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Film review:'Disoriented'

A light, multicultural comedy with a Filipino-American spin, "Disoriented" has a disarming quality that won over viewers when it unspooled recently at the USA Film Festival.

Producer Douglas Bachman and writer, director and co-star Francisco Aliwalas collaborated on the low-budget "Risque" several years ago. Their current project should see more action at festivals, but it's probably a long shot for even limited theatrical distribution.

Aliwalas (born in the Philippines, but a resident of the United States since age 2) plays West Cordova, a medical student living with his Filipino mother Potri Ranka Manis) in Albany, N.Y. Dad disappeared 10 years earlier, and Mom still clings to the hope he will return.

West's older brother Eduardo, who goes by the nickname Danger (Wayland Quintero), has been away in New York and returns unexpectedly to shake things up. A former jock and West's role model, Danger shows up in drag, revealing that he is gay and not at all hung up about his choices in life.

Still, to keep their religious mom from suffering a big shock, Danger agrees to play it straight during his visit. Meanwhile, part-time pizza delivery boy West meets spunky Japanese girl Minako (Kayoko Takahashi), a model with a jerky, martial-arts-obsessed white boyfriend (Sutton Keany).

West also becomes friends with another Filipino-American, Speedy (Jojo Gonzalez), who runs a local car wash and offers advice about affairs of the heart and how to savor life.

In the course of the briskly paced film, Minako and West become an item, but she rashly sets about having cosmetic surgery to appear less ethnic. Danger gets bad news about his former lover and nervously awaits the results of an AIDS test. Mom is forced to confront her own false illusions and the reality that Danger and West are adults who don't need or want her controlling influence.

Fairly conventional but nicely realized and unpretentious, "Disoriented" has lots of delicious-looking food on display, fine performances, a couple of goofy dream sequences and few dull moments.

DISORIENTED

Pinatubo Inc.

Writer-director: Francisco Aliwalas

Producer: Douglas Bachman

Director of photography: Taylor Morrison

Editor: Keiko Deguchi

Music: LM's B

Color/stereo

Cast:

West: Francisco Aliwalas

Mom: Potri Ranka Manis

Danger: Wayland Quintero

Speedy: Jojo Gonzalez

Minako: Kayoko Takahashi

Manny: Sutton Keany

Running time -- 90 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites