Movie review: ‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars’ in the eyes of a BL fan

Adrian Lindayag and Keann Johnson star in the MMFF entry ‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars.’ MMFF

When the Metro Manila Film Festival announced the 10 films participating in this year’s edition, I was immediately struck by “The Boy Foretold By the Stars.”

The title and trailer gave me an impression of the characters discovering young love and the “kilig” that comes with it — a tried-and-tested formula, also seen in the successful Thai BL series “2gether,” which caught Filipinos by storm this year.

As a fan of “2gether,” “The Boy Foretold” struck a familiar nerve in my BL heart. I anticipated watching it.

Last Monday, I got invited to an intimate screening of the movie with select members of the press. Cast members, director Dolly Dulu, and producers were also there, curious how we would respond to their film. (Just a side note: The film was finished before the coronavirus lockdown started in March.)

I sat alone and far from the rest of the screening attendees, because I wanted to enjoy the movie without being conscious of people looking at me while I react to each scene. And true enough, I caught myself smiling, laughing, getting annoyed — and crying.

Yes, I cried.

In other, recent BL productions spurred by the popularity of “2gether” — and I mean no shade — straight actors were cast in gay roles. That’s alright. I mean, that is the essence of “acting” or playing a role. But the truth fades right after the closing billboard.

In “The Boy Foretold,” Adrian Lindayag, a real-life, effeminate, gay man, plays an effeminate high school student, Dominic, who found love unexpectedly with the campus jock Luke, portrayed by Keann Johnson. Luke was feeling a bit lost after his breakup with girlfriend (Rissey Reyes), but found comfort in spending time with Dominic during a weekend retreat.

I don’t want to preempt the story, but I can say the scenes were exciting. I was rooting for the stars to align for Dominic and Luke. Sometimes, though, destiny has other plans for us — plans that we may not like, plans that may surprise us.

While Keann and Adrian may be newbies on the big screen, they were effective in portraying their characters as naive and innocent. Their chemistry will be a breath of fresh air for moviegoers. The producers and director could have easily cast familiar actors for this movie to draw fans to the box office, but they opted to go for young and new faces, giving the story fresh flavor.

Keann’s portrayal of Luke was smooth. You can feel how his character pulls back and pushes forward in some circumstances, indicating his confusion about his sexuality. Adrian, on the other hand, eased into his role with nuances that only a real-life effeminate gay man can do.

BL fans, may you also find that spark of joy in your BL heart when you watch this. I have a really good feeling that BL fans, here and abroad, will enjoy this movie. It’s showing starting Christmas Day via upstream.ph.

You need not be a psychologist, a relationship counselor, or even just in love to understand and completely embrace the message of the movie — that love will eventually finds its way to you, with a little help from the stars.

Credit belongs to : www.abs-cbn.com

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