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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 21, 2016

Lando At Bugoy Movie Review: Wafer Thin Material And Underwritten Characters

‘LANDO AT BUGOY’ is said to be based on the true story of a teacher named Silvino Bajao that happened in the island of Camiguin, where the film was shot on location. The eponymous characters are played by Allen Dizon and newcomer Gold Azeron. After playing a coffin maker in “Magkakabaung”, Allen now plays a tombstone maker in this film.

He’s a single dad in both films, but he had a daughter before and now, as Lando, he has a son. His teenage son, Bugoy, is going astray. Instead of going to school, he prefers playing hooky with his out-of-school friends, smoking and drinking at such a very young age. The movie is a presented in an amateurish manner. A more adept TV drama director can surely make this an even more involving episode in “Maalaala Mo Kaya”.

Bugoy is so rude and hostile to his father, showing no respect at all. It’s utterly unacceptable. How he turned out to be like this and why he is behaving like such an impossibly delinquent brat is not adequately explained, except for a brief mention that he has seen his father cheating on his late mom. Talk about underwritten characters

To convince his son that education is very important, Lando, who failed to finish high school because he dropped out to work to help his parents right away, volunteers to join Bugoy in his classes. This could have been an opportunity for father and son to have more interaction while in school. But instead, Lando is shown being more friendly to their other classmates, buying them snacks all the time and even helping them cheat during exams.

The material is really wafer thin and writer-director Vic Acedillo tries to liven it up by suggesting tentative romantic interests for both father and son, which didn’t really lead to anywhere. In the end, also without much of a convincing reason, Bugoy suddenly relents, makes a complete turn around and becomes good to his father. Both Allen and Gold seem to be competent, convincing actors, but they’re not given enough scenes that will prove this, which is quite sad since, in the hands of a more astute scriptwriter, this material could have had more satisfying dramatic possibilities.