Ang Lalake sa Parola have big, big potentials. Director Joselito Altarejos could’ve maneuvered this film in 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 symbolic rendition of how homosexuality encompasses the lives of men even from the remotest of areas. The myth about fairies was significant parallelism to the focal point of the story. That may be the word. The film is full of parallelism that it failed to deliver a solid storyline, which resulted in 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 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 that whole persona evaporated over time. He became somewhat clingy and too needy, which I thought his character did not ask for.
The film overall was okay. It may have a weak structure and use too much symbolism to make it look like an intelligent film, but those are tolerable. The intent was there, making it easy to understand the statement it was trying to convey – yup, it was still an okay film.
Director: Joselito Altarejos
Starring: Harry Laurel, Justine De Leon, Jennifer Lee, Crispin Pineda, Allan Paule, Sheree, Richard Quan, Dexter Doria