Bwakaw has serene cinematography, capturing the simple and solitary life of an old gay man with picture-postcard shots of a town in the rural Philippines.
Eddie Garcia brings in his signature biting and candor sense of humor, but adds likeability and vulnerability to Mang Rene, making the old curmudgeon entertaining and relatable.
The film is at times funny, but overall sad. As Mang Rene finds new meaning in his late years and the film ends, it’s as if you watched an inevitable sunset that you too will eventually face.
The film is as straightforward as that. It never attempts to reach for something deeper and more profound than the same old story of growing old, with another character thrown in for the predictable self-realization of the protagonist.
It doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking (considering it was submitted for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars) but it’s still an endearing story that reflects on growing old and enjoying what you have left, rather than mulling over what is yet to come.
Bwakaw is a straightforward yet charming film about friendship and self-acceptance at the sunset of one's life.