Kasal Poster_OfficialVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.26 (23 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joselito Altarejos

Writers: Zigcarlo Dulay, Joselito Altarejos

Cast: Arnold Reyes, Oliver Aquino, Rita Avila, Maureen Mauricio, Rener Concepcion, Ruby Ruiz, Ron Cieno, Chloe Carpio

Synopsis: Kasal is a slice of life drama of a gay couple whose resolve to stay together is challenged as they attend a wedding. It also is an examination on how a gay couple navigates through the different institutions in Philippine society.

MTRCB rating: R-18

Running time: 120 mins



5.0         Tito Valiente (Business Mirror)

“Joselito Altarejos matures as a director in Kasal. Where his artistry was closeted in his other films, hiding behind grand opera resolutions, or behind pastel hues in stories happening in remote islands, here in Kasal, he outs his very simple story and allows the parable to talk to us in a voice that is surprisingly degendered.” (Read full review)

4.5         Shayne Zalameda (Misstache)

“On top of everything, the film will let you see and understand love and its struggles from a different standpoint. And maybe at the end of it you’ll say the world is indeed unfair.” (Read full review)

4.0         Skilty Labastilla (Pinoy Rebyu)

Kasal is a brutally honest depiction of a relationship in crisis that expertly situates the characters’ private troubles in a larger cultural milieu that’s still oppressive to non-heterosexual unions. It’s an age-old theme but Altarejos and writer Zig Dulay avoid the pitfalls of the typical Pinoy gay cinema by focusing not on sex but on the very real fears and anxieties of gay yuppies. The project calls for actors brave enough to expose onscreen their souls more than their skin, and Arnold Reyes and newcomer Oliver Aquino both give their all.”

4.0         Ian Rosales Casocot (The Spy in the Sandwich)

“This is a film that does not hesitate to wallow and meander in the minutiae or ordinary joys, ordinary hurts, and ordinary devastations. You could call that a director going about without a sense of design but I choose to call it honesty instead. It is not a perfect film, but it is brave.” (Read full review)

4.0         Renelson Morelos (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

“Moreover, Kasal has shades of such troubled homosexual relationship dramas as Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color. But rather than chronicling several months or years of a beleaguered affair, Kasal puts it on the hot seat on a single day by way of a joyous wedding, which makes the poignancy all the more telling and immediate.” (Read full review)

4.0         Emil Hofileña (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“The entire movie feels like you’re just kind of eavesdropping on them. It’s amazing what they do because even during the sex scene, it’s not gratuitous at all. It doesn’t try to sensationalize anything. It really is just you watching these extremely intimate moments played out so well. There’s no melodrama in anything. It feels so raw and so real.” (Watch video review)

4.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Ang baseline talaga rito ay ang statement tungkol sa same sex marriage at ang mga bagay na kaya nitong protektahan kapag naisabatas ito. Pero hindi kailanman isinubo sa manood ang gusto nitong i-preach. Subtle ang comparison na ginamit tungkol sa isang kasal na magkahiwalay naman ang loob.” (Read full review)

3.5         J. Neil Garcia

“This film tends to be heavy-handed in its critique of the heternormative bias entirely naturalized in both the secular and religious domains hereabouts, but what moderates and finally saves it is the closely observed life of its central characters, the lovers Paolo and Sherwin, performed excellently by Oliver Aquino and Arnold Reyes, respectively.” (Read full review)

3.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film is overly political, at times too obviously so. The film might be a little too eager to point out the tragic ironies of our country’s approach to marriage and commitment. The film tends to work better when it focuses on the emotional side, with two characters clearly in love but weirdly separated by their own ideas of what their relationship should be.” (Read full review)

3.5         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

“Visually the movie excels. The shot composition is excellent; there is one scene where we see one person’s eyes through the rearview mirror with water splashing on the windshield while he is talking about the impermanence of some things. The water splatters and is wiped away by the windshield wipers.” (Read full review)

3.5         Carl Papa (Whatever Carl)

“It is beautifully acted, at times beautifully shot but it is not the technical aspects of the film that is the heart of the film, it is the sincerity of the story and how it is told.” (Read full review)

3.5         Ghio Ong (Philippine Online Chronicles)

Kasal (The Commitment) may have failed to produce buckets of tears, yet it may have helped open more minds and spark more intelligent and fruitful discussions.” (Read full review)

3.0         Jonell Estillore (Film Police)

Kasal examines the fragile human capacity to love with such admirable honesty and boldness, and in its fullness, an exploration of feelings: that punch inside one’s soul, that tinge of desire ultimately overpowered by affection, that irrefutable torment of getting hurt. Longing is encapsulated in every frame of Altarejos’ magnum opus.” (Read full review)

3.0         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“For a film made for the independent scene, Kasal struggles against melodrama but occasionally slips right into it. Moments of fragile silence are cracked by scenes where there’s unnecessary noise. One scene early on nearly breaks the film in half, forcing friction where there is none. Thankfully, Kasal ends with a solemn and silent pause, because there are no words for those we lose.” (Read full review)

3.0         Don Jaucian (Philippine Star)

“When Kasal isn’t busy on the hysterics and the political, it shines as a devastating portrait of an ordeal, one that isn’t just based on homosexuality alone, but the whole emotional machinery of relationships as well.” (Read full review)

3.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

Kasal‘s premise lives in the harsher reality that a wedding, of all possible events, will further test the relationship of a gay couple when they’re deprived of such in their own country. Where the film completely succeeds is its sincerity in depicting such. I could have lived without the unnecessary additional statements (that of indies and commercial filmmaking as for starters), but when the film shifts back its focus to its main message, it delivers.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

“The film skidded along melodrama but not fully crossing the line. Inevitably, incomplete characterization is the main hindrance why Kasal falls short on its goal. Paolo (Oliver Aquino), the younger lover, is the character that should draw audience sympathy, but Aquino could not rise about the limits of the script, and he is still not yet experienced to deliver a more nuanced performance.” (Read full review)

3.0         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“A lot of the film remains quite poorly done. The overall craft of the film is inelegant, and its ideas implemented in a fashion that is too obvious. There is still a lot within its thinking which makes it worthy of consideration, but it still feels like a missed opportunity at something truly great.” (Read full review)

2.5         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“This film tackles love and commitment in the context of a homosexual couple, but such issues also hold true for any couple, gay or straight.  In fact, we have seen this same story in various incarnations with various characters, in both local and foreign films. This is a very universal conflict that no one group holds exclusively.” (Read full review)

2.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“It’s a film that gays of all sensibilities would be so open to love—for it deliberates a pertinent subject at a time when discussions like this deserve attention, boasting a pool of skilled actors devoted to its beliefs and driven by a desire to approach things from a sober perspective—but it is weakened by the tendency to overexplain and repeat its arguments, and as the narrative comes to an end it’s hard to tell whether the reaction evoked is sympathy or tolerance.” (Read full review)

2.0         Jaynormous Mind

Kasal could have used a little more cuts in some of its scenes. Because there are scenes that will make you look at your watch and probably roll your eyes and I’m not even referring to the more or less 10-minute sex scene.” (Read full review)

1.5         Jason Jacobo (Young Critics Circle)

Kasal purveys the heteronormative romance that infantilizes homosexual arrangements in the country by choosing to stage the dramaturgy of erotic failure within the idiocies of a rural matrimonial rite mystified further by bourgeois wedding videography. The queer melancholia that one will countenance here can only run contiguous with an affliction almost clinical in its histrionics. Certainly, one of the year’s most affected films.” 

1.0         Katrina Stuart Santiago (Manila Times)

Kasal as such is but a tired old love story, which was also way too long, had an unbelievable wedding at its center, and was badly edited. It is beyond me why this was screened at all. That it won in the Cinemalaya X Awards? Consider me floored.” (Read full review)

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