D é N O U E M E N T S

Two Movie Dates: Praybeyt Benjamin (Part 1 of 2)

For two consecutive nights I treated myself to two Filipino movies before the Halloween. It’s a rendezvous to the theater before sulking on two days worth of graveyard speed dating and candle-lit epitaph analysis.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Hilarity

First on the list iss Praybet Benjamin (Private Benjamin) with Vice Ganda in the starring role as a gay cross-dresser who belongs to a family of soldiers encompassing five centuries of male virility. Benjamin “Benjie” Santos VIII (Vice Ganda) was born to another Benjamin (Jimmy Santos) who was shut out by the Santos for his reluctance to continue the family tradition of serving the military. Benjie’s grandfather is a retired general who held himself responsible to look after the family’s honor but failed upon Benjie’s family. They continue with their lives years after they were asked to leave the house as Benjie’s father works on his experiments as he dreams of being a scientist. On the General’s 75th birthday, the ostracized Santoses decides to attend the party only for further humiliation from the General after finding out that Benjie is gay. The lives of the Santoses changes when Abe Sayyaf (Andrew Wolff) named after a notorious terrorist group in the Philippines, takes hostage of top military officials in exchange for the release of the terrorist leader Billy Aladdin (Emilio Garcia). The country is placed under the Civil War commanding all men to be recruited in the military. Here Benjie takes his father’s place and decides to go instead.

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