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24 October 2013

Wenn V. Deramas’s “Bekikang” (Review): “Finally, Deramas Got it Right!”

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Borrowing from Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, Lino Brocka's "Ang Tatay Kong Nanay," and the motif of the Mother Mary looking for a stable, "Bekikang" is Deramas's most interesting film.


FOR THE FULL FILM CRITICISM, Bekikang and "The Functional Gay Man," click this

In my opinion, Wenn Deramas does not always make meticulous comedies, even if we measure his films by the standard of old style crass and slapstick comedies.  With “Bekikang,” which stars the under-appreciated but talented Joey Paras, Deramas finally got it right. To date, “Bekikang” is the director’s most enlightened film and without being too pretentiously artsy and preachy.  The film is still a commercial venture and it has all the elements that produce a box office comedy hit, still, twist and turn this film around, the gay character remains to be the focal point of the story. For the first time, perhaps, Deramas did not betray his main character. While the rest of the characters looked one dimensional and caricature-like, which is necessary in slapstick comedies, Deramas’ Beki not only owns the movie but he is victorious ideologically and morally.  Certainly, like most Deramas's films, the film is self-conscious and periodically involves the viewers, reminding them that the film is not reality. This effect does not always produce the best results in Deramas's films or any other tired Filipino comedies, but in “Bekikang,” the technique works because, as Deramas involves the audience in the jokes, he might finally hammer his message in. By making the audience laugh with the gay man, he wittingly recruits them to the side of acceptance and respect.


Somebody shoot me please, I actually like a Deramas film.

PERFORMANCES

As in “Babagwa,” Joey Paras managed to make lemonade out of lemons.  Despite playing a negative stereotype in “Babagwa,” Paras’s performance made his character three-dimensional.  In his first starring role in “Bekikang,” Paras once again proved that character actors make the best comedy actors.  He may be the male Eugene Domingo. 

Unfortunately, Tom Rodriguez backpedaled and lost whatever acting merits he gained in “My Husband’s Lover” by giving a lazy and insipid performance, even for a comedy. 



3/5
Image created using Bitstrips



OTHER FILM ESSAYS

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