Upon hearing the title of this indie film, Imoral, everyone would surely imagine another movie overflowing with sex scenes. However, as the story goes on, one would realize it is more than about an erotic portrayal of another man-to-gay relationship, but rather open the eyes of the public on the predicaments of couples in which one keeps an extra-marital relationship. This is true as demonstrated on how Adolfo Alix Jr. directed the movie: minimizing issues on the sexual relations of the man, his wife and his other man, and focusing on the problems the three undergo together.
Sex scenes showed in the movie are less than one would expect, and the story itself tackles about the immorality of actions brought by money aside from that on the context of having affairs with the same sex or outside marriage. This love triangle story of Dante (Paolo Paraiso), Abi (Katherine Luna), and Jonathan (Arnold Reyes) creates a feeling of disturbance to its viewers as it leaves a question to be answered, “When is an act considered immoral? ” The movie Imoral begins with the couple Dante and Abi searching for a new apartment where they could stay.
Eventually, they found one, but introduced to their landlady Jonathan, an engineer and the gay lover of Dante, and Abi as husband and wife, and Dante as Jonathan’s cousin. The three wanted to refrain from interacting with their neighbors to minimize hearsays about them and their set-up, thus Dante scolded Abi when one of their neighbors invited her and her husband to join Couples for Christ. Meanwhile, Jonathan found an acquaintance in one of their neighbors, Gabriel, and even hired him to work in the construction site where he is working.
Unfortunately, Jonathan met an accident and it was Gabriel who took care of him; Dante was in the province at that time to attend his sick father’s needs, and Abi was looking for a new job. When Dante came and saw Gabriel, he got angry and jealous and beat him, and Gabriel never showed again. One night, Dante found a bag of money inside the taxi he is driving. The three of them argued whether to return the money or not, and decided to keep it instead. However, their attitudes toward each other changed, and the three wanted to go separate ways each partaking of a share from the money.
Because of that, Dante decided to return the money to its rightful owner. In the resolution, Abi and Jonathan changed residences again; but the whereabouts of Dante was not clear, if he died in an accident or he took the money with him. The three main actors, Paolo Paraiso, Katherine Luna and Arnold Reyes, delivered pretty good depiction on each of the main characters of the story. Each of them gave a unique spice to the movie thus we may say that they blended well on every scene.
Paraiso, despite portraying a bisexual in the film, maintained masculine figure to attest him as the “man” among them. Luna performed her role with a rather worn-down look to provide further characterization to Abi, the wife who also gets tired with the set-up they are into where she shares her husband to another man. Lastly, Reyes provides the character of Jonathan with justification as the homosexual lover of Dante through his actions: filled with passion especially when doing sensual scenes with Dante.
Their acting was impressive and well executed, without sacrificing the realistic effect of the scenes. From the viewpoint of people who have little knowledge about homosexual relationships, what the actors did is almost excellent. The movie’s theme, as its title may imply, is about immorality of deeds. The movie tackles about an open relationship of man, a woman, and a gay, which is commonly regarded in our society as immoral. Even the act of the three to keep the money Dante had found is also considerable to be immoral, despite the justification of the problems they are going through.
The key scenes in the film that expound the story and the theme include: (1) when the clothes and underwear of Dante and Jonathan got mixed up, showing the complexity and dynamism of their set-up; (2) when Dante and Jonathan made love in Jonathan’s room while Abi was in the living room aware of what the two were doing, exposing the prudent jealousy Abi feels against Jonathan; (3) when Dante beat up Gabriel after seeing him together with Jonathan after he returned from the province, showing the vulnerability of Dante to feel jealousy against the people around his lover; and (4) when the three confronted one another and pleaded to get separated from each other, revealing the somewhat greedy side of Abi and Jonathan when it comes to money and relationships.
However, the setting of the film was quite paradoxical to its theme. Most of the scenes were taken inside the apartment where the three stay, and it was filled with lots of pictures of religious icons especially Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. Such pictures seemed to be inappropriate in portraying such social situations. The movie itself is a manifestation of the unusual face of reality in our society. The movie is an eye opening to people regarding the gay-man-wife relationship, and that this is really happening in our society, along with their actions dealing with the money. These problems are just of the issues encountered in our society.
The movie is just a messenger that those are real things and that what the actors and actresses depicted is only an inch of how people would react to these. Well, the problems illustrated by the movie are so common nowadays. We know people who are engaged in either extra-marital or same-sex relationships, some even both. On the other hand, we have seen drivers who returned money left in their taxis but the movie depicted the other side of the world. Dante, Abi and Jonathan kept the money simply because they are not well-off in life. These are some of the evidences which are embarked in the film projecting some of the actual problems or put up as realities in our society. In a sense, the film tries to promote the idea that open relationships lead to more problems.
The common problems of the key characters were mostly because Dante keeps his nurturing lover despite the fact that he is already a married man. If Dante would stick to his earlier gay relationship with Jonathan, or if he stayed solely with Abi after their marriage, then his life could be less difficult than what he is experiencing as shown in the film. But Dante had no choice but to keep the two of them because of their social status. Being the only professional, Jonathan gets the responsibility of being the breadwinner, as compared to Dante who is just a taxi driver. This situation also suggests the importance of education — that finishing a degree implies better job opportunities and better status in life.
Imoral motivates us to study well so that in the near future we would also be professionals and alleviate ourselves from problems poverty imposes. It also reminds us to be faithful in our relationships and maintain them bipartite, no matter what our gender orientations are. Stories about a man, his wife, and a mistress are common nowadays; but this film features another form of love triangle where the man’s other lover is another man, and the three stay under one roof. This movie is not only about the gay engineer and the bisexual taxi driver. It is also about the wife and the money; and much more about what is right from wrong amidst the different crises the three undergo as they stay in the companionship of one another.
For perverts in search for a movie filled with steaming sexy scenes, this movie is surely not for them. Unlike the other pink indie films released in the market, the gayness of this film may not even arouse the libido of those who are eager for one. But for people, especially couples, who are planning to have an open relationship and love more than one partner at the same time, this movie could be of help to change their minds. For people who are looking for the philosophical essence of righteousness despite the dilemma of poverty in our lives, this movie could somehow help answer the question the story itself leaves unanswered: “When is an act considered immoral? ”