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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.

Sep 10, 2019


martin, paolo and christian in drag during the premiere night at SM MEGAMALL

PAOLO BALLESTEROS, MARTIN DEL ROSARIO and Christian Bables all have their shining moments as three swishy gay brothers competing for their sick dad’s P300 million inheritance in “The Panti Sisters”.

The movie is hilarious from start to finish with many laugh-out-loud moments due to some rambunctious dialogue and the riotous performances of the whole cast, from the three leads to John Arcilla as their domineering dad, Carmi Martin and Rosanna Roces as their two moms, Via Antonio as Christian’s best friend who actually is in love with him and tries to give him a baby, Roxanne Barcelo as Paolo’s bride to be, Ali Forbes as Martin’s neighbor who pretends to be his girlfriend and Joross Gamboa as the man who causes a deep conflict between Paolo and Martin.

Martin as Daniel is the most flawless and the prettiest among the three sisters. Christian as Samuel, the Tondo Girl, is given his own action sequence where he singlehandedly fights some thugs and he also shines in a touching dramatic moment with their dad in their pivotal hospital scene. But it is Paolo as Gabbi (“it’s Gabbi with an I, and I thank you”) who has the most flair whether in performing their musical numbers or in delivering his witty lines written by scriptwriter Ivan Payawal with perfect timing.

Film aficionados will be amused as the movie succeeds in spoofing many local films, including Christian doing Maricel Soriano’s iconic “ayoko ng masikip, ayoko ng putik scene in “Kaya Kong Abutin ang Langit” and the three of them doing a parody of the hit Sailor Moon animated series that was shown in the 90s adapted in Tagalog on GMA-7. Other films that they paid homage to are Nora Aunor’s “Himala” and Claudine Barretto’s “Milan”.

But the most kwela for us are Carmi and Rosanna, whose characters are named Nora and Vilma, re-creating the unforgettable finale scene of Ishmael Bernal’s 1978 best film for us, “Ikaw ay Akin”, where Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos just stare at each other meaningfully in a wordless scene.

What surprised us though is that the audience was actually reacting gleefully, which means they are familiar with that particular scene even if it was shown 41 years ago.

There’s a hint of a sequel at the film’s end. It seems they’re pretty certain this will be a big box office hit and will surely merit a Part 2. Don’t leave it right away as they show the film’s bloopers and out takes during the end credit sequence and most of them are truly ribtickling.

If you want a highly entertaining crowdpleaser that will make you leave the theater with a big grin, this is the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino entry for you, competently directed by Jun Lana, since it is also the only one that is an out and out comedy among the ten finalists.