They say that the most recurring themes of Filipino indie films are poverty and homosexuality. Admittedly, this may be true since many of our local films revolve around these subjects – since what could be more real than the struggle of the marginalized and the discriminated? Personally, I don’t mind if we make more of these movies, since they serve not only as works of art, but eye-openers as well.
Quick Change is one of these indie films. It tells us the story of Dorina (Mimi Juareza), a tranny who illegally performs cosmetic surgery. Trouble looms when she realizes that there is something wrong with her “operations”, and her rocky relationship with her boyfriend only makes matters worse.
The movie’s plot was distinctive from other gay-themed movies I’ve seen, and I thought that it took a fresh take on the genre. One thing that I noticed with Quick Change is that unlike many gay films that focus primarily on the love life of the main-character (making the audience giggle at sappy scenes), the premise and conflict of this one is anchored mainly on the cosmetic enhancements that she does for her clients. A huge part of the entertainment factor comes from the cringe-worthy scenes where she performs her surgeries to her patrons, eager to look more beautiful with every injection.
As expected, there were a some nudity and sex, but not too the point you’d feel like you’re watching well-written porn. I actually thought that the nudity was necessary, as it reinforced the need to feel physically beautiful that the film is trying to establish for its characters.
I had a lot of “So that’s how they do it!” moments as I was watching the film, and these are what kept me glued to the screen, eagerly anticipating more of these bits to be presented.
Mimi Juareza was perfect for the lead role. She not only looks like the part, she portrays it expressively as well, in such a way that it’s not hard to empathize with the character even when you already know that she has already been corrupted by her illegal job. Although there were times when I thought her dialogues with the other characters felt unnatural, not because of her delivery but because the script was a bit too stylized, not the way that a person would say something in real life.
Quick Change is one of the best entries I have seen in this year’s Cinemalaya Festival. It lets us take a look at another side of gay culture, one where there is a need for physical beauty and the lengths that many are willing to undergo to achieve it.
Quick Change Cast
Mimi Juareza as Dorina
Junjun Quintana as Uno
Written and Directed by EDUARDO ROY, JR.
Credits to the images and videos used in this post go to “Quick Change” and/or to their respective owners. I do not own these materials. No copyright infringement intended.