The opening scene was a complete whirl: young naked bodies painfully wrapped with packaging tape amid a confusing babble of gayspeak.
Save for that scene where naked bodies, one of which showed an appendage-less near-frontal—the body-owner is overheard saying “gamay lagi na akong notes! (My dick is small!)”—there’s no more flesh—I mean, sex—in the Thank You Girls.
And despite the absence--but not completely--of revolting display of flesh and over dramatic and tired bleak and violence, this one will be taken seriously for its hilarity.
Written in Visayan with English subtitles, nobody would ever think that the film was a Cinemalaya trash.
“I feel so vindicated,” says Bebs Gohetia, the Davao-born writer and director who also wrote the screenplay for Daybreak and got a nomination for Best Editor at the Second Annual Asian Film Festival for Tirador.
I met Bebs late last year, while TYG was still in the works. I read the script even before its 6 lead stars—five of whom are all local and unprofessional—did.
From the opening scene, Gohetia succeeded in making his audience forget, albeit very shortly, that the world outside is drowning in its own tragedy—although the film shows the awful fate of six gays, all of them beauty pageant veterans who never seem to get tired both at joining and losing in every contest.
But you will never feel sorry for them, no matter how you see them crumble over their own tragedy of losing and becoming thank you girls or backstage beauties. Instead, you will admire their chutzpah to survive in a stage (after another) where intelligence and beauty, apart from age, are essential weapons to survive.
TYG stars EJ Pantujan, July Jimenez, Kit Poliquit, Kim Vergara, Pidot Villocino, and Ari Bancate, all of them Dabawenyos. Another lead role was played by Gie Salonga, half-brother of Lea Salonga.
And yes, another character worth mentioning is Char Lang who loves to sashay around town with Exclusive For Bayots sash.
TYG is still shown at Gaisano Mall of Davao until Sept. 16. Late this month, it will be competing in the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Dragons and Tigers Competition for Young Filmmakers as the only Filipino entry.
Watch na keyo! Dyodi na magwaiting in vain for pirated dibidi kay 48 years pa ang araybal. Go as in G-O-W!!!
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