‘Gameboys: The Movie’ Review: Essential coming out, coming-of-age film

Directed by Ivan Andrew Payawal

First of all, I’m a fan of Gameboys The Series. I’m a fan of Elijah Canlas and Kokoy de Santos even before the series premiered during the pandemic. Not that it really matters but I might get too carried away with my review, I wouldn’t notice it.

I was not sure how I felt when there’s a Gameboys movie coming. Cinemas in the Philippines are still not open and the bar has been set high by the series, I feel like I’m protecting how important it is, and the fear of what if the film disappoints me is there. But I’m still excited to see it.

Gameboys The Movie is an essential coming out and coming-of-age film. What really made me appreciate it is that the story moves forward. While there are bread crumbs of the events in the series, I can honestly say that the film can stand on its own. The themes it tackles are familiar but the execution is beautiful and effective.

There aren’t a lot of boys’ love movies in the Philippines, or at least that we know of, Gameboys The Movie is certainly among the best. You can feel that this was made for the story of Cairo and Gavreel to move forward, not because of the fans or just to make a movie out of something that can be considered phenomenal.

It gets to be uncomfortable when it needs to, warm when you don’t expect it to. The film knows its characters. It knows where they came from and where they will go to. There’s a certain comfort in watching these characters. The line between fantasy and reality in most boys’ love stories is drawn here. The story, like the series, is relatable and more grounded. The characters grow and move forward and it goes with a pace not too much, balancing the needed drama, comedy and romance the movie can present.

Elijah Canlas and Kokoy de Santos have evolved as actors. You can definitely say that Cairo and Gavreel are part of their lives now. Maybe that’s where the line between fiction and reality isn’t clear.

Adrianna So, Kyle Velino, Miggy Jimenez, Kych Minemoto and Ms. Angie Castrence are all remarkable with their characters. I want a best friend like Pearl, and the romance between Terrence and Wesley is interesting enough for it to be delved further into another story. Kych’s Achilles might be the smallest role among the young actors in the film but you see enough the layers put into his character and his portrayal. And Ms. Angie Castrence, wow! I mean, I hate her but her performance, her character feels too real, her lines cut deep.

I enjoyed the movie more than I expected. It’s surprisingly emotionally overwhelming. You get more than what you came for so it’s definitely worth the ticket.


‘Gameboys The Movie’ is now available for streaming on KTX.PH and Ticket2Me.

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