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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.

Jan 19, 2019

Martin Del Rosario Stuns As Barbs In 'Born Beautiful', Sequel To The Hit 'Die Beautiful', But Paolo Ballesteros Upstages Him

MARTIN DEL ROSARIO gives a totally shameless, uninhibited performance as the very gay Barbs in “Born Beautiful”, the sequel to the very successful “Die Beautiful” directed by Jun Lana. The sequel is helmed by Perci Intalan who obviously revels in mounting an indecent sex farce and Martin is most certainly a perfect replacement full of flair and flash for the original actor, Christian Bables, who backed out from doing Barbs again.

If “Die Beautiful” is a bit more discreet and cautious, this one surely throws all care and political correctness into the wind. Martin has four unabashed sex scenes. He has homosexual love scenes complete with unrestrained pumping with Kiko Matos in a tricycle and with Akihiro Blanco inside a taxi cab. He gets raped by a perverted pastor, Jojit Lorenzo, and also has a heterosexual sex scene with a pokpok, Chai Fonacier. Somehow, he seems to soar above all the depravity.

Don’t expect the movie to be a serious look into gender identity that will help you feel enlightened or enriched. The film’s treatment is out and out comedy, a deviant romp that’s simply trying so hard to be a boisterously entertaining crowdpleaser just to make the viewers laugh out loud. It really pushes the envelope and does not hesitate to resort to lowbrow, bawdy, brazen, vulgar, scandalous, over-the-top humor to elicit laughs which viewers with more squeamish sensibilities might find off-putting and even nauseating.

But judging from the hearty reaction of the crowd that watched the uncensored version at UP Film Center, they’re all lapping it up with glee and are obviously gratified by all the gross out jokes that liberally use the Tagalog words for genitals, sexual intercourse, etc. At one point, one character even tells all the others: “Magtsupaan na lang kaya tayong lahat.”

Of course, the intended shock value makes the audience roar with even more raucous laughter and find the movie an outrageously funny ride. We just don’t know if the censored version to be shown in movie theaters this week will still contain all those ribald jokes.

The movie is also a wish fulfillment for promiscuous gays. Two guys, both married, are fighting it out to win Martin’s affection, with one wife ever so willing to share her husband with him. How lucky can a debauched drag queen get, right? And in the movie’s happy ending, he gets them both and he’s even shown sleeping between the two of them with a very much contented smile on his lips. So, all those libertine gays that pine for the attention of guys who they cannot even lure to take a look at them, eat your hearts out.

Martin is supported by an energetic supporting cast led by Lou Veloso who delivers a rollicking portrayal of the scene-stealing aging gay funeral home boss just quite perfect from his eye-liners to his one-liners.

But it’s Paolo Ballesteros who leaves an indelible impression even if his character, Trisha, already died in the first movie. He appears in only two scenes and Paolo rules them both, particularly when he makes an impersonation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Marian devotees might seriously be offended but you can’t just dismiss the fact that Paolo is truly stunning and hilarious in this highly irreverent scene.