In hindsight, those who have watched de Leon’s newest work were blown away, and yet, something inside them was ready to shout, not only because they were awakened by the message, but stirred and ready to fight the societal cancer that we are all experiencing.
The moment Citizen Jake gets the greenlight for a nationwide commercial release, only the master director Mike de Leon and his most trusted allies will know who will be directly involved in the public distribution of his latest obra. But with such impressive body of work, gaining support from the masses is a herculean task that is not for the faint-hearted.
Last weekend, two screenings were done at the UP Film Center’s Cine Adarna. And in both occasions, to say that the venue was packed, is an understatement. The moment the end credits rolled, an electrifying and thunderous applause was received from the mesmerized crowd.
After eighteen long years of retirement, the return of the enigmatic de Leon not only created noise, but brought something definite, that is, the change within you because of the inspiring story of Citizen Jake. The film does not only touch the heart, but also warms and wakes up your feeling of patriotism.
When you’re watching it, you will appreciate the meticulous texture and storytelling of Jake Herrera’s story and the many characters that are part and parcel of his privilege life.
Because of the events in Jake’s life, you cannot help but think and wonder your own future and the lives of many, knowing that our present lives are complicated and uncertain. Somehow, there is wisdom indeed if we put a great interest in studying the not so distant past.
Citizen Jake can be likened to a calling, a pleading and an intense prayer for all of us. Director de Leon asked us why we do not seem to have learned anything from our history, especially the evils and wrong doings of the past that have been repeatedly done so many times, and in so many ways in our history.
The film master has been reminding us that it seemed we did not learn from the past. It seemed that we do not like the real change. We have become too complacent, too arrogant or maybe even ignorant of the truth. That we do not have the balls to handle the truth. The power of courage is boldly presented in the film, and it is impossible not to be affected.
The good lessons you can imbibe after watching Citizen Jake is for you to become more observant of the events unraveling before your eyes, as well as the people around you. With an open mind, one need not be scared to inquire and find answers. Listen to the throbbing and inner voices in your heart, and you will do your little share for what is right and just.
Another powerful aspect of Citizen Jake was the assembly of the reliable and credible performers who showed and defined master class in acting, such as, Teroy Guzman, Gabby Eigenmann, Adrian Alandy, Richard Quan, Anna Luna, Nonie Buencamino, Nanding Josef, Ruby Ruiz and Ms. Cherie Gil.
The inspiring and overwhelming performance of Kapuso artist Max Collins (as Mandy) and Atom Araullo who essayed the title role, played it competently despite being a newbie in acting. He was well suited to become the embodiment of Jake Herrera.
Watch it when it finally gets a theatrical run. You have to experience Citizen Jake, directed by Mike de Leon, this year’s finest, so far.