Let’s consider for a second that there’s even a semblance of a coherent story in Hedji Calagui’s “Lagpas”.
Orlando (Dennis Torres) is carrying a torch for bushy browed Diego (Rob Da Silva) who’s being verbally and (on occasion) sexually abused by his roommate Sandro (Kim Allen) who, in turn, is selling Winston’s (Dustin Jose) drugs. Unfortunately, naughty boy Sandro is plotting a money-making heist that would eventually pin down all the blame on morose Diego who can’t seem to find his briefs (eh?) Meanwhile, the youngest guy Roy (Miko Laurel) suspects the worst from the situation. On Roy’s birthday, he alerts Orlando of Diego’s impending downfall. If it all seems coherent, it’s because there’s lucidity in my writing more than the film’s storytelling. LOL
That we’re made belatedly aware of Orlando’s health concerns becomes an ineffectual blot in Calagui’s alternative dimension. Nothing here is vaguely believable! The director was more concerned with offering his audience the cleanest guys this side of tinsel town by having not one, not two or three – or even four – but FIVE bathing scenes!
Miko Laurel tells Dennis Torres something's coming down. And why does he even care? Rob Da Silva's character is nothing but an antipathetic, frowning pest all throughout the film! They're not even related!
If this seems to inspire his audience, his limited artistry is lost in me! Heck, even the repetitive bathing scenes look unimaginatively redundant, albeit with different male specimen showing off their butts and the occasional peekaboo of mushroom heads! You would know his range of imagination – a pail of water, a dipper (tabo) and an obliquely positioned naked male body. Voila! We acquire Calagui’s visual catharsis! In one scene, we see the drug dealing Winston all exasperated so he slips into a deserted kanto full of empty barrels and a leaky faucet. Before we know it, he was bathing ponderously! LOL
To conjure a sense of denouement, we later discover Orlando and Diego’s mutual affection for each other; something that’s barely glimpsed from their earlier scenes together. In fact, Diego seemed peeved with Orlando’s presence. And really now, Dennis Torres fawning over Rob Da Silva?
Finally, this film is conspicuously mistitled, and should have been called “Ligo”!
There used to be a humorous reference to the proliferation of tabloid writers: “Pinabili lang ng suka, writer na!” These days, it’s a new generation's variant: “Nakabili lang ng video camera, director na!” Annals of Philippine Indies in a capsule!