Monday, October 26, 2009

Twink Quartet In Slum Minor Movement Zero

Well-cultivated sense of irony, a warped sense of proportion and a taste for absurdity are three bare minimum requirements to truly enjoy Cris Pablo’s latest opus, Boylets. Given the auteur’s credentials it is illogical to enter the theater in search of profundity, thought-provoking dissertations or cineaste-centric treatises. Your film-going pleasure will be amplified if all you have to do is avoid snacking on polvoron while watching the movie, deposit your common sense in a hallway locker, and suspend all realities and levelheaded expectations. To truly grasp the Cris Pablo Cinematic Vision think of junk food floating in intoxicating marinade of formaldehyde and botox.



This is why I anticipate and love every new offering by the tireless auteur who, for all our sheer pleasure, shouldn’t retire as long as there are multitalentless actors out there who remain undiscovered.

Don’t look at me to thoroughly explain the plot. Figuring it out in its entirety would be like asking me to explain Quantum Physics in less than three sentences. All I know is Boylets would be what would come out if you produce a lackadaisical Bel Ami film for poor people.

From what I gather (before my cerebral cortex slid to coma is that) there exists a quartet of friends, three of which are so poor they alternate between petty crimes and providing sexual joys to a handful of fags whose assorted kinks and bizarre fetishes would make Caligula look like Sixth Grade home room viewing material. Only in Cris Pablo’s universe would you see horny gay men so repulsive it will drive our hero/poster boy for smart gays Danton Remoto give the possibility of a celibate straight life a second thought. But I deviate.

One of the characters is a caring son whose mother is deteriorating and ailing and since they are dirt poor, cannot afford medical attention. The scene where he is feeding her measly rice soaked in bullion of cheap chicken soup was distressing to look at. It can easily be the entire redeeming thing of this movie but is not sufficient to save this outlandish oeuvre. This is the brief affecting spark where Pablo's humanity is revealed.

The other character is a passenger tricycle owner that despite living in a crime and larceny-prone ghetto remains naive. (Except for one episode of a stolen tire), he parks his tricycle unmanned for extended period of time and, in this unique universe, the thing never gets car-napped at all.

The third dude is a caretaker of a slum rental property and his burning desire is to go to the province and discover his familial roots.

The other non-poor twink character is so smitten with the slum property caretaker/SPC (it’s difficult to tell them apart because the four leads seem to have a classified competition to outrank Orlando Bloom’s Legolas by being facially immobile and the first one to show a daintiest hint of emotion loses) that he is so obsessed in making SPC happy in order to rethink the plan of going to the province in search of his lost relatives. So Non-poor twink does a lot of chivalrous acts: he talks to the SPC’s ex girlfriend for her to profess her undying love; scours seedy theaters in search for SPC’s mother who abandoned him and now adopts a job whose income is derived from giving lewd theatergoers head jobs; he buys SPC his dream gift of a bicycle and cooks him spaghetti on the eve of his birthday and departure—all done in the great hopefulness that the provincial sojourn will be reconsidered if not altogether canceled.

The quartet gives us a glimpse of how it is to be young, restless and breathtaking untalented. Like the shining acting prowess of head-job giving mother they dazzle us with a vast repertoire of intense emotions consisting of a pout, a grimace, rapid blinking and if you pay close attention, drawn out period of vacant stares.

And the dialogues! The caring son delivers what appears to be random non-sequiturs isntead of a semblance of coherent dialogue. Consider these lines delivered in a breathless monotone after he got expelled from the vehicle (during the drag race equivalent involving wretched tricycles), and upon regaining consciousness after his head hit the hard concrete: “Para ako’ng ibon. Madami na ako’ng atraso sayo. Happy Birthday!” (I’m like a bird. I have many faults to you. Happy Birthday!”

Or this precious negotiating gem of a dialogue:

Twink (looking for a regular client: Nasaan si (insert name of client whose name escaped me)? (Where is name of regular client?)
Unprepossessing Fag Roommate of Regular Client: Wala siye eh. Next time text ka muna bago ka pumunta ha. (He’s not around. Next time please send a text message before dropping by)
Twink: Ikaw na lang gusto mo? (How about you, want to blow me?)
Unprepossessing Fag: Di ako pwede may singaw ako ngayon eh. (I have canker sores, sorry.)
Twink: Eh di tirahin na lang kita sa puwet! (How about I butt-fuck you?)
Unprepossessing Fag: May almoranas rin ako ngayon eh! (I also have hemorrhoids right now.)

Oh, joy! Pure cinema!

Then there’s this brilliant counter-argument of a sour fag when one of the twinks refused to reciprocate a blowjob:

“Mas masarap sumubo ang mga straight kasi hindi sila insecure sa kanilang pagkalalaki!”
(Straight men give better blowjobs because they are secure with their masculity!”)

Thank you Cris Pablo! I’ll commit this pearl to memory because this would be a handy, persuasive line around Colin Farrel!

Useless to overemphasize but this is why I love Boylets. It provides the kind of window into the Human Condition—the kind of window that non-mental-institution-bound patients would rather have padlocked for the general populace’s sake.

I have deep respect for Pablo’s tenacity—He never gives up, and that's admirable. He persists on convincing us that prostitution is the direct consequence of unspeakable neediness. He spins a narrative exploring destitution and sexuality and he is the only indie auteur I have seen so far whose profound understanding of abject poverty doesn’t end in shooting scenes in shanties and slums. He truly understands that poverty goes beyond dire living conditions; that poverty is all about loose sandos, oversize jersey shorts and Orocan furniture.

The film is an enjoyably deranged excursion into a sexual bubble planet—a digital excuse of a flick to get post-pubescent actors to shed their Hanford briefs and flash their pubes. Contrary to critical cries I'd say Boylets is not one dimensional. It is half-dimensional. And I want supersize coke and a bucket of buttered popcorn to go with it!






(Catch Boylets in Robinsons Cinemas now on its second week of screening!)

8 comments:

Q The Conqueror said...

methinks that mr.pablo spends too much time exploring the lead actors other talents and directly lifts their lifestories into the screen. but as he is to busy savoring said actor's talents, he doesn't bother cooking up a dialogue.

I'd still love to be him.

:))

loudcloud said...

Q - why hello, sauron! your malice is dripping, you rascal! :P

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Mac Callister said...

i've been waiting for a torrent copy of this film.

hope i'll find it

hey nice blog,first time here.

have a great day

Manech said...

I wanted to quote some lines, but I'd probably have to copy paste more than half of your, well, review.

Your wit amazes me. I am a fan.

loudcloud said...

Hello Mac

thank you for dropping by. don't let my warped review stop you from watching the movie :)

cheers!

loudcloud said...

Manech, thank you for your nice words.

I think my drivels don't qualify as reviews but more of aimless commentaries. hahaha.

thank you for taking time to visit and wade through the blog! :)

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