Die Beautiful is one of the MMFF 2016 entries that caught my interest because of the best actor award that Paolo Ballesteros acquired at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Besides his talent in the make-up transformation which he is now famous for, Paolo also proved to be a brilliant actor. Seeing this movie made me understand why he soooo deserves the title.
Die Beautiful is about Tricia Echevarria and her struggles as a gay who aspires to be a beauty queen despite the constant losses in the pageants (he always sucked at Q&A) and an extremely homophobic father. I’d say the movie mirrored the big-time struggles of gay people, on how everyday is a constant fight against the judgmental society and the continuous justification of their place in the community. The choice of words in the script, and not to mention the superb acting of Paolo Ballesteros and Christian Bables (Barbs, I love you and I need a friend like you!) made the story real and relatable.
I liked the narration sequence, on how it made me guess what happened (why was Tricia hospitalized the first time around and why did she die) and who’s who (I kept guessing who’s Jesse and how special he was). The fact that Tricia’s college tragedy was given enough closure was also cool, I think. But then, it also made me wonder, what the hell happened to Migs?
The movie surely gave me a roller coaster of emotions (yes, a comment that’s as old as time). It made me laugh because gay people and my gay friends are really fun to be with. It made me cry, because now I somehow understood how hard it is for them (I’d never understand that fully). In the end, Die Beautiful isn’t just a poignant story of a gay who lived his life looking for love and his rightful place, but also a story of never ending friendship, acceptance and being true to yourself. Two thumb up for this amazing indie film!