Friday, September 16, 2011

Darry de la Cruz's Bingwit - The Impotence of Ideas and Resources

Jeff Luna and Charles Delgado are despondent brothers living in a fishing village in Zambales. Sheer poverty has led them thinking of ways to overcome such deplorable fate, and Jeff believes he has found a solution. We soon find him conquering Manila, peddling his flesh to earn his keep. But he has more ambitious plans: to hook (“bingwit”) a rich benefactor, take the latter to Zambales so he and his “brother” would live a more financially secure future. Will Jeff find his catch?

Meanwhile, Charles is getting impatient waiting for Jeff’s return. One day, he meets small town lothario Jeremy Ian who keeps stealing glances his way. And one ominous day, Charles and Jeremy become kindred souls. Heck, they even share a bathroom together - in a protracted moment of soaping, foaming, and lathering their privates. Jeremy, who once welcomed the attention of seaside parloristas, suddenly turns a page and grows morals: he ends his paid sexual proclivities with his married girl friend. “Mali ang ginagawa natin. May asawa ka,” he reasons. Didn’t he think of this before? With mutual attraction buoying their relationship, Charles and Jeremy end up canoodling with their joysticks.

Jeff returns home depressed. His plan has fizzled out and his “bingwit” didn’t materialize. But he is unaware of Charles’ “indiscretions” who himself is feeling guilty for having shared his bed with Jeremy. But wait, one morning, Jeff comes home - with Jeremy in tow. What is going on here?
Jeff has decided to take both Charles and Jeremy with him to Manila. After all, three heads (no pun intended) work better in hooking sugar daddies, right? And what a way to tintinnabulate a flurry of bells, indeed. Unfortunately, Charles is fed up with such lifestyle. He wants to come clean. Moreover, he becomes rabidly jealous of his new bunkmate. What’s a guy to do?

The details in this narrative are sketchy at best, and the story is unhinged by a doubtful coupling. There is no valid narrative strain that explains these interconnections; why Jeff is suddenly with Jeremy. It just materialized from some magical figment of an imagination. In fact, the movie begs several questions. Are Jeff and Charles blood brothers engaging in an incestuous relationship? Must be, but with a mostly inaudible sound, the viewer is left to guess. 

The conversations are either drowned out by music and sound – or they’re badly recorded! It’s like listening to someone when a noisy vehicle suddenly passes by. I tried to view the film for the second time (which is such a sacrifice, I tell you), but it was a futile practice. You can hardly get the character’s names. What’s worse, the production is too lazy to even run its cast of character credits. Running for a measly 1 hour and 15 minutes, the production team merely wants to get this over and done with.

Jeff Luna returns to the screen, looking good and a tad more relaxed, but he still wallows in robotic monotonal delivery. Charles Delgado and Jeremy Ian, though better actors than the former, show robust physique. Their bellies protrude with unsightly flab. What is this, the battle of the bulge? There’s a few backside highlights but honestly, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before.

Charles Delgado, Jeff Luna and Jeremy Ian: Surfeit of muscles, flabs and lipid excrescences.

There could have been promise in the premise: catching benefactors that will financially shoulder the brothers’ needs: “Gagawa ng milagro para di magutom, at di na maamoy ang lansa ng dagat.” But even this is underexplored. One would wonder why Charles is suddenly fed up with Jeff’s ruse. Any indication that this has happened before is never shown, not even by way of flashbacks or a conversation. If you listen carefully, there’s nothing in the narrative history that shows the brothers as “habitual offenders” of this operandi. This was going to be their first time – and it didn’t even materialize. No fish was caught – at all! Walang nabingwit!

Director Darry dela Cruz's production is mostly lazy, not to mention feeble and inept. It tries to make a film with absolutely no resources at all; not by way of finances, artistic merit, imagination and more importantly, ambition.

Charles Delgado: Much too much beer in the gut?

Jeff Luna soaks up in B-movielandia.


Please read our featured post on Cinema Bravo and why Web Criticism isn't always about good and reliable writing:


ethan h said...

Charles Delgado - from an cute twink to a pot bellied bloke. Wala na bang mapagpilian na ibang aktor?

Cathy Pena said...

He was once favored because of his "twinky" looks, but it's been 5 years since... some people just let themselves go. Too bad.