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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 1, 2013

Movie Review Quick Change

“QUICK CHANGE” is one of the pleasant surprises of the current Cinemalaya filmfest. We didn’t expect much from it since we didn’t like Writer-Director Eduardo Roy Jr’s first film, “Bahay Bata”, which we chided for espousing the “lakad school of acting” where Diana Zubiri did nothing but walk a lot throughout the movie and yet she won as best actress in some award-giving body.

“Quick Change” explores a totally different subculture of transgenders with their gay beauty pageants, gay santakrusans and an underground cosmetic enhancement business to make themselves look feminine.

The stars are unknowns but they’re all very competent, starting with Mimi Juareza (an unknown tranny from Davao) who plays Dorina Pineda (Sharon Cuneta’s name in “Bituing Walang Ningning”). You’d really mistake her for a real woman and she sounds like Nora Aunor. She’s an expert in injecting collagen (or what she thought as collagen) on the faces and butts of her clients. She has a personal ward, a boy named Hiro (Migs Cuaderno) she takes to and fetches from school, and a lover, Uno (Junjun Quintana), a cultural dancer in the Amazing Show at the old Manila Film Center.

The kinks in her otherwise orderly life start when she learns Uno is having an affair with a younger tranny (played by the Kim Chiu lookalike who won in “Eat Bulaga’s” Supersireyna). He eventually dumps her. Then, her mentor who she calls Mamu, is arrested when one client died due to the collagen Mamu injected in her breasts.

Dorina discovers that the source of Mamu’s alleged collagen is actually a motor shop and the element being used on their clients is not really collagen but something called tire black, which is used to polish the tires of motor vehicles. Soon after that, one of Dorina’s clients also dies while undergoing butt enhancement.

The trannies shown in this film are quite lovable, you’ll laugh and cry with them. They’re all natural performers, particularly Mimi who nails her role as Dorina perfectly. The child actor Migs Cuaderno steals some scenes with his hilarious one liners, like when he blurts out that his Tita’s private part is even bigger than that of her lover. Quintana as the lover makes an auspicious film debut and is totally credibly as the randy hustler who specializes on trannies.

Special mention should be made regarding the use of “Paruparong Bukid” by musical director Teresa Barrozo (she also scores two other Cinemalaya films) as the film’s theme song. It is really a perfect choice.