Although it may appear and sound like a duck, it does not necessarily have to be one. This is the main theme of Perci Intalan’s comedic film “I Love You, Beksman” featuring Christian Bables as Dali, a young man who, despite all indications of his homosexuality, declares himself as straight, much to the shock of his family and closest companions.
As it is a comedic piece, there is not an expectation for a thorough examination of the human experience or a profound message for the viewers. The main question then becomes – who is the intended audience for this peculiar movie with a clumsily developed romantic plot? Despite the progression towards non-normative thinking, “I Love You Beksman” adheres to societal norms by relying on stereotypes to portray the LGBTQ+ community.
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Dali’s appearance and interests may be influenced by his upbringing, as his father is openly homosexual but still married to his mother. He also works as a makeup artist in his family’s salon, possibly influenced by his parents’ interest in fashion design. This dynamic adds complexity to the story, as Dali is referred to as “girl” by those closest to him until he develops a crush on a girl later on.
Overall, the attractive young man with violet hair, wearing vibrant and patterned clothing, carrying a Yves Saint Laurent handbag and flashy jewelry, is surrounded by LGBTQ+ individuals and dreams of wearing beautiful dresses. However, he identifies as straight and cannot understand why others would think otherwise. Until the moment when finger food is served, the script written by Fatrick Tabada is effective. With well-developed characters reminiscent of Dali, “I Love You, Beksman” could have taken a different direction, one that did not require a girl (Iana Bernardez) to explain his identity to him.
One possible argument in favor of Tabada’s perspective is that societal perceptions of dress have changed, unless one lives under a dictatorship where clothing choices are controlled. However, the excessive use of stereotypes in both Dali’s appearance and actions greatly impacts the credibility of the story for both the characters and the audience. It becomes difficult to believe in a love story when the two individuals are constantly expected to prove themselves to each other in a superficial manner, only to later “stay true to themselves” by reversing their behaviors.
If you put aside the superficial aspects and relax while taking a bite of this sweet cotton candy, it may feel like watching a dramatic soap opera. You may even find yourself thoroughly enjoying the experience. The pleasure comes from the exceptional performances of the entire cast in the film.