Monday, June 17, 2013

MOVIE MONDAY: Juana C The Movie

The moment I heard about Juana C The Movie, I was already convinced it was a must-see. I've heard of Mae Paner and her Juana Change Movement before and I imagine this film will be an excellent reminder to do something to alleviate our country's status. In fact, I was hoping it hit the theaters before the election. 

What attracted me to watch aside from the political satire that await us? As a dreamy plus size blogger, I feel it is ideal to support fellow full-bodied women. Especially if she aims social upliftment. Hence, I sent out this invitation to fellow curvy netizens so we can watch it all together and diss/cuss it after. More on that later.

The film is about an apathetic small town girl who went to Manila for college scholarship. Juana Change (Mae Paner) ended up being friends with self-entitled classmates like Eva (Annicka Dolonius) who tag her along to parties and other spending sprees, making her forget all about her studies. In one of these parties, she met Bayani (John James Uy) and it was evident that they're mutually attracted. This resulted to soulful sack sessions and, when Juana Change experiences bankruptcy, it evolved into a transactional relationship. What do I mean by that? Bayani urges Juana to "level up" and he gets a share of her earnings as a prostitute. Yani's mother (Angelina Kanapi) happens to be the best slut in town and proceeds to teach Juana the tricks of the trade. And who would have thought that members of the judicial branch, police force, religious group and lawmaking body get to meet one another in their extracurricular activities? When she discovers that the river from her hometown is at risk because of these powerful people's money-grabbing ways, Juana decided to expose all of it and found a helpful friend in Hero (Jelson Bay). And the rest is something that you should see for yourself in the silver screen. But I can't resist to give away the two-liner ending that reads: Kung gusto mo ng pagbabago, tara, 'dun tayo sa labas.

Yes, it's an invitation to take action, that all forms of anomaly presented in the film were no laughing matter. And I completely agree. 

As you would expect from Juana Change, it had maaany funny moments. I specifically like how fluent in English Juana's father was, how Juana and Hero exchanged post-coital messages with only campaign streamers that separate them, how Juana and her batchmates got high before their high school graduation, how Jek-jek became pekpek, how vroom-vroom is done, among others. 

But there's one joke that made me feel uncomfortable - that scene where she was dragged by her family and the entire community to a jeepney to take the scholarship in Manila that was intended to Jek-jek. Both of her hands were tied and her own father - yeah, the English-speaking one - placed an apple in her gaping mouth. It reminded me of how Vice Ganda made fun of Jessica Soho in his recent concert and every lechon joke that I have heard in this lifetime - directed at me or someone else. Now that I've thought about it, I'm open to the possibility that Juana Change thinks it's her time to deliver the fat joke. That's what happens when you're already immune to being the butt of the joke, right?

The joke is, perhaps?
Photo obtained here.

What I like the most in this film? How a big woman gets depicted as someone sexually desirable. Everybody - men and women alike - wants to bed her and I get this impression that it wasn't just a fetish. She made us feel how her persona demands undivided attention.  Her confidence makes her truly sexy! I laud the film in its attempt to alter people's perceptions about standards of beauty. However, I must admit how nudity in this film shocked me - not because I find belly rolls, cellulite and big arms appalling because, as you can see, I face the beautiful giant in the mirror on a daily basis. It seemed that no amount of Banshee marathon prepared me for the skin exposure. I therefore conclude that I'm too conservative. Di halata, no? Haha!

Don't ask who Juana chose between Bayani and Hero. There's no way I can conclude that. In fact, the final scene reveals how both men joined Juana in her homecoming. And if you'll ask me, I don't like how Bayani pimped her and how Hero turned his back on her so he can keep his scholarship. Yeah, I need to forgive and forget.

I just found out here tonight that Juana C The Movie got pulled out in the theatres already. I'm actually not surprised, considering the low turnout of viewers when my friends and I watched it on a Saturday. We watched the last screening at - brace yourself - 04:25pm! I didn't know some films don't get evening slots. All together now - BIG SIGHS.

Wise words from Juana Change
Photo obtained here.


Like I mentioned earlier, Pinay Curvies sent out an invite to the sisterhood to watch this fearless film. I'm sad that 2 girls can't make it to the 04:25pm screening, but I'm grateful how effortlessly enjoyable the movie date was. I've met Timmy before during the swap meet and this fashion event, but it wasn't really enough to know her better. Keevee, on the other hand, was my former at-work-and-at-play friend-turned-neighbor, but we hardly see each other and travel together as often as we'd like. And then there's Jolly whom I accidentally found during one #UsapangCurvy session few weeks back. It will be my first time to meet the latter. And it'll be their first time to meet one another.  Exciting times!

Believe it or not, it turned out to be like a high school reunion. Except that we're not high school friends. The conversation flow was so natural! It was super easy to trade secrets even! And, to my delight, we made plans to see one another again. Isn't that wonderful when strangers become instant friends? It's moments like that that convinces me that our efforts to  make the world smaller for plus-sized Pinays is happening. Slowly but surely. Thank You, Lord!

It was a great evening!
Photo obtained here. See the rest of the photos here

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