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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Maryo de los Reyes explores new cinematic territory in “TOROTOT”

SHOWBIZ DRIBBLE - Salve V. Asis -

Maryo de los Reyes is one director who’s not afraid to explore new cinematic territory. In Torotot, Direk Maryo treads on sensitive ground. The subject is adultery and its dark underbelly.

The premise of Torotot is this: Is the killing of an adulterous spouse caught redhanded legally and morally justified?

In the hands of a less skillful director, the movie tackling such a contentious subject -- crimes of passion -- could easily unravel and end up either a farce or a porn flick. But Direk Maryo guides the story along with a strong firm hand, never losing sight of the theme.

He had lots of help from the film's stars – Maui Taylor, Yul Servo, Precious Adona and Baron Geisler. They meshed seamlessly as the couples caught in the web of adulterous liaisons.

Maui and Baron's marriage is floundering; the husband can't understand why his wife cares more for her pet dogs than him. She violently rejects his advances, once smashing his face with a blender.

Baron couldn't believe that Maui is seeing someone else, until his friend Yul tells him he saw her with another man. His doubt growing, Baron begins to shadow his wife. He catches her and her pet trainer doing it on a table in her veterinary clinic.

He kills them both, and is arrested and tried. And here Torotot delves into a legal minefield. He is acquitted and simply ordered by the court to keep away from their residence and other specified places.

Yul is happy his friend is freed, convinced that he had every reason to kill his unfaithful wife. But Yul's wife, Precious, who is Maui's best friend, is furious. Precious knows that Maui had earlier discovered that Baron had been keeping a mistress, and had fallen out of love for him.

Precious herself begins to lose interest in her husband and gravitates towards a meat vendor she meets. She becomes daring, getting on with improper sexual relations even during a break in a prayer meeting in her house!

Now it's Yul's turn to suspect his wife. Encouraged by Baron's acquittal, he sets up a trap for Precious and her lover. He catches them in the act, but didn't have courage to pull the trigger. Instead it's the lover's relative, a policeman, who accidentally walks in on the tryst.

Precious is convicted of adultery, and Yul and Baron are only too glad that justice had been served.

Sounds chauvinist, and in a way it is. But Torotot stands on solid legal footing. The Revised Penal Code is indeed stacked against the woman. The Code is clear: "Adultery is committed by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void." It's punishable by a long prison term.

A husband, on the other hand, can only be accused of concubinage, which, unfortunately, is harder to prove in court.

Torotot, which has been rated R13 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, is thought-provoking because there is a serious effort to amend the Penal Code to level the legal playing field for women, so to speak. And here Maryo de los Reyes succeeds to make the viewers think.

* * *

Actor Matt Damon and wife Luciana are the parents of a newborn girl. Luciana gave birth to Gia Zavala Damon last week.

The couple already have one daughter, two-year-old Isabella.

Damon, 32, stars in the Bourne action moves. He and friend Ben Affleck shared an Oscar for writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting.

* * *

International singing star Ricky Martin also became a father, to twin boys, but through a surrogate mother.

The Puerto Rican sensation will spend the rest of the year "out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children," according to a statement released by his spokesman.

So is Ricky finally saying goodbye to "la vida loca?"

ACTOR MATT DAMON

BARON

BEN AFFLECK

MAUI

PLACE

TOROTOT

YUL

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