I was in no rush to catch #DieBeautiful during the #mmff2016 run, not because hindi ako excited sa movie, but because confident akong aabot it ng second week and i considered it as my treat after fulfilling my self-imposed assignment of watching all eight MMFF2016 entries.

 

And it was a treat.

 

As it turned out, Die Beautiful is another movie that delivers something different from what the trailer promised, and we are all the richer for it. Sa trailer kasi, sinaksak sunodsunod ang mga superfunny na mga keme so ang expectation tuloy isang buong pelikula ito ng gagahan, kakemehan at tadtad  ng baklaang punch lines. Witchikels teh. Na-bait and switch tayo. Pinaasa tayo ng fluff, tapos binigyan tayo ng substance. Anubayun? Cheret.

 

Die Beautiful is not your typical pinoy film. Una, sa umpisa pa lang alam na nating shutay yung bida. Two, though maraming punchline about gay life, gays were never treated as punchlines. Three, somesortakinda challenging ang shifting timelines ng storytelling, maiintindihan mo pa lang yung takbo ng kwento, feeling mo antalino mo na. Achieve!

 

Die Beautiful tells the nonlinear story of a transgender beauconera, from her days as budding badinglet named Patrick with her beshfrend Barb, it followed her  through her various struggles in life on the way to finding herself, up to her rise,eventual death and fabulous wake as the beauty queen… Trisha Echeverria!!!

 

Sidenote: meron palang totoong artistang Tisha Echeverria ang namesung at maganda siya huh.

 

Though ang iba-ibang looks ni Paolo Ballesteros ang ibinenta sa promo, hindi ito ang end-all-and-be-all ng movie. Far from it. Kwento ni Rody Vera, handling ni Jun Lana at performances nina Paolo Ballesteros and Christian Bables talaga ang selling point ng movie.

 

Messagewise nagmove forward na rin ang stance ng bekiness dito. Umalis na sa  “palimos ng pang-unawa at inyong pagmamahal” at papunta nang “mahal ko na ang sarili ko, at kng hindi niyo ako kayang mahalin nang ganito, pakyu kayo sa akin!”. Of course hindi naman ganung ka harsh pero gets niyo na yun.

 

Breakout performance ito for Christian Bables as Paolo’s besh, Barbs. Siya yung requisite funny beki sidekind, pero plus more. Baklang-bakla ang bakla pero not in a Roderick Paulate way na nangangain ng kaeksena. Hindi siya featured performer or support lang ni Pao. Katuwang siya sa pagbubuhat ng movie. Co-lead almost.

 

At hindi raw bakla ang bakla huh, truliling lulurki at hungwapong lulurki huh. Super-gifted ang nose. Alam niyo ba ang kasabihan tungkol sa mga lalaking gift sa nose? Yun nah!

 

Actually medyo nafocus nga ako sa nose, iniimagine ko kung sa 3D ko pinanood ang Die Beautiful, pag lumingon si Christian, umaaangat sa screen yung ilong niya, pwede mong abutin ang nose ni Barbs. Ayyy now ko lang nakonek! Ilong. Barbs. Ilong ni Barbra Striesand! Antanga, now ko lang na gets, and i dare call myself a veklah.

 

And as Barbs, siya ang perfect besh. Yung nagpupush sa iyo sa kailangan mong gawin at walang habas mangbash nang harapan pag nagpapaka-gaga ka na. Yung tipong ilalaban ka nang patayan nang hindi nagugulo ang bangs….tapos pwedeng rin plantsahin pag nalasing  na dahil hungwapo talaga ng pohtah. #lesbianism #cheret

 

But however good the support is, this movie belongs to Paolo. Practically tailor-made siya. Role of a lifetime ito for Paolo na hindi lang make-up artistry ang nilevel-up sa movie kundi pati acting chops niya. Comedy-wise pak ang timing niyo without being clownish. Sa delivery ng lines, halos marinig ko ang boses ni Joey de Leon.

 

Pero it is in the dramatic scenes na tunay na revelation si Pao. Hugot na hugot yung eksena where kinukwento niya yung pagka-gangbang sa kanya ng isang buong barkada tapos hindi siya sure kung rape o hindi. Hungsakit besh in multiple levels!

 

Pero ang favorite moment ko was yung pinalayas siya ng pudak niyang si Joel Torre after mahuli na naman siyang tumakas para simali sa beaucon. Yung slow shift ng face niya from a frightened Patrick to a proud Trisha. Kilay mata bibig gumana.  It could have easily crossed into over-the-top comedic territory pero natimpla ni Paolo ang  at the right level. Segue dun sa bago siya lumabas ng pinto and  yung declaration niya na “My name is Trisha! Trisha Echeverria!” So emphatic! Another moment na could have easily been just a funny incident pero binigyan ng ibang levels dahil nalagyan ng pride and defiance. Galeng!!!

 

Die Beautiful was not the movie i paid to see, but it is the movie gifted to me by artists at the top of their craft.

Advertisements