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Review of Vivamax movie, ‘Putahe,’ a potent dish of sex and violence
‘PUTAHE’ is from director Roman Perez Jr., the prolific maker of such provocative films as “Adan”, “Taya”, House Tour”, “Siklo” and “Hugas”, all potent combinations of sex and violence.
“Putahe” is set in a remote island called Isla Puerta and the story is told from the point of view of a 16-year old girl, Jenny (Ayanna Misola).
Jenny is curious about her sexuality and the pre-title credits introduces her to us with her pleasuring herself with the help of a live fish that she places in between her thighs. She has a boyfriend (Massimo Schofield), a boatman, but she refuses to surrender her virginity to her.
A sexy woman from the city arrives in their island, Euka (Janelle Tee), and puts up a carinderia where the men quickly flock since she also offers free sexual encounters with them. Jenny dreams of taking up culinary arts someday and she befriends Euka to teach her how to cook the sumptuous dishes she offers to the men in their island who just adore her cooking.
Euka is a willing teacher. She mentors Jenny not only about cooking but also about sex between women. And Jenny is a willing student. This opens up her sensuality and soon, she also agrees to have sex with her boyfriend.
The women in the island naturally abhor Euka for seducing their men. But Euka opens up to Jenny and tells her that she used to live in the island as a girl named Eunice. At 16, she fell in love with Jenny’s father (Ronnie Lazaro), but he chooses to marry Jenny’s mother. Broken-hearted, she left the island, not knowing she’s already pregnant with Ronnie’s child. She goes through various trials and tribulations and vows to return to the island one day to exact retribution on its denizens who shunned and oppressed her before.
You would think that this angle would cause all the mayhem in the film’s climax that is obligatory in a Roman Perez movie. But no, the movie takes another turn in its plotting to surprise you with its finale that is a massacre, just like “Siklo” where everybody dies. Only, the massacre scene here is not a bloodbath like in “Siklo” but more of a vomit-bath since you see the victims puking and throwing up.
There’s one character, the village slut named Elise, who is shown being murdered in cold blood, but her case is not at all resolved. And yes, one special character is shown perishing in a clear case of arson for a fiery death. And the murderer is shown getting away with it.
The film moves at a pretty fast pace so you won’t get bored, what all the sex scenes paraded on screen, both heterosexual and sapphic love scenes. Janelle Tee gets the highest score as she gets to bed not only Ayanna Misola, but also all the other men in the village, even the repulsive looking ones.
In all fairness to Janelle, she can really act. She is at her finest in that scene where she recounts her past to Ayanna, you can feel all her pain with tears effortlessly welling up her eyes. In contrast, Ayanna’s performance is so raw.
Her delivery of her lines lack conviction and most of the time, her eyes are just dead and do not register the feelings being conveyed in her lines. But she won’t disappoint male viewers in the disrobing department. She has no qualms even in her lesbian love scene with Janelle.
As for her leading man, Massimo, he also bares himself with glee but we wish he would stop mugging while delivering his lines on camera. All the making faces can be distracting and Perez should have controlled him. Technical credits are fine, specially the cinematography that does justice to the pastoral beauty of the island.