THE THIRD PARTY (2016) Review
Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana
From independent filmmaking to mainstream, director Jason Paul Laxamana has been one of the most active directors in Philippine cinemas today. And now, directing his first Star Cinema film, with three of the most talented actors in Philippine cinema.
The title itself hints at the film’s complication but The Third Party is more than that. Having Sam Milby finally accept a gay role is quite surprising, and tackling a story that pushes gender fluidity isn’t normal, even in independent films. The film is brave for its themes, and maybe also with some of its scenes with Locsin, Marudo and Milby decently and sometimes genuinely portray their roles that makes some of the moments defy the norm of attraction, the way we usually see in life.
It’s fun, light, clears some of the stereotypes of being gay or being bisexual or even being confused with ones’ preference in life. Once it gets honest, it doesn’t go long or overly dramatic with its confrontation scenes which I think are also an honest take on their characters. Andi always knows what she wants but complications always gets in her way, and Angel Locsin did a terrific job with that character, the film never loses how her character wants to be something even though she’s busy with everything happening in her life that includes her relationship with Max and with Christian. The problems and how they were solved is presented in the film, but they don’t go as deep as you want them to be.
The story is new but it follows the usual Star Cinema formula wherein the characters has issues with families and with oneself. It can be an eye opener to prejudiced people who thinks that being gay, or having feelings with the same sex is simple, because it surely isn’t and The Third Party reminds us that judging people with their preferences is unfair and doesn’t define who they are as a person.
The film definitely feels like a Star Cinema, director Jason Paul Laxamana gave what the studio wants from the story, but it’s not as good as the ones he wrote and directed. Maybe, as The Third Party is evident of his effective direction, Star Cinema would let Laxamana do what he does best, directing his own story. Because from Babagwa to Love is Blind and Mercury is Mine, his works has a lot of surprises, more than you could ask for visually and emotionally.
OUT OF 3.5 5 STARS
“The Third Party” is now showing in Philippine cinemas nationwide from Star Cinema. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.