Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The most fabulous entrance in RP movie history

Can anything top Roderick Paulate's spectacular first appearance in the 1987 gender-bending film Jack en Poy?

I had mentioned the scene here. Much of the color in the clip below has lost punch with the film's deterioration, but the scene still rocks. Roderick rocked--he was fierce and fearless and screamingly funny. It was in this movie that he first unleashed the persona he'd subsequently make into a mainstay of '80s Pinoy cinema, from Kumander Gringa to Petrang Kabayo at Ang Pilyang Kuting.

Roderick had done a couple of gay roles before Jack en Poy, but in this movie, he achieved star status, simply because he was far and away the best thing in it. Revisiting the movie now is to wince at Maricel's all-over-the-place brand of taray comedy and William Martinez's mugging before the camera. But Roderick--he dominated every frame he was in. Up to the movie's final stretch, despite the usual indignities his character was made to suffer, he refused to cede an inch to conventionality, neither becoming straight nor shushed up.

In the words of The Bakla Review: “His comedy was amazingly physical--he cranked his energy up to eleven; his body flipped and curled with every over-pronounced line--and he imbued the exaggerations with a deep sense of moral pride. He was an effeminate who kicked butt, a swishy but completely able action hero... unheard of until then and still unmatched.” [Boldface mine.]

Watch the clip below and see if you don't agree. A backgrounder: It's been 20 minutes into the movie, and no sight of Roderick yet. Tessie Tomas and Nova Villa play best friends who vow to have their firstborns married to each other one day. Nova's daughter Jacqueline grows up to be the tomboy Jack (Maricel), while Tessie's son Adolfo (“Kasi pinaglihi siya kay Adolf Hitler,” she explains to the priest during christening--then she and Nova Villa do a “Heil Hitler” salute. Ah, Pinoy movies!) is taken away by a childless aunt to Mindanao, never to be seen for many years.

When the aunt dies, Adolfo/Poy writes to say he's going back to Manila. Tessie and Nova, who've remained neighbors and BFFs, assemble their families (Jimmy Santos is Tessie's husband, Janno Gibbs is Maricel's younger brother--he has his own hilarious dream musical sequence with Manilyn Reynes as a giant witch singing I've Got You Under My Skin--ah, Pinoy movies talaga!) at the pier to wait for the grown-up Poy, whom they have not seen. Enter Roderick:



3 comments:

didinskee said...

That truly was an amazing entrance, bravo! The overwrought wardrobe and constant gesticulations empowered that character. Walang pa-shy-shy, and thanks to that, commanded rapt attention.

I've only known the gay character profile seen mostly now: the haughty, successful madam that somehow channeled feminism and turned it fuchsia, and the comical, good-natured, kasabayan-sa-pagpa-manicure gay friend. Both so glib and politically correct, they quietly fill plot holes conveniently and connect to that new pink segment of the audience.

What Roderick did, was build a freakin' Skyway on that plot. And don't forget the rainbow, hmph.

Anonymous said...

who's his aunt? Elvira Manahan?

-babygirlatang

rudeboy said...

OMFG.

Ahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha.

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