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Circles (2005)

Bilog (original title)
As he has done countless times before, Cris (Archie de Calma) is riding the jeepney bus along the Elliptical Road bordering the Quezon Memorial Circle. Suddenly a robbery begins and he ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Archie de Calma ...
Rudolph Segundo ...
Dax Alejandro ...
Deo (as Xeno Alejandro)
Alynna ...
Reiven Bulado ...
Funny Fan ...
Craig Alcantara ...
Miguel (as Gil 'Chamyto' Aguedan Jr.)
Patty Yap ...
Patty (as Karl Patrick 'Patty Yap)
Gerramie Garme ...
Jenny Villanueva ...
Apollo Jones ...
Hecson Lee de Vera ...
Christian Arcueno ...
Karie Summers ...


As he has done countless times before, Cris (Archie de Calma) is riding the jeepney bus along the Elliptical Road bordering the Quezon Memorial Circle. Suddenly a robbery begins and he finds himself being held at knife point. As his life passes before his eyes, he asks the question, what could I have done in the past to save me from this? "Circles" tells the story of Cris' life in the days leading up to the robbery. As a trader at Quezon Memorial Circle, he deals with all levels of Filipino society. From fruit sellers to student protesters to male hookers all lives intersect at the park and it's historical landmarks. As brave and creative as Pablo's past features ("Doubt", "Bathhouse") and shot gorilla style on a shoe string budget,"Circles" promises to be all things to all gay people: entertainment, fable and erotica. Written by Mike Stimler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If your life is suddenly at stake, what have you done in the past that can save you?








Release Date:

2005 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Circles  »

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

A gay man is at a crossroads in his life, and the titular venue (a park) serves as his rumination point, especially when he is held at gunpoint (or knifepoint)

In the main setting (Quezon City Memorial Circle, a park), with Martial Law (1972-1981) serving as the socio-cultural-political milieu in which assorted characters's lives intersect. The main character is Cris (Archie de Calma), the glue that gels the movie (and the various personas) together. He intones: "Isang tagalabas na di makapasok sa bilog." (An outsider peering in, that cannot enter the Circle). His homely appearance and 'natural' acting compensate for the flaws of the movie and script, major of which are the meandering narrative, choppy editing (by Pablo himself), thin dialogue (worsened by characters prone to exposition) and the self-conscious acting of some of the bit actors. Another irritant is the snooty office girl's superciliousness, and how she deals with her date (a health center guy with an Australian accent) is cruel, as she shamelessly mugs call-center agents, with an affected twang. Also laughable is Chamyto Aguedan (a chubby mestizo, obviously gay actor), who, as Justin, a student, manages to work tricks along the Circle. However, Aguedan does have some witty one-liners and even breaks into song, if incongruously, beside a sleeping hunk. Holding fort are some established names like Jan Marini (as Karina), Ara Mina (as Cris' sister), Gerard Pizzaras (as a stick-up guy), as well as promising lookers like Christopher Cañizares (he would later appear in Jonison Fontanos' HUGOT (2008) and Fontanos' PARISUKAT (2010)), Reiven Bulado (Hari ng Negros 2004) and theater-trained Dax Alejandro (as Deo, in love with Karina). Even the Australian-accented Pinoy actor, Apollo Jones, shows promise, although he's too lanky for matinée idol material.

Crisaldo Pablo laces his movies with insight and ruminations, but too many insights and too many viewpoints mar an otherwise slice-of-life, metaphysically-inclined film. Vanity also plays a part as when the audience is shown the boarding room where the main character, Cris, rooms with three assorted oddballs: the meek and single Rod (Rudolph Segundo), the flamboyant Miguel (Aguedan) and the call center agent jealously touchy about his DVD porn collection, Justin (Justin Justiniani). Along the wall is a poster of a Crisaldo Pablo film, BATHHOUSE, with two or three males torsos in underwear.

As the assorted characters go on with their lives, Cris is held up at the Circle (by hunky Pizzaras) and his life flashes before him, and that's the whole movie. Some characters are too sleazy for words, some characters are too laughably contrived, but some characterizations work nominally. Lead star Archie de Calma takes some getting used to at first, but as he lets the role subsume him and he allows the storyline to speak for itself, one roots for his character and hopes he gets out of the rut he's stuck in. As for the other characters, who cares?

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