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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.

Oct 23, 2013

Direk Wenn Deramas & Joey Paras Come Up With A Real Crowdpleaser In 'Bekikang'

THE PREMIERE NIGHT night of Viva’s “Bekikang” at SM Megamall is a huge success. It's a star studded event with so many celebrities attending the affair, led by Maricel Soriano and Iza Calzado, who have both worked with its director, Wenn Deramas, and also do fairly long cameo roles in “Bekikang”. Maricel appears as a salesgirl in a department store while Iza appears as a pregnant doctor.

The entire cast of “Galema”, which Direk Wenn is also directing on TV, also showed up to show their support: Andi Eigenmann, Sunshine Cruz, Meg Imperial, Matteo Guidicelli, Carlos Morales and the rest. Dennis Trillo was also present to show his support to his Beh, Tom Rodriguez. Comedienne Rubi-Rubi emceed the program prior to the screening and called all the cast members in front of the theatre to greet the crowd: Joey Paras, Tom Rodriguez, Carla Humphries, Lassy, Atak, Nikki Valdez and the child actor who played Joey’s adopted son, JM Ibanez. Direk Wenn was missing at the premiere night as he is said to be sick. So, we wish you’d get well soon, Direk. Read, Joey Paras Says He Should Not Be Compared With Vice Ganda.

Wenn wrote and directed “Bekikang” with the intention to make a crowd pleaser and he succeeded in doing just that, judging from the audience's reaction. They were really laughing out loud in so many scenes primarily because of the antics of Joey and his two shamelessly funny sidekicks, Lassy and Atak. The movie is hilarious at the start, then it becomes quite a touching drama towards the end. It’s also meant to be a plea for a better understanding of homosexuals.

It starts with Vittorio or Bekikang (Joey) being born, with him narrating the story himself, then goes back to as far as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to explain the presence of gays in this world. Beki says it’s not his fault that he came out gay so he believes that God loves everyone, even gays. The movie even chronicles his struggles as a boy who’s growing up gay and how he learns how to fight for his rights even as a child.

Later on, he becomes a gay Cinderella when his mom (Janice de Belen) suddenly dies and his dad (Tirso Cruz III) remarries, giving him a cruel stepmom (Malou de Guzman) and stepsister (Maricar de Mesa.) The whole family becomes dependent on him as their breadwinner, a balut vendor. Then he falls in love with Fortunato (Tom Rodriguez) who, in turn, falls in love with Natalie (Carla Humphries). Natalie gives birth to a boy, Potpot (JM Ibanez), but she and Tom decide to work abroad and leave the baby with Joey. Later on, they’ll come back rich and want to get the boy back, who’s now 7 years old. But naturally, this will lead to some very dramatic and lachrymal complications.

Joey Paras holds the film together with his heartfelt attention-getting portrayal of the title role. Direk Wenn obviously aims to give him an acting award as he’s required to do some tearjerking scenes, especially when his ward gets into a coma. He then prays to Jesus in the chapel and later talks to the unconscious boy for him to get well. It’s a tear-drenched performance that intends to tug at your heartstrings.

In all fairness to the big cast, everyone gives a good performance, even Nikki Valdez in the scene where she professes her love for Joey even if she knows he’s gay and tot actor JM Ibanez as the precocious Potpot. This is a much better work than Wenn’s “Bromance”. And if he succeeded in making a solo star out of Zanjoe Marudo in that movie, we don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t succeed with Joey in “Bekikang”.