Friday, October 5, 2012

William Mayo's Yakman D Gigil King - Irreverence & Inadequacy

Inyaki Custodio (Leo Martinez) has a secret that prevents him from nurturing a relationship with the opposite sex. At 50, Yakie is still a virgin. What’s more confounding is his proclivity to get sexually excited – and prematurely ejaculate without much provocation. So Yakie spends most of his time turning his frustration to his livelihood, i.e. he runs a bakery. Meanwhile, his employees (Vincent Daffalong, Dinky Doo, Danny “Brownie” Pansalin, Robert Miller and Amay Bisaya) couldn’t help but wonder about his status. What keeps the boss single? After all, girls seem to gravitate towards Yakie. Maybe he swings the other way?

Yakie’s charm isn’t lost in sexy neighbor Alexa (Meg Vargas) who couldn’t understand why Yakie brushes off her advances, though he seems attracted to her. The same dilemma transpires when Yakie meets Mildred (Katrina Espe) who recently broke up with her skirtchasing boyfriend. A brush of hand, a blow of the wind, a glimpse of their cleavage has poor Yakie gushing in his pants. So he stays away to avoid further embarrassment.

One day, Yakie unexpectedly reunites with Maximo Olivarez (Soxy Topacio) inside a dingy movie house. Maxie was his best friend back in high school. These days, Maxie scouts talents; he trains and sends them to Japan as entertainers. Yakie confides to Maxie who then devises several methods to help his friend: hiring prostitutes, seeing a urologist, etc. But just when things turn hopeless, Yakie meets the lovely Rowena (Ghen Gabriel), one of Maxie's wards. Yakie is besotted. He falls in love. But despite Rowena’s curves and amorous touches, Yakie is able to control himself. Has our protagonist finally found a cure? More importantly, has Yakie found the love that once eluded him?

Director William Mayo’s resume comprises less than a dozen titles including the contentious Lito Lapid starrer “Lapu Lapu” (an MMFF 2002 entry which hilariously won multiple awards at the Film Academy, a testament to the inside joke that continuously float around this organization of film makers). Other titles include several Jeric Raval starrers like “Bunso: Isinilang Kang Palaban”(1995) and “Pistolero” (2003); “Tulume Alyas Zorro” (1983) with George Javier and Carmi Martin, among others. Ten years after Mayo’s “triumphant” historical epic, the action director resurrects his career with an effort best ignored and forgotten.

The comic sensibility of “Yakman: D’ Gigil King” seems to have languished and stalled in the slap-happy 80’s era of slapstick humor. Think Redford White and his ouvre: “Boni and Klayd”, “Tartan”, ”Darakula”, “Rambo Tan-go”, “Wrong Rangers”, “Hee-man Master of None”, etc. This film unwittingly transports us back to some bad eighties chapter. While those flicks were purely comic escapists, Mayo ups the ante by insinuating his update with some of the most grossed-out sentiment. The jokes are done in bad taste. What’s worse, they aren’t even funny! 

Alexa wets his dress.
Mildred goes out on a date with Yakie.

What’s so funny seeing a pudgy and aging Leo Martinez dancing with an apron and his rolling pin? I wonder. This scene punctuates the rest of the film since it ushers us into our protagonist's dilemma. Mayo further succeeds to populate his flick with some of the most forgettable, albeit charmless bit actors Philippine Cinema has ever produced. And in their desperate bid to extend their 15 minutes of spotlight, they come out rather disconsolate. And this film is supposed to be comedy. Here are some of these moments:

Yakie accidentally pours water on neighbor Alexa’s dress. He then wipes her chest with his hands while her nipple juts through the wet garment. “Basang basa na ako,” says Alexa. Yakie then stiffens, as though electrocuted, then he declares, “Tapos na ako.”

While riding a jeep, Yakie asks the driver, “Magkanong Quiapo?” The driver replies: “Di binebenta ang Quiapo.” Then Yakie replies with a question: “Ilaw ka ba?” Driver asks, “Bakit?” Yakie tells him: “Kasi ang sarap mong patayin eh.”

When Mildred pays Yakie a compliment for his gentlemanly ways, he replies with, “Tinuruan kaming gumalang sa utong.” I am not sure which girl would appreciate such glib talk. I’d probably be inclined to exercise my slapping technique.

While having a meal with Mildred, Yakie tells his date, “Hatid na kita. Late na eh.” Yet it’s obvious there’s daylight outside. Is it school night, maybe? :)

Man 1: “Anong kaibahan ng flat tire sa babae?
Man 2: “Ano?
Man 1: “Ang gulong, binobombahan muna bago sinasakyan. Ang babae naman, sinasakyan muna bago binobombahan.”

Man 1: “Ano ang kaibahan ng panty noon at ng panty ngayon?”
Man 2: “Ano?”
Man 1: “Ang panty noon, kailangang hawiin muna bago makita ang puwet. Ang panty ngayon, kailangang hawiin muna ang puwet bago makita ang panty.”

Man 1: “Ano ang kaibahan ng mainit na tubig sa palad ng babae?”
Man 2: “Ano?”
Man 1: “Ang mainit na tubig, nakakapagpalambot ng karne. Ang palad ng babae, nakakapagpatigas ng karne.”

There are jokes that don’t even make any sense, but are told anyway just to elicit a reaction:
 “Ang pandesal, habang tumitigas, mas masarap isubo.”


Suzette, habulin mo ako. Pag natalo ako, kiss kita. Pag natalo ka, kiss mo ako sa bayag.” Huh?

Man: “Laro tayo ng bahay bahayan. Ako ang tatay. Ikaw ang nanay.
Girl: “Ayoko nyan. Bastos yan.”
Man: “Sige, nanay nanayan at anak anakan na lang.”
Girl: “Sige.”
Man: “Nay, pa dedehen mo ako.”

While sharing a meal, Yakie tells Maxie how to eat the hotdog:
Kinakagat yan, di sinusupsop.”

When the bibingka arrives at their table, Yakie jests:
Ang sarap ng bibingkang matambok. May hiwa sa gitna.

Yakie describes his situation to Maxie:
Di na kailangang ipasok. Igulong lang sa hita, sagitsit na.”

Upon meeting with a urologist – aptly named “Dr. Steven T. Tinio” – thus, Doctor Titi Nyo, get it? :)

Dr. Tino espouses on “premature ejaculation” – “Ang maaaring sanhi nito ay ang mga sumusunod - 1) stress; 2)anxiety; 3) problema.” He’s just enumerating the synonyms of a single term, isn't he? I can add: affliction, burden, tension, hassle, apprehension, distress, dread, unease. Need I say more?

Yakie strangles his source of embarrassment... with unexpected results. :)

Leo Martinez’s Batangueno personification and accent used to draw rollicking laughter from the get-go, but time eventually puts premium on age and the kind of humor that one could carry. At a certain point, humor becomes acrimony and bad manners, and “bad manners” is never hilarious. Acceptable irreverence has to have circumscription. “Yakman” crosses boundaries and surpasses all archetype of poor taste. Aside from its grossed out humor, Yakman is misogynist’s delight. It’s rude to women and should be a cause of concern for the people of Gabriela! What’s worse, this film is extensively shown in SM Cinemas, the purveyor of “morally sound” movies. Yet 13 year old children can enjoy “bibingkang matambok na may hiwa sa gitna”, “padedehen mo ako”, "amoy pinipig na bagong bayo", “ikaw na lang ang lalamasin ko habang buhay” and “habang tumitigas mas masarap isubo.” Amazing, right?

But its brazenly tasteless humor seems to have conveniently smokescreened the gross inadequacy of the production’s filmmaking skills. Aside from being unfunny, “Yakman” is misguided and unsophisticated in handling humor and its sensitive topic. The jokes are a hit and miss, largely dependent on Leo Martinez’s time-tested skill to just ham it up. Even Soxy Topacio’s script input didn’t help largely because the premise itself is dubitable. Fifty year old virgin? Get outta here.

A beach scene suddenly has all three girls dancing in their bikinis.

"Bisaya pud ka day? Naglibog gyud ko sa imo."

Yakie discovers that his best friend Maximo has turned into a Maxie.

Yakie's dream sequence involving Rowena.

Yakie proposes to Rowena, but she declines. Why oh why?

What is Rowena's "big" secret?

Katrina Espe, Meg Vargas and Ghen Gabriel

Ghen Gabriel and Leo Martinez

Bakers have all the fun.


thunder29 said...

geez,must have been excruciating to sit through and watch this torture. i commend you.

Cathy Pena said...


Sitting alone in an empty movie hall was proof enough that there's justice in the world. Movie goers should stay away - and they did. :)