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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sink or swim

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Brillante Mendoza’s latest offering, Sisid, had its special premiere via an exclusive digital event on Jan. 18 and started streaming on Vivamax Plus, the newest pay-per-view service of Viva, on Jan. 19. Regular streaming starts in March on Vivamax.  

Sisid stars Paolo Gumabao (Jason, the marine biologist), Kylie Versoza (Abby, the lovely wife), and Vince Rillon (Dennis, the young man who offers a different kind of love and shares a sacred secret with Jason). They are the central figures in the complicated relationship drama that lets its audiences witness how the lyrics of the song popularized by Rupert Holmes, life is “touch and go, and sink or swim” come to being.

Vince Rillon (left) and Paolo Gumabao play Dennis and Jason in the complicated adult drama ‘Sisid.’

Calling the latest Mendoza opus a “boy’s love” drama is a misnomer since there were so many elements in the movie that scream the realities of the now. And it does not contain the many ingredients that must and should be present in the genre.

Set in the postcard-perfect provincial paradise of Pola, the characters had an up-close and personal experience with the beauty and bounty of the locale’s sea and its breathtaking surroundings plus real-life scenarios that bring out the worst and best of people.

Some of touch and go realities that were presented are the environmental degradation brought about by irresponsible commercial mining, with the legendary Irma Adlawan as the powerful feminine of rhyme and reason, the strongest voice and ally of the local government that said enough is enough to the business of mining.

A marriage filled with love between Jason and Abby got an honest-to-goodness touch-and-go situation as the two are dreadful of what the nearest future will bring to them as a relatively young couple of seven years.

Solutions, which Abby steered are not acceptable to the unwilling parties and it exploded like a fast and furious emotional bomb in a wonderfully realized confrontation scene between Gumabao, Versoza, and Mayton Eugenio, who portrayed the organic farmer best friend of Abby, was a crystal touch and go circumstance as well.

And the unexpected love that was shared intimately and passionately by Jason and Dennis, certainly affected the marine biologist’s relationship with Abby, his wife. Dennis’ impending marriage to his pregnant girlfriend Tanya, portrayed by Christine Bermas, also triggered all sorts of emotions for the young man whose clandestine affair gets a clear and present threat.

Sink and swim realities in the Reynold Giba screen played online movie, Abby’s deteriorating well-being, and how the truth she discovered about Jason and Dennis caused not only a crack but endangered their relationship and marriage.

Jason’s conflict, one part of him becomes free and loving, and the other afraid and tortured because the young man he embraced, kissed, and touched, brings him both joy and torment.

Dennis’ dilemma? He’s a man titillated by the woman he swears he loves but is amorous with another man who gave him a contrasting kind of high and passion.

Acting-wise, what was most impressive about the actors in Sisid, is the fact that there were no melodramatic excesses.  The dramatic confrontations are swift and on point and were not prolonged.

Kudos to Gumabao, Versoza, and Rillon for bringing the truths of their characters on screen.

Loved the husband and wife confrontation moment. Amazed with the wife and lover talk. I was in tears when the two men accepted their fate with longing looks sans dialogue and the acceptance that what they had was short-lived and not meant to be forever.

The love-making scene between the male actors was tastefully executed. Yes, as a spectator to the scenes, one feels the love and heat, the hunger and intensity, and despite them being totally naked, what transpired never bordered on the pornographic.

When people are confronted with touch-and-go-and-sink-and-swim scenarios, how each person faces and deals with it are shown in this Mendoza entertainment offering that is more of an adult relationship drama and not a BL. 

With truthful performances from his cast, and a script that not only throbs, but pulsates with life, love, lust, and realities, Sisid is surely worth everyone’s while and watch because the artistic mastery and stamp of Brillante Mendoza are all there to view and feel. 

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