Tuesday, August 7, 2012

G.A. Villafuerte's Kapa - Grappling in the Dark

Glenn and Ronald (Miguel Alcantara and Marco Ronquillo) are best friends. While both seem to harbor feelings for each other, Glenn conceals his affection for his visually impaired friend, fearing he might lose him if he told him of his feelings. So Glenn offers Ronald occasional glimpses of happiness by setting up dates with different men, like the mild mannered Gary (Karl Matthew Garcia). Meanwhile, Glenn indulges in coupling with several men: the impulsive Drolan (Whacky Seon) and the amorous Ceejay (Kristian Marquez) with whom Glenn seems to find a more stable relationship.

Ronald, on the other hand, keeps pining for Glenn who jumps from one concupiscent bed to another. Blinded by an accident, Ronald is affectionately kept company by his brother Russel (Darwin Taylo) and his Lola Rosa (Rosemarie Ibarrita). Russel has issues of his own. He’s conflicted by the attention showered on him by Jethro (Alvin Duckert) who doesn’t hide his attraction to the wistful Russel. But something bothers Russel about Jethro which the latter solves by cleaning up his gothic image.

One day, Glenn takes Ronald out for another “blind” date set up by Ceejay. Ronald is left under the care of good looking Aljer (Xyrus Arruejo) who turns out to be the date from hell. Aljer in fact wants money and when Ronald refuses, he pummels the blind man until he’s black and blue. All hell breaks loose, of course, and Glenn gets blamed for putting Ronald’s life in peril. Glenn, meanwhile, breaks up with Ceejay for setting up the date with the devil. What becomes of Glenn and Ronald’s friendship? Will Darwin even find happiness in Jethro’s warm embrace? More importantly, will the ubiquitous loafer Sarah (Adriana Gomez) ever find another micromini to wear? Heavens, what dilemma!

Glenn and Ronald are best friends.

Russel and Jethro are also attracted with each other.

Director GA Villafuerte concocts a world that barely mirrors any hint of reality. Every darn character is a homosexual. Everyone sleeps around, even the blind! Villafuerte seems to be wallowing in his detached world of despicable characters. This director’s means of building up characters usually end up with several rigodon of bodies humping away without much passion. To be honest, it is not easy to follow any of his characters because they are defined merely by their propensity to sleep around with other ill-defined characters. This is what makes films like this hard to document. The characters are interchangeable. In fact there's nothing much in character development except that they are all horny as hell.

The performances here leave much to be desired. Miguel Alcantara depicts his role with cardboard characterization and his depiction of a garish gay man is nothing short of cringe-worthy. Marco Ronquillo, in his cinematic debut, appears stiff, making viable excuse out of his blind character. In fact, you don’t find any expression on his face, except the element of being completely emotionally dispossessed. More importantly, isn’t Ronquillo, who’s too droll to be a cinema hunk, too old to be a movie newbie?

While we like Alvin Duckert and find him “artistahin”, he has been compromised by his over enthusiasm (“Lihim ng mga Nympha”, “Butas 2”). Darwin Taylo, on the other hand, has to lighten up. He is too serious for his own sake. This is the wrong vehicle for the introspective tack. Far from it, actually. Karl Matthew Garcia shows promise although this may appear to be so because he wasn’t really given much to munch. Xyrus Arruejo looks good on screen. He was substantially sinister in his scenes. My two cents worth believes that Villafuerte, like the exploitative film maker that he is, is priming Arruejo for “bigger” things. In fact, something must be in the works to get Arruejo out of his briefs in Villafuerte’s next films. Well, there’s “Hardinero” awaiting commercial release. Wanna bet? J

Now let’s get to the sex scenes. Most of them occur within a song (one full musical strain is played) and they are shown rubbing against each other’s naked bodies before eventually expiring into droll resolution. I have in fact never seen such apathetic sexual coupling.

The script is a messy excuse of a cinematic drivel. We find Russel apologizing every time he meets Jethro and we wonder why. He avoids Jethro like the plague but when the latter cleans up himself, Russel suddenly accommodates Jethro. Such is love, debah? Pag di na mukhang nangangamoy, tanggapin na. Haha. In another scene, Russel refuses to hold Jethro’s hand, but gamely makes out – in public! So much for discretion.

When Ronald is left alone with the impatient Aljer, the latter turns off the lights. Did he forget that he was with a blind man? When Ronald refused to touch him, he went berserk: “Hindi ako nagpunta dito para babuyin!” But was he harassed? In fact he wanted to be taken advantage of. After recuperating from the mauling incident, we’re suddenly ushered in a scene that has Ronald removing eye bandage. Are we missing a narrative strain? When did he get the eye operation? Ophthalmological surgeons and corneal specialists never do their post-operative follow ups in a patient’s home! They require the use of slit lamps and indirect ophthalmoscopy for this! Moreover, corneal transplants for both eyes are never done in a single schedule! Villafuerte’s laziness and cluelessness really show in these simple scenes.

Kapa” is further hobbled by an uneven sound and the film maker’s utter neglect to room tone, thus in several scenes, you could hardly hear any part of the conversation – like when Russel met Jethro at a restaurant beside a Tagaytay road. Now tell me, how does one expect a legible story to unravel when they aren't even intelligible? Villafuerte doesn’t care. All he’s after are the intermittent peekaboos of his actors’ peckers. Yet his film’s posters call this “a new masterpiece”! Please excuse me while I vomit. 

The nerve, really!

Miguel Alcantara and Marco Ronquillo

Darwin Taylo and Kristian Marquez

Alvin Duckert: As enthusiastic in his performance as he is flashing his Eurasian jewels.

Whacky Seon: He seconds the motion re: flashing his Asian jewels. :)

Kart Matthew Garcia

Xyrus Arruejo plays the homophobe Aljer. Watch him flash HIS family jewels in his next GA Villafuerte film. :)

Masterpiece daw oh! LOL What is the world coming to! 

No comments: