Driven by Dreams
Jun Robles Lana’s “Die Beautiful” is about a man (Paolo Ballesteros) who is driven by his dreams of being able to win a gay pageant. As simple and as familiar its plot is, it embraces itself interestingly to a non-linear narrative that supports to the story and message it wants to express. The film begins with Trisha (the feminine side of Ballesteros) at her funeral, having her makeup adjusted by best friend Barb (Christian Bables).
We do not know the reason for his death and it is a mystery for some of his close friends. But what we learn is that she passed out shortly after winning the beauty pageant, something she had dreamt of since her youth. (yes, the pronouns are confusing).
The back-and-forth between Trisha’s earlier life and his dying state makes for a sense of indulgence and enormity to the overall narrative. Performance-wise, this film is amazing. Paolo Ballesteros gives one of the best acting performances all year so far as does Christian Bables, as Barbs. Together their chemistry is exceptional and I honestly cannot imagine the film without them.
The film shows us life as a misguided and uncertain series of events to joy. The pursuit to happiness might not happen on the way we expected it to be, but it has already been there when we don’t see it.
There are moments that we least expect to happen and there is death, where beauty wears its strongest suit. I realize that I have not said much but I do hope that it is enough that you will make it a point to see this film.