A neorealist coming-of-age story infused with the pulse-pounding anxieties and excitement of first love, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros focuses its tender gaze on the titular twelve-year old Filipino (Nathan Lopez), an effervescent, effeminate boy whose loyalty to his criminal father and two brothers wavers after he falls for adult police officer Victor (JR Valentin). Depicting the amorous affections of its pre-teen protagonist with no trace of deviant sensationalism, Auraeus Solito’s debut begins as a vibrant, hilarious celebration of all things Maximo, capturing – especially in a makeshift fashion show sequence characterized by outlandish outfits – the young diva in all his prancing, strutting glory. Once Victor appears on the scene, though, the film morphs from being an amusing portrait of its vivacious hero to a more somber, noir-inflected tale of honor, faith and conflicting allegiances to kin and self. Shot in digital video that gives its lushly colorful locale a tangible juiciness, Maximo Oliveros eventually partakes in some overwrought religious symbolism that, in self-consciously striving for allegorical profundity, dissonantly clashes with its initial air of joyful breeziness. Such minor shortcomings, however, never come close to obscuring the magnificence of Lopez’s buoyant, flamboyant, star-making turn as the fabulously fey Maximo.
(2006 New Directors/New Films Series)
Its understandable that all movie critics and reviewers would see "Maximo" in terms of gay v. straight personality and lifestyle. However, an extremely grave dimension of this film is being overlooked, and should be considered: The age-old battle between children and adults on how the universe is meant to function. Far more important that whether Maxi loves men or women is the fact that this androgynous 12-year-old embodies the congenital faith and love of life that typifies all children at birth.The film also shows how soon after a boy's voice changes (one brother is an older teen) he morphs into an adult with all the concoctions of good and evil that lead to hate and murder. Every antisocial impulse of his beloved family is provoked by an adult interpretation of things, and a miserable set of priorities: e.g. revenge and honor being more important than life itself. His oldest brother's question "Why can't you just let Victor die?" says it all. Maxi doesn't explain, he just jumps up and runs toward the danger, exclaiming with 100% masculine aggression "I WONT LET IT HAPPEN!"
Maxi refuses to let his father murder Victor because Victor is good, and Maxi, a primal human being, still worships goodness--- a real Lamb of God.
As a male in early puberty, Maxi loves everybody and cannot understand why everybody can't love each other. Truth is, they can, but won't, because that's how adults think. Grown-ups are by definition trouble makers. If they saw things Maxi's way, the whole world would be at peace.
This message is smack dab in the core of this movie, but no critic sees it. They're all too--- grown up.
Posted by: Marc Silver | March 09, 2008 at 05:39 PM
some of my questions here
1. Is Victor’s (the policeman) father really a priest? It seems he took the photo immediately when asked. He answered Maxi’s question but he “seems” denied it.
2. Where and how did Victor get the scar on his face?
3. What happened between the Chief and Maxi’s father in the past? He used the word “reunion” to Chief (Bodgie Pascua)? I am thinking, is it possible that Mang Paco was a former and bad policeman hence he has many connections so that his crimes are being tolerated by the former chief? I also heard Mang Paco said to the new chief when the former pointed the gun at him “bakit hindi mo ibigay yang baril mo sa kasama mo nang makapag practice (why dont you give the gun to your apprentice so he can practice). The chief said “wala kang atraso dyan. Sa akin meron. (You dont have unfinished business with him... to me you still have). Is it possible that the said “unfinished business” was the student who got stabbed by Boy (Maxi’s eldest brother) and that student is the child of the new chief policeman?
Hope a critic or analyst can answer these.
Posted by: yujin ken | February 08, 2018 at 12:51 PM