"Muli" (english Title - The Affair) is a love story between two men which spans four decades. They met in their youth and carried on an affair through their adulthood. One of them is Jun - an ex-seminarian who, like many young people in the 60s, was drawn into the communist movement - but grew up and became a teacher. The other is Errol - who grew up to be a lawyer.
It is a beautiful story. It is mostly set in Baguio - and the city of Pines provided a beautiful backdrop as we catch a glimpse of the lives of these two men. The Central character is Jun. To be honest - watching the movie - I wonder if there were gay men like Jun and Errol in the 60s and 70s. Jun is not effeminate - and apart from his staying unmarried through most of his life --- most people would not think he is gay. The same is true for his love interest Errol. In fact - Errol got married and had two sons. I wonder if they existed because growing up in the 80s - the only gay men that I knew were those characters acted out by Rhoderick Paulate, Bernardo Bernardo, Dolphy and Joey de Leon. They were flamboyant, obnoxious, funny, and yes - acted out like girls and they wanted to be girls. It was actually only in the 90s - with the TV show "Will and Grace" did I realize that there are many personalities that a gay man can take.
The movie explored many conflicts that a gay man can face. It tackled the position of Catholicism when it comes to homosexuality. One of the characters - an older woman played by Anita Linda - said that if the Catholic Church was ever going to accept people of Jun's kind - it will never be in his lifetime. It also tackled the view of the members of the communist party in the 70s with regards to a man having a relationship with another man. The communist party is progressive - but when it comes to same sex relationships - it was viewed to be a sub-ordinate problem as opposed to the nation's problems. This is coming from the same set of people who sees that a relationship of a man and a woman is of great importance in their movement. It also explored the emotions and the psychological torment most gay men face when they try to express their homosexuality covertly --- hiding it from the people they love ( like their family, wife, or children ).
It is definitely a beautiful film - well written, great cinematography, and well cast. Sid Lucero - as always - does not disappoint. When he delivers his lines as a "burgis" (bourgeoisie) - or as a revolutionary - or as a gay man - he delivers it with just a smoothness that you just believe what he is saying and who he is in the film. Cogie Domingo on the other hand has improved since I last watched him - but his performance is overshadowed by Lucero.
If you are looking for a love story worth watching - I totally recommend for you to grab a copy of "Muli". Please do not download an illegal copy from the internet. Movies like "Muli" need paying patrons like us - so we can encourage film makers like Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr. to continue making beautiful films.