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Praybeyt Benjamin (2011)

October 29, 2011


PRAYBEYT BENJAMIN
October 28, 2011
08:05 PM
Cinema 7, Seat J15
Trinoma
Quezon City

Inasmuch as I find Vice Ganda hilarious and “unkabogable” in real life, I have to truthfully say Praybeyt Benjamin was a trip back in time of slapstick comedy and confused storytelling, which I actually promised myself never to visit again. Unfortunately, thanks to the power of traditional and social media plus my innate selfish desire to get to see it firsthand, I ended up watching this sad tale of a gay wannabe soldier in a theater full of eager beavers. Having prided myself of having seen great Pinoy films such as “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank,” “Zombadings,” “Thelma,” and even “No Other Woman,” I actually hoped the quality of output the local tinseltown can produce has improved and matured overnight. But then again, what did I expect? It even has Jimmy Santos in it.

Don’t take me wrong, I’ve known a certain Vice Ganda existed ever since I first heard his cutthroat R-18 jokes at Laffline and Punchline around year 2000 and I actually enjoyed it with a certain Schadenfreude type of guilt. After all, who wouldn’t feel sorry for the helpless victim Vice Ganda and his group of gay and merry men laid their sights on.

But to say Praybeyt Benjamin is a rollercoaster ride of humor might be too much credit for Vice Ganda and Wenn V. Deramas. A lot of the punchlines are somewhat “trying hard” although some of the jokes were the legendary sarcastic remarks this popular Showtime host has been infamously known for. Those lines were actually the saving grace of the movie. But everything else from the lame make-up, bad editing, lousy cinematography, unconvincing acting, to the ridiculous scriptwriting, are the sad elements that made the movie go terribly downhill from then on.

What was even more revolting is the movie gave a prelude to a – gasp – sequel, a concept I could never fathom since all the good 2 hours I have invested watching this film seemed to have stretched the concept of a gay soldier in training with a logic-defying war confrontation at the end. Now, there’s a good side to it as it tries to make the movie gender-sensitive and all that. But to be honest about it, it is a far cry from whatever positive impact Zombadings has on mashing-up gay acceptance with humor. In fact, there were certain instances wherein the “green jokes” were just too crass even for my taste which disturbed me not for my own good but with the fact that Praybeyt Benjamin is a PG movie.

This makes me wonder why MTRCB was stricter with the likes of Zombadings or even Paranormal Activity when come to think of it, the gayness of the former and the sexual references of the latter, were more artistic than what Wenn V. Deramas could clearly execute.

But then again, this movie may have come with a disclaimer that I have failed to take into consideration. I’ve seen the trailer. I knew Jimmy Santos was in it. I knew what the whole plot was all about. Yet, I decided to watch the movie. This is like a sad case of a boy that cried in pain when he got burned while playing fire. I knew what I was getting into. I should’ve known better. Now, if you get to read my opinion about this movie and end up hating it as well afterwards, don’t say I didn’t warn you. But for sheer support for Vice Ganda and the local cinema industry, then go ahead and watch it with the entire family. That may never be an excuse enough for me anymore. That may still be good enough for you and the rest of the world.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Azrael permalink
    January 3, 2015 3:44 pm

    For: THE AMAZING PRAYBEYT BENJAMIN

    This movie is entertaining but should at least be rated PG-13 because of its homosexual references. I don’t understand why the MTRCB gave it a PG only. The movie not only sensationalized homosexuality but subliminally encouraged it. Homosexual relationships may be legal under civil law but it shouldn’t be exposed brutally out in the open where children can easily pick up the behaviour. If the MTRCB will rate this movie PG for uninhibited exposure to homosexual behavior, then it should only give a rating of PG-13 for movies with nudity, gross violence, and other sensitive subject matter like paedophilia and incest. I have nothing personal against homosexuality. But if MTRCB can’t do its job right, then it should be disbanded.

    From what I discovered, Part 1 was a PG-13 but Part 2 is only PG. What gives?

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