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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 24, 2013

'Lihis' Movie Review: Everything You Want To See In 'My Husband's Lover' But Cannot Is In 'Lihis'

EVERYTHING YOU want to see in the bekiserye “My Husband’s Lover” but cannot, due to the limitations of TV as a medium, you can now watch in all its lurid details in the no holds barred gay porn, “Lihis”. All the things that Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez are not allowed to do in their soap, Jake Cuenca and Joem Bascon now do with so much gay abandon as the star-crossed lovers who both happen to be NPA rebels in the 70s. They not only indulge in nudity and torrid kissing scenes but even get on top of one another pumping each other, something that they cannot do on the Kapamilya station where they both belong.

But “Lihis”, written by Ricky Lee and directed by Joel Lamangan, is more than just a gay love story. The framework of the narrative is Isabelle Daza’s painstaking search for the truth about the relationship of her mom Cecilia (Lovi Poe as a young woman/Gloria Diaz in the present) and dad (Joem) and her ninong (Jake), and her aim to uncover the atrocities committed by the military in a village where all the residents were massacred for being NPA sympathizers during martial law.

Isabelle’s mom who wants to forget everything about her past, including her involvement with Ador (Joem) and Cesar (Jake) and her own findings on the investigation about the forgotten village.

The film works mainly because of the powerful performances of the whole cast. Lovi Poe once again sizzles as the woman who comes between the gay lovers. She already knows that they’re having an affair, but she still deliberately seduces Joem away from Jake.

Lovi, as always, is instinctively good. She knows how to deliver her lines effectively and when to deliver them with maximum impact. She’s so good in that scene where she insults Joem, “Di ba ganyan ka?”, saying it with a limp wrist like saying “Di ba bakla ka?”

We don’t really like most of Jake’s performances on film (he was badly cast in “Nuwebe”), and even on TV, but here, it’ll be hard not to appreciate his acting as he is just so compelling as the love struck rebel, pining for a lost love, quietly looking with so much longing and yearning at the house where Joem lives with Lovi after they got married. And that scene where he is finally reunited with Joem will really melt your heart.

Joem is equally good as the writer who becomes an activist and is the most desirable guy on screen, coveted by a very macho gay and a beautiful woman who are both ardently competing for his love and attention. And in the end, it’s the gay who wins his affection.

Giving great supporting performances are Gloria Diaz as the older Lovi and Raquel Villavicencio as Jake’s very understanding mom. But the real surprise for us in the movie is Isabelle Daza as the dedicated teacher who unravels all the secrets in the story. Isabelle was good in her first movie, “It Takes a Man and Woman”, but she was just playing herself there. Here, she is deglamourized, wearing very little make up, but remains so beautifully photographed and her acting is consistently believable all throughout.

“Lihis” is part of the Sineng Pambansa All Masters Series to be shown in SM Cinemas from September 11 to 17. Produced by Mrs. Baby Go of BG Productions, it’ll have its premiere night at SM The Block on September 8, 8 PM.