Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros: An Impulsive Commentary

Realistic, thus heartbreaking. I used to think it’s gonna be another cheesy love story, albeit with the touch of a more realistic approach – a highly-conceptualized story justified by a well-written script to its minimalist use of effects and its amateur actors as protagonists.

It’s more on realizations, of real stories of real happenings. The gay protagonist, Max, was placed among strong straight, male characters not for comic relief, as to how gay characters are usually portrayed in common Pinoy cinema, but to represent neutrality and of course, to present an affectionate but, somehow, one-way connection between the cop, Viktor and him.

It’s actually fascinating to have the gay character juxtaposed to the men. And it’s no ordinary character, but one who gave shape to the story. It’s one striking point to notice how he is loved by his family, especially that they are all straight men and he turned out to be gay. However, Max is the representation of the flamboyant Pinoy gay men. They compensate women in house chores, they have their own girly world and they do have hormones.

One thing I like about this movie is the telling of the ‘love story’ – very subtle, as to deviate the usual formula of Pinoy love story, but does not sacrifice the impact. It has realistic approach.

Another thing why this movie is a must-watch is its narrative strike. It tells the story not by mere telling but by actually portraying it. It’s like the common feature-writing rule, “Show, don’t tell.” The actors were good, and so as the director, to have the story told as a portrayal of the scene using talent and script NOT by some cliche effects to make the viewers understand. In other words, you as a viewer can understand the turn of events by merely watching the moment, the emotions are raw even without the assistance of heart-piercing music, the execution of a young-gay-in-love-with-an-older-cop doesn’t elicit an ‘eeeww!’ reaction from the audience (as far as I’m concerned) and more importantly, the ending is… sad but, let me use this term again, realistic.

The touch of romance made this movie a ‘makamasa’ one; although the parties involved are both male, which by the way is still a taboo in the Filipino setting even today. It again reminds us of barriers existing, between genders and perspectives. It tells us again how our society creates bittersweet realities. And tells us again that it’s painful to love for someone who can’t possibly love you back. And that handsome cops are sexy lovers.

[photo: official poster; not mine]


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