Bwakaw is prosaic and predictable, but a stellar performance from its lead and an endearing story against the backdrop of picturesque rural Philippines make it a charming and poignant film about friendship, mortality, and self-acceptance.
Mang Rene (Eddie Garcia) is an old lonely gay man who came out in his 70’s, waiting to die. An unexpected yet affecting turn of events causes him to re-evaluate his life, and find hope in the simple joys of his graying years.
Bwakaw has serene cinematography, capturing the simple and solitary life of an old gay man with picture postcard shots of a town in rural Philippines.
Eddie Garcia brings in his signature biting and candor sense of humor, but adds likeability and vulnerability to Mang Rene, making the old curmudgeon entertaining and relatable.
The film is at times funny, but overall sad. As Mang Rene finds new meaning in his late years and the film ends, its as if you watched an inevitable sunset that you too will eventually face.
However the film is as straightforward as that. Its predictable and as dry as its description on its IMDB page. It never attempts to reach for something deeper and more profound than the same old story of impending mortality, with another character thrown in for the predictable self-realization of the protagonist.
It doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking (considering it was submitted for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars) but its still an endearing story that reflects on growing old and enjoying what you have left, rather than mulling over what is yet to come.
My Rating: 6/10