CINEMALAYA REVIEW: “Quick Change” (2013, Eduardo Roy Jr.)

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 9.35.48 PMRATING: 5/10

Director: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Cast: Mimi Juareza, Junjun Quintana, Miggs Cuaderno, Natashia Yumi, Felipe Martinez, John Relucio, Giggle Esmeralda, Francine Garcia & Rolando Inocencio.
Screenplay: Eduardo Roy Jr.

It actually took me a day to really think about Eduardo Roy Jr.’s “Quick Change”. It isn’t a bad movie at all. The themes that Roy incorporated to represent the gay community in the Philippines has never really been shown before, and with that the audience was surely interested. But I can’t help but feel that “Quick Change” would have been better as a documentary rather then the full-length feature that it is today. Though the film wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, Roy’s understanding of the world was endearing and his lead Mimi Juareza saved the film with her magnificent performance as Dorina.

The film digs into gay culture in the Philippines. Dorina (Juareza), a transgendered man, has an illegal “collagen” business and has earned a respectable reputation around the community. When things become shaky with his business, Dorina must deal with her guilt. On the side, is his adorable nephew (Miggs Cuaderno) whom he brings around as an apprentice during his job, and his hot-tempered boyfriend (Junjun Quintana) who is cheating on him behind his back.

The subject matter of “Quick Change” is undoubtably very interesting, however, the film was a little draggy even though some images were quite shocking to people in the theatre. I feel like “Quick Change” lacked plot. I understand that it’s a social commentary or maybe even just an interpretation of this certain world, but its lack of plot made the film uninteresting. It’s sad because the elements were all there. Eduardo Roy Jr. wrote his screenplay well. The character’s were well written, dramatic when they had to be, funny when he wanted them to be – and that’s a good thing, but it failed to keep me interested in Dorina’s story because of its slow pace.

Mimi Juareza is a great find. I haven’t heard of him until I saw the movie. For an actor to bear all is already hard, but Juareza bared more then his naked body, but also his soul. I felt that Juareza’s heart and soul was in the performance. He was impressive and to me, was the saving grace of the entire feature.

Overall, “Quick Change” was just okay for me.  A lot of people love it, and I support and like that. In the end of the day, film is basically your personal preference of what to you is good and what to you is bad. “Quick Change” was in the middle for me. If it were a documentary, my rating would be sky high. But as a feature, there was something lacking in the overall story.

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