Rant and Rave: ‘Juana C.’


Dynasty after dynasty, epal after epal, scandal after scandal: thousands have raised their voices in reaction through all kinds of media. It’s about time the film industry released its own version in the name of Juana C. The Movie, a truly voluptuous on-screen delight.

Juana Change was first introduced to the world through YouTube with the help of a group of artists who wanted to shed light to the public the much needed social and political change in the Philippines. Using the most eye-opening and satirical videos, Juana Change was born. In Juana C. The Movie, that important advocacy is continued with the same touch of humor and impact (also with more cameos of Juana Change’s breasts and some more surprises).

Juana Changge (Mae Paner), is a quirky probinsyana from the barrio of Kaploc. Juana is forced to take a college scholarship in the city to receive education to save her barrio from river-poisoning mining corporations. In the city, her name is changed into Juana Change and she is introduced in a world of conyos, booze, and money – an environment Juana wholeheartedly conforms to.

Juana suddenly finds herself in debt, forcing her to sell her body and beauty for money. Juana’s customers start to scope from senators, governors, judges and military officials. She discovers all the dirt of these eminent customers, one of which concerns her barrio’s tragic future. Juana then has to expose everything she knows to the public before all hell would break loose.

Directed by Jade Castro (Patayin sa Shokot si Remington), written by Rody Vera (The Bride and the Lover) and the story by Paner herself, Juana C. can both play with your funny bone and hit a nerve.

The whole movie with its twists and turns, flowed quite well. From Juana being a probinsyana who knew nothing, to being a prostitute, to saving her barrio from the corrupt without any regards to her life, more and more issues are covered, and they just keep getting bigger and more significant.

Although the acting and plot line seem to exaggerate what it conveys (the issues), it highlights even more what these are representing. Even though the exaggeration may come off to some as cheap mockery or a direct punch to the shins, it still makes any viewer think of the issue’s existence and importance, therefore exposing the “evils” happening in the Philippines in the most entertaining way.

Juana C.’s premiere is perfect even being released after the senatorial elections. It can make voters – especially uninformed ones – think twice of their decisions: whether the names they shaded were really worthy, or they’d be just like the leaders portrayed in the movie. Just like Juana Change’s YouTube videos, various social and political issues were given light in the movie, giving a political viewers a taste of a different kind of medicine.

They made use of popular culture references and casual innuendos in the script quite intelligently and simply hilarious. Despite having used a lot of languages (Filipino, English, Taglish and swardspeak), they all were distributed perfectly, either to make a scene or a character much funnier. Props to Vera and Castro.

From a perspective, Juana C. is a simple movie. But what makes Juana C. special is how even with a very simple plotline, it is still based on real people in a very real life. It is the characters and their situations that ring the story true. The delivery of the said elements can make you think that it means something different, something outside the movie, something that can affect you. It’s not one of those comedy movies that have no substance whatsoever; no matter how old or successful you are, you will get a sense of patriotism (and probably a little traumatized, depending on your maturity) from Juana C. It’s satire, it’s funny. It will open your eyes.

Rating: 3.75
Arielle Poblete

By Arielle Poblete

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