‘My Father, Myself’ Review: Pushing the uncomfortable truths

MY FATHER, MYSELF (2022) Review
Directed by Joel Lamangan

Probably one of the most controversial films to be released on the big screen, Joel Lamangan’s family drama tackles not only just infidelity but also gay love. It’s not the usual story we see in cinemas during the holiday season but like what Lamangan said, these stories need to be told.

You know when you watch a film and you’ll know that this or that director definitely helmed the film you’re watching? That’s the case with My Father, Myself. You know it’s a Joel Lamangan film: complicated family drama, decently mounted production and well-acted.

But if there’s one actor that got my attention, it’s Dimples Romana. You know she studied her character. From what her character carries to what her character wants. You’ll feel her presence even if she’s not the one talking. She’s just so good at acting, you’d think maybe the story would be more interesting if it was told in her point of view. And maybe it is. Because her character carries this unimaginable weight emotionally.

The dialogues are quite cringey. While it feels like the story is inspired by a fan fiction, I hoped that the lines are grounded enough to make the characters more relatable, more real.

But it is a Joel Lamangan film after all, and big confrontation scenes are, you may say, essential to his films. And what a confrontation scene it is indeed. It is what drives the film, pushing the uncomfortable truths of its characters.

It’s obvious that this is your not-so-typical holiday film. But if you’re into family dramas and complicated relationships, My Father, Myself will deliver you both in a decently-acted film that opens the doors for tabooed themes such as the LGBTQIA+ and the realities of families that suffer because of their unspoken truths.

I wished that the story has more weight. That these conflicts could be also an opportunity for people to be more open-minded. Because it’s not just a gay love story, it’s more than that. It’s explaining that attraction is not limited to gender or even by how you’re perceived by people around you. It’s the action you make of these uncontrollable feelings that will define you as a person and the consequences that go with those actions.

‘My Father, Myselfis an official entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2022. Opening in cinemas December 25, 2022 from 3:16 Media Network and Mentorque Productions. Rated R-18 by the MTRCB.

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