“The Commitment” (“Kasal”)

A Wedding

Amos Lassen

Sherwin (Arnold Reyes) is a lawyer who has dealt with many annulment cases.  Paolo (Oliver Aquino) is an indie film director.  They had been in a relationship with each other for the past three years. When Oliver suggested that they take their relationship to the next level and get married, Sherwin insisted that same-sex marriage will never happen in the Philippines, all the while thinking about a time when Paolo cheated on him a year ago. 

They visited Sherwin’s hometown where they went to attend the wedding of his teenage sister Mary Jane who became pregnant by her teenage boyfriend Bong. Before, during and after the wedding ceremony, Paolo and Sherwin began to see more clearly how and where they stand in terms of the public and decide to make very important decisions about their own relationship.

Sherwin is pragmatic and logical while Paolo is the more emotional and sentimental partner. This film tackles love and commitment in the context of a gay couple, and the issues that they face are the same as any other couple, also hold true for any couple, gay or straight.  

Director Joselito Altarejos takes the sensitive script he co-wrote with Zig Dulay brings it to life. He captures the simple rural matrimonial rites and all its attendant traditions in radiantly dramatic and evocative camera angles. The film gives us

a very good discussion on various aspects of relationships, love and commitment and equality in all areas. What we really see is the silent oppression of gay people and it presents a strong argument on why we have been fighting for the basic right to marriage.


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