By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES
WITH A year to live and an incurable illness that plagues him, John (Joross Gamboa) finally takes matters into his own hands. If destiny made the decision regarding the cause of his death, then he holds the decision on how he will die. He tells his best friend, Mark (Edgar Allan Guzman) about his elaborate plan to fake his own death.
Mark feels conflicted about John’s plan, and asks John about what he hopes to hear at his own funeral. With his chin up and a clear disposition, John decides that he will encounter his own death—in a way that even destiny cannot steal from him.
An entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017, the film adaptation of a Palanca award-winning script of the same name tackles the friendship of two gay men who are willing to be each other’s rock amid various obstacles they go through over the course of their lives.
Through their hilarious antics and mixes of dramatic sequences, the film creates a marvelous marriage between comedy and drama. This concept is further expressed in sequences in which John would watch a foreign film and a scene—when the character runs away from a figure of death, both figuratively and literally—reflects his feelings toward the idea of death. As the protagonist of graciously recites a monologue and hilariously runs away from the Adonis-like figure of death, John comes to the realization that death may not be as terrifying as he initially thought it would be.
Julius Alfonso’s Deadma Walking is also commendable for its flawless cinematography; experimenting on both vibrant and muted color tones, excellent angling of shots, and appropriate sounds and music which ultimately mirror the characters’ moods or their surroundings.
The film only finds fault on the inconsistent plotting of the story. Several scenes swoop in almost abruptly—leaving no transition, and becoming out of context, in comparison from the previous scene. It also occasionally loses the constant appeal of its comedic and dramatic parts; which only arise in chosen scenes. Despite that, Deadma Walking remains to sit among the best picks in the MMFF. The film is mainly of a comedic genre, yet it never overshadows any dramatic parts of the story. These easy shifts between the two genres can be seen throughout the entire film.
Its depiction of contemporary gay men in the modern era remains natural, balanced, and sensitive. There are many ways to lean towards the stereotype of a gay man, yet the actors trod the path carefully—showing the natural bond between two gay best friends who have etched a space in each other’s hearts.
The film, moreover, makes an intricate explanation of how destiny works—before everything else, destiny is always unfair. No matter how much an individual tries to oppose it, destiny will always have the final say in things. F