In an industry seemingly obsessed with youth and black-and-white thinking, Rainbow’s Sunset proves to be quite an aberration, one that is full-grown and multi-hued.
The movie tackles the LGBT theme and it stars octogenarian actors Eddie Garcia, Gloria Romero, and Tony Mabesa. It is produced by Heaven’s Best Entertainment and directed by Joel Lamangan.
The story revolves around former senator Ramon Estrella (Eddie). He suddenly decides to leave the mansion he shares with his longtime wife Sylvia (Gloria) and live with his cancer-stricken friend Fredo (Tony) in another side of the town they’re all residing in.
Ramon’s decision shocked his and Sylvia’s three children: Emman (Tirso Cruz III), a government employee; Georgina (Aiko Melendez), the town mayor; and Fe (Sunshine Dizon), an NGO worker.
The siblings immediately think up ways to get their father to return to the family home. Sure, they care about how their mother feels about what they construe as desertion but, apparently, they are more concerned about other people’s opinion and how it will affect their personal lives.
Ramon remains firm in his decision even if it causes dissent in his family. Sylvia sees where her husband is coming from as she understands the depth and intensity of Ramon’s relationship with Fredo.
Youngest child Fe is the first to accept the situation and the fact that her father is more than friends with the one she calls Tito Fredo. Tito Fredo has served as godfather in her and in her older siblings Emman’s and Georgina’s respective baptism and wedding ceremonies.
While Emman is humbled by his personal setbacks, Georgina stays unmoved by anything. Her refusal to acknowledge Ramon and Fredo being together results in a fatal end that ultimately leads to one golden lesson: love comes in diverse forms.
Rainbow’s Sunset, as written by Eric Ramos, is as much an LGBT-themed movie as it is a family drama. It shows that familial love rises above conflict and that family members can lean on each other.
Touching moments in the movie include Sylvia sharing tender moments with each of her children and Ramon joining Sylvia as they visit their problematic children one by one.
How the writer exposes the major characters’ imperfections, weaknesses, and hypocrisies is commendable. It underscores the fact that it is not a family member’s sexual preference per se—but rather his or her bad choices and erring ways—that brings disgrace to the family.
Overall, Rainbow’s Sunset is a satisfying viewing experience. Director Joel Lamangan shows a strong understanding of the theme and a solid grasp of the material. He also displays an admirable restraint that enables him to veer away from melodrama.
Just a few comments: Sylvia’s voice-over narration could have been minimized and maybe there should have been additional scenes on Ramon’s rise from vice-mayor to senator.
As for the movie’s main cast, they—Eddie, Gloria, Tony, Tirso, Aiko, and Sunshine—all deserve applause for their heartfelt and affecting performances. It is refreshing to see them flesh out characters fully and not just provide the emotional highlights as is usually done in most movies.
Other cast members who turned in similarly noteworthy performances are Max Collins and Ross Pesigan, who play the younger versions of Sylvia and Fredo, respectively.
Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial team.