Gameboys The Series follows the carefree lives of two young Filipino gamers Cai (Elijah Canlas) and Gav (Kokoy de Santos). The boys become ‘acquainted’ after competing in an online game where the relatively unknown Gav won a over much-touted Cai. In the Philippines, young boys such as our main characters compete as a team or as individual players in such games as DOTA or Mobile Legends. Some Filipino gamers have won huge prizes in recent international tournaments.
Here’s the link to Episode 1 on YouTube.
– Edited by TheFNGee
Elijah Canlas, in my opinion, represents the future of Philippine cinema. The magic of his performance lies with his expressive eyes and subtle body language. Unlike other actors of limited capacity, Canlas commands attention and respect for an actor at such a young age. His role as Cairo Lazaro is a departure to the intense, highly-charged roles of the indie films (esp. Kalel 15) viewers come to expect of him.
Kokoy de Santos, on the other hand, has this exuberant and naugthy persona that is easily identifiable in the same vein as his famous curly hair. He is perfectly cast as the more ‘aggressive’ Gavreel Alarcon, named after an angel, but exhibits a devilish character. The episode titled ‘Pass or Play’ connotes to an informal courtship as Gav pursues a rather cautious, yet smitten Cai.
At less than 15 minutes, Episode 1 offers a fascinating introduction into the main characters. There is already a hint of trouble in Cai’s family, which we can expect to unfold in upcoming installments. Is this Boys Love or is the series leaning towards a gay coming-of-age?
- How the story progresses offers a lot of what we can expect in future episodes. It’s aggressive nature never felt artificial or forced
- Canlas, as expected, offers a multi-faceted performance. He’s already diving into the unknown as he accepts Gav’s challenge of what could be the start of an intense, albeit, uncertain relationship
- De Santos appears a bit flustered as if he’s into some strenuous activity. If that is intentional, then it adds up to an intriguing character. Is he just being naughty and teasing a rather naïve fellow gamer, or is he seriously in hot pursuit?
- Ash Malanum’s script holds the key for an engaging episode. While realistic and in-your-face, it’s also romantic in both gay’ish and BL ways. How the names of the boys (Cairo, Paris, and London bring a smile to my face.)
- The muted trash talk is just enough to offer comedic relief as both characters try to get to know-each-other sorta way;
- I find the on-screen chemistry as a bit lacking with some hesitation versus spontaneity.
While fast-paced, I commend the way the episode progresses – its cute, fun, and light but at the same time has both substance and form.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. [See our Review Guide]