Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Isang Malaking Kachorvahan

I wasn't myself last Friday. That whole "chakras unsynced" kind of feeling, which started with not remembering what day it was. Yes, it was a Friday, but I wasn't convinced that Saturday was around the corner.

So what better way to balance my personal energies than to watch Viva Films' Reyna starring Keanna Reeves? (Now if there are any foreigners reading this, you should know that Keanna Reeves isn't her real name, though her self-admitted boob job may have come straight from the Matrix.)

Reyna tells of Ginniefer (Reeves), pronounced Jee-nee-fer, as a common lass with a big dream, to win a beauty contest and make her dead mother (Melanie Marquez) proud. After escaping the clutches of a plastic surgeon whom she thought would turn her into Madame Auring, Ginniefer finds herself under the care of four homosexuals, who subsequently enter her in a gay beauty contest. There they find bitter rivalry with the diva-queen Chuvaneska (Paolo Contis), and solicit help from a grand old gay make-up artist (Eddie Garcia).

The premise alone screams camp, and director Soxy Topacio did his darndest to make the film work. The film could have been a diversion worth the ticket price given all the talent stuffed into the production. But burdened by a weak script, written by no less than four people, Reyna didn't have enough wit or audacity to sustain life forms.

The performances left so much to be desired, except Eugene Domingo (playing Ginniefer's aunt) who was the most reliable and natural, and the bevy of hunks who peppered the scenes as appropo decor. Pinoy Big Brother grads Jason Gainza and Franzen Fajardo couldn't hack playing gay well enough, while Paolo Contis could've had more fun with his kontravida role.

I would've accepted Reyna and all its faults (particularly that drab and overextended Keystone Cops chase in Festival Mall) if the producers had at least beefed up the beauty contest sequence in the end, particularly with the set and the gowns. If they had created costumes that pushed fashion design limits and induced sensory overload, then they could get a crack at some costume design award. Lost opportunity right there.

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