Good thing pala at dinayo ko ang last full show ng #workingbeks kagabi, otherwise i missed half of my life.

Charot lang, anuvey.

Pero hindi man ito pang-Cannes or maski Cairo or Tokyo filmfest, it is a laudible effort for the filmakers para kumawala sa matagal nang problema ng pink cinema: yung pambakla na nga binabakla pa.

With this movie, plus “The Third Party” parang queer cinema is making some strides forward. Sayang i missed “Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo may Boyfriend” at maganda rin raw. Sana may magpadala ng kopya ( *hinthint to well-connected people out there bwahaha)

Sa title pa lang obvious nang this is a tribute film to the iconic female ensemble film of the 80’s, Working Girls. Either tribute or rip-off, but i prefere tribute.

And though hindi man na-reach ng Working Beks and artistic level ng orig na Working Girls, it is a worthy successor to the genre thanks to the combined efforts of the writer, director and cast.

Hunggaling ni TJ Trinidad dito pohtah. Kuha niya yung nuances of a prissy but respectable ad executive. He painted his gay character with sure strokes using a detailed brush. Sa tingin, sa pilantik ng kamay, tamang-tama lang. Plakado. Isa ka nang honorary vekla TJ. Eto ang korona.

Clapey-clapey rin ako sa performance ni John Lapus who surprisingly presented a character rather than just a caricature of one. Nagparamdam na slightly si John ng ganito sa movie niyang Echorsis. Pero dito, John exhibited even more restraint. When it would have been easier to ham it up and play for laughs, John trusted the material. And yung soundless scream niya that could have easily been a slapstick scene, John filled pathos. Naluha ako in fair. Umaktor na ang bakla huh, bravi!

Sayang I can’t say the same sa kaeksena niyang si Jeric Raval. Jeric looks well preserved, parang lumaklak ng formalin. Sadly may formalin rin yata ang acting niya.

And what could i say about Joey Paras? Nakakaloka siya at yung kaeksena niya. Though his section of the movie felt like a sketch independent from the movie, papanoorin mo ito for the performance, not just to know what happens next. Sa kanya ang pinakafunny at off the wall na story na may twist sa dulo.

The younger members of the cast were less strong but still noteworthy.

Medyo passive ang characterization ni Edgar Allan as the manitee idol in the middle of a shitstorm pero bumawi sa breakdown scene niya with his mom.

Anggaling ni Bela Padilla bilang bratinellang ka love team ni Edgar. Yung eksenang nagkacomeout na si Edgar on air, wala kay Bela ang camera pero tuwing nahahagip siya ng camera nakikita mong andaming nangyayari sa isip niya. Mine-Meryl Streep niya ang eksena i swear.

At hunggwapo lang talaga ni Prince Stefan! Aiiiiiieee! Mahal siya ng camera. Lalaban ang fez niya sa larangan ng extreme closeups. Andami instances na wala siyang kasama sa eksena, much more than the other casts. Papanoorin mo lang ang mukha niya. Just because.

Of course Working Beks is far from perfect. Maraming itong gustong sabihin pero glacial ang pace ng mga eksena. Laht nga nangyari within 24hr pero medyo nainip pa rin ako especially sa simula. Buti na lang mga may sumusulpot na comedic touches to break the tedium.

The movie touched on both some new issues as well as old challenges of being gay in an urban world: acceptance in the workplace, prejudice, exploitation, the specter of AIDS, internalized homophobia.

What is new is the portrayal of gays refusing to play victims anymore. Magandang mapanood ng LGBTQ-rstuvwxyz, especially younger gays and closetcases na ngayon pa lang nageexplore ng kanila queerness.

Nakaka-empower.

Makivakla. Wag masyokot!

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