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#MMFF2020: ‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars’ Review

THE BOY FORETOLD BY THE STARS (2020) Review
Directed by Dolly Dulu

I can’t remember the last time I felt really good after watching a movie. The pandemic forced us to watch movies at the small screens of our gadgets with distractions here and there, in addition to the stress that we are experiencing now.

Luckily, I was invited to the special advance screening of ‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars’ – one of the entries of this year’s online Metro Manila Film Festival. It was quite a different experience going back to a cinema for 9 months and I’m glad it was with this film.

I’m not new to the boys’ love (BL) subgenre, I’ve seen quite a lot and have been a fan for two years now. And I am happy to write that being the first BL movie in the Philippines, The Boy Foretold by the Stars is beautiful.

What makes the film work is that the chemistry, the story and the acting didn’t felt like they were trying hard. Everything felt natural. Some may be bothered that the main leads in a young romantic movie are two boys but if people give the story a chance, the film actually blurs the idea that love can only be between a male and a female. And not just because the two are charming and really looked like they were falling for each other, but also because the film presents a stage or phase for young people to discover themselves. And it was presented so well.

It’s not a perfect film, you could feel or see at times that maybe it could have been edited better, but the overall feel of the film is overwhelming. Overwhelming because finally, we have a movie that tackles young love between two boys. And I love that it felt so innocent, the emotions between the two felt pure. This is really how we love when we were young.

This is definitely an impressive directorial debut for Dolly Dulu. And kudos for casting new actors that really get into their characters. Adrian Lindayag’s sincere performance deserves an award. Keann Johnson’s angst and charm transcends the screen, and what a fun role for Iyah Mina!

It may not be the first choice for the family to watch this MMFF, but The Boy Foretold by the Stars is entertaining, has a lot of heart and shows a great representation of boys’ love or young love. Would I recommend it? Definitely yes.

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars’ streams on December 25 at http://www.upstream.ph as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 from Clever Minds, The Dolly Collection, Purple Pig and Brainstorm Lab.

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