MMFF 2017 REVIEW: Deadma Walking: thought-provoking film about death and life

by Bubbles Salvador
Dec 26, 2017
Joross Gamboa (left) and Edgar Allan Guzman play their beki roles convincingly in the movie Deadma Walking.

It’s easy to be led to think that Deadma Walking (a wordplay on the Sean Penn movie, Dead Man Walking) is one of those slapstick comedy movies that capitalize on beki humor (which we love!).

After all, the movie trailer highlights the witty—and super funny—exchanges between lead actors Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman, who play gay besties in the film.

But what it’s really about is this: Joross’s character, John, didn’t want to wait until his death to find out what friends and family will say at his eulogy.

When he discovers he has a terminal illness, he asks his best friend Mark, played by E.A., to plan a fake but extravagant wake and funeral.


Deadma Walking does not disappoint. It is funny, it may even make you shed a tear or two (and leave you confused whether they’re tears of joy or sadness), but more importantly, it is also thought-provoking.

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Unexpected plot twists allow the film to delve deeper into the meaning of true friendships and the uncertainty of life—and death.

Eric Cabahug's Palanca award-winning screenplay, under the direction of Julius Alfonso, remarkably captures the mixed emotions of a dying person (and those of the people around him) shown through hilarious dialogues, dramatic moments, and even dance-able musical portions.


You’ll be tempted to compare E.A.’s acting with that of Joross, and the latter might come across as less natural, but know that their personalities and characters are opposite.

Joross’s character as a gay businessman is more reserved, while E.A.’s is more lively and colorful as he is a stage actor by profession.

In some scenes, E.A. might upstage Joross, but you know the movie couldn’t survive without their individual acting styles.


E.A. may just have a shot at the best supporting actor award for Deadma Walking—and if only for that, the film is worth watching over the holidays. But there’s absolutely more to Deadma Walking than just superb acting and an excellent screenplay.

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When you walk away with a resolve to live life to the fullest and tell the ones who matter to you how much they mean to you—right now—you know the money you spent for your MMFF movie ticket is well worth it.

Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial staff.

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Joross Gamboa (left) and Edgar Allan Guzman play their beki roles convincingly in the movie Deadma Walking.
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