Search This Blog

12 March 2011

"My God, Somebody Give Che Ramos a Movie!" (Review for "Senior Year." Teachers' Edition)

Photo taken from 
Use of Non-Free Media Rationale
Most of the time, high school teachers are portrayed as comical characters in films. If not, they are deified as uncanny heroes that will sacrifice everything for their students. It may be a noble attempt; but often times, the teacher becomes painfully one dimensional.  Even worse, high school teachers in films are portrayed as very conservative Bible-peddling pedagogues, amoral individuals or sexual predators.  It may be hard to find teachers in mainstream cinema remotely resembling our real high school teachers.  Luckily, “Senior Year” is different. In the film, Che Ramos, who played Miss Joan Aquino, gave us a complex believable, though brief, portrayal of a high school teacher.

Miss Joan Aquino is an idealistic high school teacher dedicated in instilling, as best she can, core principles to her students without muddling these principles with religion or conformist morality.  Give credit to Director and screenwriter Jerrold Tarog for giving Che Ramos some of the best lines in the film.  “You are agents of change,” (1) Miss Joan told her students amidst the usual high school racket.  But she said the lines with such conviction as if she had all her students’ full attention.  However, lines are mere collection of words. In the mouth of an untalented popular movie personality (2), great lines can shoot out like infectious saliva; we feel more disgusted than inspired.  On the other hand, if they are delivered superbly by an actor who fully understands his character, lines become potent catalyst.  Thankfully, Ramos is one those thespians who understand the power of delivery and she does not need much screen time to deliver her character’s message.

Ramos’ acting was intense yet minimalist and she successfully avoided making Miss Joan Aquino into another cliché, which many teachers in high school-oriented films seem to suffer. With just a few lines, calculated stance and gestures, Ramos revealed so much about her character and what makes her tick.  Even if she was being filmed from behind, her voice still resonated.  Many may not have watched Tarog’s short film “Faculty,” in which Miss Joan first appeared; however, Ramos’ portrayal of her in Senior Year” remains whole.  It would be wonderful if a full-length movie about Miss Joan Aquino is made. Bottom line, there are really teachers like Miss Joan and Ramos' authentic performance honors all of them.   It is sad though that Che Ramos remains unnoticed in Philippine cinema.  In the words of Meryl Streep (referring of course to her brilliant co-star Viola Davis in “Doubt”), “My God, somebody give her a movie!”

I am not Meryl Streep, although I did play an evil Devil Wears Prada-kind of boss in real life, still, let me just say, “Che Ramos: My God, somebody give her a movie!”

Use of Non-Free Media Rationale

(1) I am not entirely sure if these are the exact words.  Correct me if I am wrong.
(2) Not actors, the choice of words is intentional

(First published in “The Chair” Blog)

No comments:

Post a Comment

The other contributing writers and members of this publication and our advertisers do not necessarily share the opinions of the writer of the article above. (Hindi nangangahulugan na sang-ayon ang mga ibang manunulat, miyembro ng babasahing ito at aming advertisers sa mga opiniyon ng may akda ng sanaysay na nakasulat sa itaas)

Brun Philippines encourages readers to focus solely on the issues when commenting or criticizing. We do not allow foul language and personal attacks on any individuals. You may only comment on a public person’s beliefs and actions. We strictly screen people who will leave comments, and only comments from readers with full names will be posted. Freedom of speech also includes responsibility. We want to weed out the buffoons from the critical and freethinkers. Thanks so much.

(Hinihikayat ng “Teapot” (Tsarera) ang mga mambabasa na tumutok lamang sa mga isyung pinag-uusapan sa pagkomento o pagpuna. Hindi namin pinapayagan ang napakaruming wika at personal na pag-atake sa sinumang indibidwal. Maari lamang punahin ang aksiyon at paniniwala ng isang publikong indibidwal. Istrikto naming sinasala ang mga taong nagkokomento at tanging ang mga komento mula sa mambabasa na ginagamit ang buong pangalan ang aming ipapaskil. Kaakibat din ng kalayaan sa pananalita ang responsibilidad. Gusto naming alisin ang mga luko-luko mula sa kritikal at malayang mag-isip. Maraming salamat po.)

Follow by Email


Brun Philippines joins the nation in remembering the evils of Martial Law and the fight to bring to justice those who are responsible for the human rights violations and other atrocities committed


Click banner above to see full list of winners