Paolo Ballesteros and Christian Bables shine, Die Beautiful is must-watch

There's something about movies that could revolve around one central character for 100 minutes without boring you. In the case of 'Die Beautiful', Jun Lana's critically- acclaimed MMFF film, you're given two outstanding performances: Paolo Ballesteros as the sassy lead and Christian Bables as the loyal and hilarious sidekick. 

Our curiosity in the film started when Paolo, in full make-up and heavily sequined long gown, won Best Actor at the Tokyo Film Festival. With his regular stint in 'Eat Bulaga', we knew how easy would it be for him to act gay in a film. But it isn't really that. If there's one thing his noon-time variety show taught him well, it's his exceptional timing both in comedy and drama which is very evident in this film.

Paolo is Trisha, a cross-dresser disowned by his father and is left to build a single- parent life with her adopted daughter. Our central character is mesmerizing, naturally bringing to the big screen quips that are current to the ever evolving gay culture. We expect no less than a Best Actor win for this underrated artist at the MMFF. Paolo's closest competition would perhaps be Joem Bascon who is also amazing in "Oro". 

Another sweet side of 'Die Beautiful' is a revelation in Christian Bables. Christian is Barbs, Trisha's bestfriend. Sure he has appeared gay in indie films before, including a support role in the Kiray Celis starrer "I Love You To Death". But this is his biggest cinematic appearance yet. With how we fell in love with sidekicks, Christian complemented Paolo's sincerity to their characters. He is as equally funny and charming as the lead. 

After watching all 8 films, Christian appears to be a favorite for Best Supporting Actor. Challengers may be Joel Torre and Jericho Rosales (Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank 2), and Ricky Davao (Kabisera).

Rody Vera's script, which is peppered with comedy, is a celebration of gay life, of how they are today, and the continuing struggle for acceptance. And although sometimes its unfocused, it did not fail to provide the film's needed tender moments. A gay film could still be dramatic for straight people, you know.

'Die Beautiful' might be a peculiar piece for Christmas, tackling death in the middle of a season commemorating Jesus's birth. But its humanity transcends that. It is a celebration of unceasing loyalty to your favorite person, to what she is and what she wants to be. Because to exist with good relationships is to 'live beautiful' and 'Die Beautiful'. 

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About MJ de Leon

Everybody wants to be entertained! So I am publishing, not another entertainment blog, but a rather interesting rundown of the things that you pretend to not care about. I also blog about food, travel and a little bit of style at Peace and love! :)
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