FILM REVIEW: The Jeepney
A working student, riding a jeepney on his way home, comes across individuals who may possibly change his stereotypical social perception.
Director: John Paolo C. Marquez
Cast: Arisson Janpaul Umali, Raffy Almoguera, Noreen Tejuco
Review by Jean Wong
The Jeepney (2015) is a short film revolving a student, particularly his routine of taking the public transport. As he boards the small jeepney, he surveys the other passengers, who all seem to embody various stereotypical groups in society. Perhaps our protagonist is representative of society as well, with his critical eyes passing judgement on everyone before they have yet to do anything condemnable.
The protagonist, feeling uncomfortable and unsafe, decides to alight from the jeepney. With his guard still up, he notices that one of the passengers who was on the jeepney with him was following him. Worried that he might be robbed or otherwise hurt, in part due to the passenger’s shady appearance, our protagonist begins to run. Thus begins a journey in which the student’s perception of stereotypes is challenged, though it may take him a second lesson to drive it in.
The Jeepney plays out the protagonist’s paranoia well by using tense music, dim lighting and choppy editing, allowing us to feel his fear. Umali portrayed the role of an ignorant yet naíve character perfectly. Marquez also did a great job in directing such a film that, while done before, does not feel clichéd. The film shows how having preconceived notions of people, particularly derived from stereotypes, may lead to undesired consequences. Unfortunately, this is still a real issue that many societies face today. Many stereotypes we hold tend to come from what we see in the media. The Jeepney is a great short film that uses the same exact platform where stereotypes are permeated to remind viewers not to judge a book by its cover.