I was in a dilemma in the last 4 days. I’ve been trying to write my thoughts on Nigerian film director Fellyx Honeyfield’s “Sexventure” but somehow I kept putting it off and when I started typing, it was hard making heads and tail piecing together something that was hardly a valid story. Fact is, you can’t conjure one when there’s none to begin with.
The film starts out with a tacky slide show-style introduction of its four main characters where descriptions are written down beside their frozen images. Then this is immediately followed by a jump into the illusory future: a befuddling “Several Years Later”! That’s just the first 10 minutes, mind you!
A group of girls is gearing up for an out of towner: Rose (Carla Diaz), who leads the pack; Bheng (Gelicist Iwata), the self confessed lesbian; Bella (Chloe Rivas) and poor Lisa (Jeanica Razz), the secretive, albeit virginal lass. They have known each other as little girls, and they currently share a class in school. Rose is quite the delinquent girl who skips her classes and reads gay magazines inside her car. She hails from an influential family. Among them, Lisa seems to have the most dramatic back story. She’s plagued by the demise of her parents who perished from the floods in her province. She has since moved to Manila, burning the midnight oil to make good in school.
Today is a special day. The girls, in celebration of Rose’s birthday, are taking a trip to a forest resort in Laguna. Along the way, they plan to pick up guys. In fact, while gassing up, lesbian Bheng initiates sexual advances with the pump boy – and oh boy, how he pumps! This ends up in an orgy involving the two other girls and the other gas boy, right at the station’s hut where everyone could see. Lisa, on the other hand, looks on seemingly appalled by the turn of events. Yet we keep hearing Lisa’s voice over on how deceptive she really is; that her prim façade is one duplicitous affair. And that she’s hatched a plan that would stir her journey towards a form of psychological emancipation. En route to the resort, Rose strikes a deal with a stranger who gets paid to take them to this notable Shangrila, oblivious of the fact that this man could be a bandit!
That night, the girls find themselves bound and beaten black and blue. But they eventually escape and, after a humdrum chase in the jungle (where they killed their abductor), they find the resort. They were welcomed with open arms by the indulgent owner Hilson (Romano Vasquez). Before the night draws to a close, Hilson hosts a birthday dinner – bringing tidings, food and the company of more guys! That night, the girls get their concupiscent dose; each one finding their rooms with their boytoys. What about virginal Lisa?
In a most atrocious narrative detour, we find out that Lisa isn’t who her friends think she is!
After having seen so much crap this year, I can offer fortitude without wavering that this is top candidate as 2011’s worst commercial release! There’s so much disjointed ideas in this effort that I don’t know where to start!
When Rose declared it was her birthday, no one even bothered to greet her. They all appeared stoic and cloaked with their ineptitude. Isn't it amazing to have friends who can't even wish you well on your birthday? And how far is Laguna anyway? A 2-day ride? You’d see sundown and evening shots before they finally reach a place the next day. That's where they meet their abductors. Isn’t it a mere 65 kilometers from Makati to Calamba, Laguna? Or is the editor (Honeyfield himself) completely confused with his geography and timeline? That seems to be the case. In fact, when Romano Vasquez finally brought his birthday cupcake for Rose’s birthday celebration, there had been two night scenes, including the night they were kidnapped. It was Day 3 already, yet you hear Rose saying “birthday ko ngayon”. How long was she borne out of this world – 3 days? Was her head stuck at her mother’s vaginal orifice for 3 long days while her neonatal body was dangling out of the introitus? And you don’t wonder why her face was shaped oblong, I am telling you it was beginning to worry me!
They even hired a Tagalog translator (Mary Grace Dagohoy) who had trouble differentiating the use of “ng” from “nang” – “Kaya siya nagustuhan nang mga kaibigan…” The culprit here deserves to find herself a cave and stay there for 77 summers!
REPORT OR RESORT?
When they escaped from their kidnapper’s hideout, we’d see them stagger away with their luggages. When you’re running for dear life, would your earthly possessions really matter? Then when they finally stabbed their kidnapper, they didn’t even think of reporting to the nearest police station. Instead, they frolic in the “batis”. If I had blood gashing down my face and my skin ecchymotic from beatings, I wouldn’t even celebrate my birthday until the next year. I’d stay away from strangers! But these girls instead hooked up with more strange men, canoodling with their joysticks until the better part of the day. That same night, the girls lose their bruises like magic! I am bothered by how common sense eludes these nincompoops! I'm suddenly thrown into this anathema of the world’s most feeble-minded dingbats to walk the earth!
If you think this narrative strain has been well covered, guess again! It turns out that virginal Lisa actually planned on sleeping with all the other guys - her friends' bedmates that night! How she found the time and the place is really irrelevant. She did it at the alternate universe of Fellyx Honeyfield’s orbit of dementia! Are we done here? Hold your horses! Lisa is further afflicted with AIDS. Or is she? Oh gawd of mercy! LOL
Gelicist Iwata plays Rose; credits say otherwise.
Three months after the incident, back in Manila, Lisa sends her friends a message: “I’m killing myself today so you better see me or you won’t get an explanation.” How forthcoming. Earlier that day, she was told by her doctor that she’s pregnant! “Paano nangyari yun, eh virgin ako!” she bewailed. My sentiments exactly! She could be the next case of Immaculate Conception, quips her doctor.
Then another effort of explanation ensues: Lisa was impregnated by Rose’s dad when she was 14. I seriously almost crawled under my seat from utter disbelief. Lisa had since then slept with 60 guys to somehow support herself (remember the “delubyo” that her parents suffered?) Needless to say, Lisa liked sleeping around too. She reasoned: “Pag lalaki ang nagsasabi ng malalaswa sa babae, sexual harassment yun. Pag babae ang gumagawa nun, limanglibo lang yun!” Huh? I thought she was doing tricks to earn? Why is she paying P5,000? This has got to be the most insightful flick straight out of a hollow cranium! If she desired the company of men so much, why keep it a secret from her equally lustful girl friends? She's merely complicating her shallow life! They've all slept with strangers, what kept her from their orgiastic encounters? I couldn’t fathom the ruse. The points don’t connect.
PREGNANCY, AIDS, SUICIDE - ALL IN ONE GO
When her friends catch her at the apartment (re: her threat), she tells them, “Buntis ako!” and to make a double whammy, she admits to having H.I.V. The girls started wailing because they all thought they contracted the retrovirus. Why? Because back in Laguna, Lisa slept with the guys the girls slept with at the resort. This exasperated Bella so that, right there and then, she takes out a handgun and blows her brains out! Oh yes! Another idiot falls! Where did she get the gun? Why was she carrying it around? And more importantly, didn’t Lisa sleep with the guys after the girls’ intimate encounters with them? The guys could be afflicted with H.I.V., but not the girls. Simple deduction – and absolutely a waste of a good bullet that should have been aimed elsewhere, like the idiot who conjured these bromidic and incoherent snippets of ideas!
25 YEARS LATER
The movie concludes with an epilogue that occurs 25 years hence. Lisa, now a lola (grandmother) chronicles her memoir to her discombobulated grandchildren. Imagine being 6 years old and hearing your lola relate her sexual escapades with 60 men? Inspiring, I bet! It’s enough to stoke the savage demons of childhood, right? In the scene, she refutes herself thrice, vacillating between facts that she indeed contracted HIV and “yung tests nila, negative” which makes for a hair-pulling afternoon. Ano ba talaga, ate?
The film gravely suffers from blind skills reminiscent of when I got hold of my dad’s video camera when I was 8 years old. The lines were out of sync 3 seconds from delivery, making your cinematic experience rather confounding. The soundtrack mostly overwhelms the spoken words that at some point, you ultimately stop trying to listen because it was a lost cause.
Now, if you’re not quite over the shrewd and impertinent lines from Ruel Bayani’s “No Other Woman”, sit back and hang on to your toilet seats for the opposite end of the cinema gibberish that’s too far removed from logic or reality:
Lisa: Virgin pa ako.
Bheng: Gusto ko ng birhen.
Lisa to Bheng: Tomboy ka?
Bheng: Waaate-ber! (Then this lesbian proceeds to seduce the gasoline boy at their next car stop!)
When Rose finds Bheng shagging the gas boy, she starts groping her breast, reaching down her crotch, and then she shouts to the lustful gas boy: “Hey, wag mong itigil at malapit na sya (Bheng).” How she knew of Bheng’s impending orgasm is quite a mystery to me.
When Bheng stabs their abductor while they were being pursued in the forest, one of the girls shouts at her: “Hindi solusyon sa problema natin ang patayin siya.” After being beaten half to their death, coming out of their hideaway bruised, contused, raped and kept like slaves, what is the solution exactly?
“Ang mga sekretong itinatago ko sa mahabang panahon ay siya palang magiging kaaway ko…” Such transcendental musings. My enemy is usually simple idiocy!
When Rose finds Romano Vasquez in the wilds of Laguna, she comes up to him and says: “Puwede mo ba kaming matulungan?” Then she proceeds to kick him in the balls.
Romano: “Paano ko kayo matutulungan kung basag ang itlog ko!” (How perceptive!)
That night at the birthday party, Rose remarks: “Sisipsipin ko ang itlog mo hanggang malagutan ka ng hininga!” These lines should figure among the most inspired lines to come out of the new millennium, don’t you think?
Lisa, describing her playmate for the night: “Si Henry ay gwapo, matikas at mabalahibo ang katawan.” Gorillas, anyone?
When Lisa recalls their departure from Laguna, she says, “Nang gabing umalis kami sa resort…” but they actually left in mid-day when the sun’s up! How they easily forget!
“Ang isang trahedya sa pakikipagtalik ay nagsisimbulo ng kaluluwang ligaw!” I half expected they were going to turn macabre and show demons and spirits floating around. Lapit na Halloween kasi!
This Nigerian director fills his platter with a modicum of sayings that don’t quite make sense. In fact, he peppers his work with aphorism that he fails to expound. Let’s take this line: “A man without a dream is like a typhoon without a direction. He breaks into all sorts of things and crashes into stuff he never planned for.” Ano daw? LOL
There’s more: “Don’t be afraid to sleep. You might have the dream that might turn your night into day!” Something that’s turning his films into little slices of nightmare, that’s for sure! When I was reviewing his movie called “Mainit” (Paolo Rivero, Lorraine Lopez) last February, I chanced upon a site where he espoused on such dreams: ““I want to be a mouth for the indie producers” - in Hollywood, mind you!” Of course he meant “voice” – unless he plans on eating his way around Steven Speilberg – his “idle”!
This utterly brilliant film maker can’t even get his actors’ names right. The character assignations at the credits were erroneous. The character of Rose was actually portrayed by Gelicist Iwata (photo above), not the Carla Diaz that was written in the credits! How’s that for attention to detail? Maybe he’s just overwhelmed by his multi-tasking, being writer, director, producer, music scorer, and editor! Whatever the reason, it’s with due clarity that he should never attempt the same – ever again! In any of the aforementioned job title! It’s even a more inspired idea if he practices his craft in his federal constitutional republic of Nigeria. I am sure his 156 million compatriots would appreciate his aphorisms more than those incandescent executives responsible for choosing indie titles screened at Galleria’s indie sine! In my book, this was one of the most painful punishments I’ve had to hurdle in my charmed existence! What's worse, I had to pay to be dumbed down by it!
The funniest bit in this sad excuse of cinema happens at the tail end of the screening. Little did I know that “Sexventure” wasn’t actually a compound word for “sex adventure”, but an acronym that meant this: S – Severe, EX – Extremely, V – Vicious, E – Exposing, N – Nudity, R – Reproach… and so on! Does that vaguely mean anything to you? Someone needs to bump his head on the wall.