Why ‘Gameboys The Movie’ is a heartfelt and relevant Boys Love film in a biblical catastrophe like this pandemic

Published August 23, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Rica Arevalo

You’re going to hell because you’re gay!

GAY TOGETHER Cast looks good onscreen and has rapport

We have seen Gameboys The Movie on its third week at https://www.ktx.ph/ and it pretty satisfies our need for lockdown entertainment this ECQ. The voice of the young LGBTQ+ is loud and clear in a subtle and sincere way.

Cairo (Elijah Canlas) and Gavreel (Kokoy de Santos) are more demonstrative and freer to express themselves in this one-hour-and 47-minute film with a 9.1/10 IMDb rating.

It is Kokoy who stands out among the cast, showing his makulit personality and his more serious character. Yes, he can do drama.

We like the vertical composition of the screen indicating the popularity of social media apps where mobile phone users hold their phone vertical as they watch video content. Remember, before social media, cameras were designed to take horizontal shots.

The country’s COVID-19 cases are rising all over the social media with the IATF stating the quarantine classification while Gavreel and Cairo are in their nest, happy together in the lockdown, doing household chores—laundry and cooking. Heat begins when Gavreel does his pushups on top of Cairo saying he’ll take good care of his partner. Will their love have a happy ending?

ROMANCE ONLINE Kokoy de Santos, Adrianna So and Elijah Canlas

Pearl (Adrianna So) video calls the couple for a collaboration to raise funds for students who need tablets for online learning. The social media influencers readily agreed to participate.

Gavreel promises to date his boyfriend after the pandemic but cannot wait so he surprised Cairo with a movie viewing set up in the pool garden. The two make out but Cairo is still uncomfortable saying, “baka may makakita (someone might see us).”

Enter Terrence (Kyle Velino) who crashes the house, drunk and emotional from a recent break-up. “Ano ginagawa mo dito? (What are you doing here?) Wala ka pang face mask (You are not even wearing a face mask),” asks Gavreel. Indeed, this wakes us up that the pandemic is real and a face mask is now a permanent “accessory” in our health regimen.

This new generation of filmmakers is now providing pandemic entertainment with flying colors.

Saying “negative” from the PCR-Tests all throughout the film allows these friends to bond and sleep over. Another guest Wesley (Miggy Jimenez) joins the gang coming from the airport. There is friction between Terrence and Wesley as the latter leads “Mr. Boredom” on but is not ready to commit.

Where is the contravida? It comes in the shape and size of Gavreel’s Tita Susan (Angie Castrence), a religious and judgmental relative who enters the PBB-like house by surprise. She meddles, sermons, and “sins,” crucifying all the bakla in the whole world. To avoid any conflict, the boarders, Terrence and Wesley, refuse to dine with her.

LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS Elijah Canlas and Kokoy de Santos

One dinner, Tita Susan continues her tirades against homosexuality. Gavreel becomes silent. Cairo cannot take it anymore and stands up to say his piece, “Walang mali sa amin. (Nothing is wrong with us).” Right that moment, Gavreel outs himself to his Tita and declares that Cairo is his boyfriend.

It is not easy for Gavreel to come out in the open, growing up with a trauma, believing that “pupunta ka sa impyerno kasi bakla ka (You’re going to hell because you’re gay).” 

The pressure and the pain trigger Gavreel to break down as he tries to get away from it all but Cairo insists to be with him during his lowest point. The sun, sand and beach symbolize the freedom that welcomes Cairo and Gavreel. Indeed, there is hope in the midst of a lockdown. The two are now mature enough to face the future, their upcoming long-distance love story.

Young director Ivan Andrew Payawal gets the proper ensemble—they all look good onscreen and the chemistry is natural. Adrianna, Kyle, and Miggy are new discoveries that should be given follow-up projects. Also in the cast are Susan Africa and Kych Minemoto.

Ivan, a Communication Arts graduate of De La Salle University handled the material written by Ash M. Malanum with sensitivity and “love.”

We have always admired the breathtaking camerawork of Carlos Canlas Mendoza who is now based in Los Angeles. He also lighted Bwakaw and Die Beautiful. The use of close-ups in the film reveals the intimacy of the two lovers.

Benjamin Tolentino belongs to the new breed of editors who worked on That Thing Called Tadhana and Fan Girl. Editing live action scenes with social media content is delivered like a smooth ride.

Jun Robles Lana and Perci Intalan are the executive producers. This new generation of filmmakers is now providing pandemic entertainment with flying colors. Gameboys The Movie is a well-made BL film that is worth streaming. 

Check the Philippines Only Screenings: https://www.ktx.ph/…/gameboys-the-movie-philippine…