After its successful run during the eighth Cinemalaya Film Festival earlier this year, Jun Lana’s first independent film Bwakaw will finally be shown in cinemas nationwide starting September 5. Distributed by Star Cinema, the drama-comedy centers around the life of Rene, a retired gay man (played by veteran actor-director Eddie Garcia) who is content playing the life of a recluse, whose only need for companionship comes in the form of a stray dog he adopts and names Bwakaw. Set in the province of San Pablo, Rene lives only for his daily routine, always thinking that death is just around the corner for him. His house has already become a warehouse of labeled boxes, full of possessions just waiting to be bequeathed to people he has named in his constantly-changing last will and testament.
Eddie Garcia’s performance as the abrasive Rene is the driving force which makes this movie so powerful. His portrayal of a stubborn headstrong man who only comes to accept his homosexuality at the age of 70 and how it impacts the people around him make for a moving and interesting story. How deep his connection with Bwakaw (played by talented Princess the dog) is one that only gets revealed to him when he realizes how it would feel to lose his trusted companion.
The film, which recently earned nods from renowned movie festivals like Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival, also won the Audience Choice award and Best Actor award for Eddie Garcia at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival Awards Night.
Aside from his relationship with his dog, the film Bwakaw also works because of consistent performances from its ensemble cast which is a virtual who’s who of talented veterans from the film industry. Soxy Topacio plays the gay best friend who owns a parlor and tries to bring out Rene’s more flamboyant side by encouraging him to not be afraid to indulge in his homosexuality. Beverly Salviejo is Rene’s ever enthusiastic and religious neighbor whose constant attempts at camaraderie almost breaks through Rene’s defensive stance. Gardo Versoza plays the town priest who Rene visits frequently, but not to attend mass. Rez Cortez is a tricycle driver that Rene initially has friction with, but with whom he eventually develops a friendship with because of Bwakaw. Lastly, Armida Siguion-Reyna plays an old friend with whom Rene has a special link to in the past for which he will forever feel guilty about. All these characters in Rene’s life make up this heartwarming tale of unique friendships and painful realizations.
Rated “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), Bwakaw hits cinemas nationwide starting on September 5, Wednesday. For more information about the film, log on to http://facebook.com/bwakawthemovie and follow @bwakawthemovie on Twitter.
Cinemalaya hit 'Bwakaw' is a film all dog lovers can relate to
Eddie Garcia impresses audiences with his portrayal of an aging gay man in 'Bwakaw.'