Sunday, June 04, 2006


cast: tom hanks, denzel washington, antonio banderas

anytime you talk about “philadephia” – the place – a varied number of things cross your mind: the liberty bell, cheese steaks (which incidentally is now available at brothers burger), the moniker “city of brotherly love”, allen iverson’s 76ers, donovan mcnabb’s eagles, bobby abreu’s phillies, simon gagne’s flyers or even lower merion high school – the school kobe bryant played for right before he entered the nba. any of these things may or may not play an influential part in watching “philiadelphia”, the movie, all depending on how you want to interpret it.

the plot seems simple and clear enough. tom hanks, a brilliant lawyer working in a top notch law firm had, through the years always kept the company he was working for in the dark when it came to his homosexual life. unfortunately, his sometimes careless gay lifestyle has caused him to contract the aids virus, another matter he did not divulge to the firm. but eventually, as all secrets do, his employers learned of his disease, and because of this knowledge, they had him fired.

if it were a question of work incompetence, tom might have accepted his fate with passive acquiescence. but tom knew better. he felt himself the victim of aids and homosexual discrimination so he decides to put up a fight and sue his former employers. denzel washington, a small-time lawyer who shamelessly advertises himself on tv to attract potential clients, decides to take tom’s case despite his earlier instinctive aversion and fear towards tom’s disease and his dislike for gay men in general.

the ensuing trial between tom and his former employers became a classic case of a david vs. goliath (1Sa 17:1-58) theme where tom, now unemployed, in tandem with denzel, who’s always desperate for clients were the obvious underdogs.

one thing i liked about this movie was its tendency to be fast-paced despite being tagged as a serious drama. it was like watching an action movie, only instead of being bombarded by non-stop action scenes, the viewer is treated with continuous blow-by-blow accounts of powerfully written dialogue.

another thing i liked about this movie was the whole-hearted support and loyalty given to tom by his entire family: from his parents, to his siblings, to his sibling’s spouses, and up to his boyfriend. (take that michael corleone & family!) no one wanted to cast him out. no one berated or judged his homosexual life. no one distanced himself or herself from his terminal and very contagious disease. in short, their acceptance of a hurting (both socially and physically) family member meant they were there not only in good times, but in difficult times as well.

rating: 5 of 5 stars * * * * *
tom hanks has the midas touch.

1 comment:

rmacapobre said...

relevant movie. it captures the common people's reaction to the AIDs/HIV phenomenon. their irrational fears and prejudices.