14 April 2001 | Kennethmeanshandsome
A refreshing look at gay relationships
"Pusong Mamon," directed by Joel Lamangan and co-directed by its star Eric Quizon (supposedly owing to a heart stroke suffered by Lamangan while directing the love scene between his two lead males, after which Lamangan had to be hospitalized for some period), is a strikingly structured chronicle of gay lifestyles in Filipino setting. With refreshing gay lingo, a gay cinematic texture (Lamangan is after all, one) and a heartwarming performance by lead Lorna Tolentino, the film is handled with crisp sensibility and a romantic playfulness. The only time the film suffers is when the three leads, Tolentino, Eric Quizon and Albert Martinez, break into a song-and-dance routine, an insult to the memory of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Roger/Cyd Charisse/Michael Wilding musical movies. The luscious sceneries seemingly reflect the richness of pathos in the characters, and the stylish cinematography adds a lot. Tolentino, as a woman "accidentally impregnated" by bisexual Martinez, is at the top of her form, funny and gritty. Eric Quizon is hilarious, sincere and the most vivid character of the three, playing Tolentino's rival for Martinez' affections. Albert Martinez is pretty good as the closet type, and how brave of him to agree to a nude scene with Quizon. Outstanding is veteran Caridad Sanchez as Quizon's grandma. Lamangan has directed a romantic comedy with a message about gay lifestyles successfully imparted in a fast-paced yet dazzling manner. Once you ignore the cliches you'll enjoy the sumptuous storytelling.