything at all!
The movie isn't complete crap. The cinematography is the single best thing going for the movie and the choice of the picturesque Calauag town in Quezon as the setting veered the movie away from crappy Hugot territory. (Yes, Hugot is the gay indie flick I least liked and I hope to never see a movie that breaks Hugot's record.) Another likable aspect of Sagwan is the presence of the two gay pimps who provide great comic relief.
I'll just leave you with this acute and insightful movie review by the Bakla Reviewer.