Carlo (Dustin Jose), an irascible taxi driver, is having a bad day. His sister Nicole (Renee Lopez) carries a torch for him. One night, from a deep slumber, he finds her lying beside him. This gets him livid beyond belief. To make matters worse, gay housemate Rolly (Dennis Cruz) is likewise pining for his affection. And he's losing his patience fast. Such malediction! How has he become this irresistible? Gawd!
To drown him out of his sorrow, he turns to the booze and ends up surlier than ever. He accuses people of taking advantage of him during his drunken stupor – and eventually ends up driving everyone away.
While Nicole relocates to pursue her dream of working abroad, Rolly moves out and becomes an ambulant pansit salesman, and takes a lover (Nino Abel).
|Rolly gets his chance with Carlo.|
But who cares about plots – or making sense of it all? Cudail just wants to highlight Dennis Cruz’s bottom-baring shower scene (after being berated by Jose, Cruz was so devastated he had to run to the bathroom, cry a river, and soap up his backside until they glistened – such scintillating turn of events indeed). As if that wasn't enough, this is abruptly followed by another shower scene with Dustin Jose. In this scene, he apparently forgot for a second that he’s supposed to be drunk, or angry – thus he takes a (drum roll, please) … shower! You see, Cudail loves his bathrooms and he makes ample use of them.
Like other Pink flicks, the production values here resort to the minimum. A dirge continuously plays, scene after scene, a la punebre, surely paying homage to the demise of the film maker’s neurons. For example, there’s much ado about Carlo’s lost wallet (he dropped it during one of his drinking sprees) but this was left in the lurch. In another scene, a confrontation between Carlo and Nicole is drowned out by a couple of rabid dogs barking. Editing is another gray area. Rolly is shown arguing with his lover Benji (Abel) who refuses to break up with the fed-up Rolly, “Bakit ganyan kayong mga lalaki? Di ba kayo pwedeng sex now, pay later?” Cut to the next scene: Rolly and Benji get out of bed after a roll in the hay. And I thought they've broken up already? Post break-up sex, anyone?
Now let’s get into the story telling acumen of the writer. Here's a glaring scenario in the film. It's simple but underlines the mind set of the story teller and/or script writer. Rolly arrives at a sari sari store, after a day of peddling noddles. “Pabili nga ho ng softdrinks,” he tells the manang. She asks, “Ano’ng gusto nyo?” He replies, “Kahit ano ho.” What twat couldn't pick a specific brand? So if the manang handed over an “Amrat Cola” from Pakistan, “Cuba Libre” from Havana, “Bidu Cola” from Argentina or “Star Cola” from Myanmar, he’d accept it without a word? What if he's actually given "Markang Demonyo" Cola? Kahit ano eh! Now I know why a punebre plays overtime.
The penultimate scene has Dustin Jose weeping til he’s blue (above). Then in the most inane delivery, he says, “Kailangan ko pang mabulag para maibalik ko sa yo ang pagmamahal na ibinigay mo.” Huh? Did he suddenly turn affectionate? Or is someone in dire need of a dramatic ending to wrap his story up?
“Luhod sa Harapan” tries to set up a stage to eke out a scenario that would put “Bukas Luluhod ang Mga Tala” or “Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita” to shame. Kneel before me and lick my shoes, right? “Isang araw luluhod ka rin,” says the blurb. But there’s none of that here except that as epilogue, Carlo, now hopelessly blind – and still wearing the skimpiest white briefs, mind you - finally gives in to Rolly’s unabashed love and adoration. Aren't we tickled pink? How's that for denouement?
|Dennis Cruz (left) holds a priceless family jewel. Nino Abel (right) covers his. ;)|
|Nino Abel, Dustin Jose and Dennis Cruz practice color-coding.|