Review: Ang Lalake Sa Parola [The Man in the Lighthouse] (2007)

Director: Joselito Altarejos
Starring: Harry Laurel, Justine De Leon, Jennifer Lee, Crispin Pineda, Allan Paule, Sheree, Richard Quan, Dexter Doria

Ang Lalake Sa ParolaAng Lalake sa Parola have big, big potentials. Director Joselito Altarejos could’ve maneuvered this film into a different direction to come up with a masterpiece. “… Parola” chronicles the journey of Mateo (Harry Laurel), a lighthouse caretaker from a rural area and Jerome (Justine De Leon), a gay man from the city who seduces the naive Mateo to enter into a homoerotic relationship with him.

 The plot seems very simple yet complicated. It’s a metaphorical rendition of how homosexuality encompasses the lives of men even from the remotest of area. The myth about fairies was a great parallelism to the focal point of the story. That may be the word. The film is full of parallelism that it failed to deliver an actual storyline which in the end resulted to a confusing finale.

 ‘Probably the best thing about this film is the lead actor; Harry Laurel performed incredibly well considering that this was his first feature film. His subtle attack on each scene was very believable and you’ll actually root for him! His slight accent gives flavor to the naivety of Mateo’s character. His almost awkward and sometimes deer in the headlights expression was rather charming because it fits his character so well. Justine on the other hand played it a bit too forced in my opinion. I know that he was supposed to play it discreetly upon arriving in the small town but overtime, that whole persona evaporated. He became rather clingy and too needy which I thought his character does not really asked for.

The film overall was okay. It may have a weak structure and may have used too much symbolism to make it look like an intelligent film but those are tolerable.  The intent was there which makes it easy to understand the statement it was trying to convey – yup, it is a good film.

Rating: 6/10

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