Main Cast: Lovi Poe, Joem Bascon and Jake Cuenca
Supporting Cast: Gloria Diaz, Isabelle Daza
Director: Joel Lamangan
Genre: Gay Themed, Drama
Released by: Film Development Council of the Philippines
MTRCB Rating: R-16
Opening Date: September 11, 2013
Gist: Two communist rebels during the ’70s form a bond beyond friendship.
The Positive: If there’s one movie that Joel Lamangan can call his “baby,” it should be “Lihis.” The award-winning director has helmed numurous gay-themed movies in the past like “Manay Po,” “Walang Kawala,” “Heavenly Touch” and “I Luv Dreamguyz” but this one is not just about a story of gay love but a solemn chronicle of forbidden relationship over several decades with extrajudicial killings as the main thrust.
The festival is classified as “All-Masters” and Lamangan clearly exhibited his mastery of the genre. From start to finish, you can feel his passion in making this film to the point that some scenes almost went over the edge. Overall, he crafted an international filmfest-ready movie that is reflective and bombastic at the same time.
The acting of the main and supporting cast members are natural and cohesive. Joem Bascon may score an award for his performance.
Fast-paced, well-acted and with solid story-telling, “Lihis” is arguably Lamangan’s best gay-themed movie yet.
The Negative: Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” comes to mind while watching this film. However, Lamangan claims “Lihis” was conceptualized even before the screening of the Oscar-winning gay movie in 2005.
The “batis” scene was too much and the “dying” scene too cheesy.
Memorable Line: “Bawat administrasyon ay lagi na lang may parte ng kasaysayan na gustong burahin.”
STARMOMETER SCORE: 8/10