Paraluman: Movie Review

We're seeing a pattern with VivaMax as an online streaming service. The breakneck speed that they are releasing films is amusing and alarming all at the same time. Sadly, most of the films we have seen from them have been consistently controversial, bad, and tackless. "Paraluman" once again falls under that same trend. This was a film that was rather pointless, witless, and useless - that's not even putting into consideration that "Paraluman" tries to whitewash its disturbing content, making it acceptable all in the name of love.
When a young woman Mia (Rhen Escaño) is forced to go to the province and live with his brother after her father's death, she expects nothing good from it. But when she meets Peter (Jao Mapa), a married man, she instantly falls for him. With nothing else to do to pass the time, Mia decides to find creative ways to spend time with Peter. Soon the two fall in love and cannot resist each other. But with such a small town in their midst, can the two avoid the gossiping and meddling of the townsfolk?    
Maybe Jao Mapa knew that "Paraluman" was simply a bad project to begin with and he awkwardly couldn't remove himself from his obligations to it so he wasn't really into it. That's just our theory but he was simply off his game in this film. Not only was there a lack of chemistry between him and Rhen Escaño but even in his scenes that he was all alone, he just came off as awkward and unnatural in his portrayal as the confused Peter. Surprisingly, Rhen Escaño was not as bad as Jao Mapa but trying to keep up with his partner's lack of enthusiasm was going to be an uphill battle which Rhen Escaño wasn't able to sustain. Another huge issue besides the acting was the story and writing of "Paraluman". The story was as barebones and simple as you can get but worse, there's really no redeeming factor here. Furthermore, it also somewhat glorifies a taboo subject (an illegal one even in the Philippines) that will definitely offend a chunk of the viewers who even dare view it. The ending in particular was unnecessary for us. If this portion was removed, the film could have been less controversial and a lot more redeemable even. Unfortunately, at its final form, "Paraluman" has no substance that's worth investing your money and your time on. 
Rating: half a reel

Why you should watch it:
- the cinematography was great but that was mostly it

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- there's nothing good here in terms of actual film experience and useful content
- the lack of chemistry between Jao Mapa and Rhen Escaño was awkwardly bad
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