Synopsis: Beauty Queen focuses on the true to life story of Remedios Gomez, a beauty queen turned guerilla commander during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. The short film depicts her courage and bravery as she struggles against gender stereotypes to lead the armed struggle against the invaders.
If Beauty Queen is a tribute to this little known Kapampangan heroine, I am sure that Remedios Gomez will be pleased from wherever she is right now.
The film clearly establishes from the beginning that Remedios is a far stronger person that meets the eye and that she has nerves of steel that can rival any man’s in camp. She was firm and determined. Motivated by the betrayal and torture of her father, the former mayor of Mexico, Pampanga, the film illustrated how she had the qualities of a leader from the very beginning. I was impressed by how, even in a few minutes, the film was able to get the audience to root for this heroine. The way she was written, and portrayed was not overplayed. It made the character genuine and gave her a genuine connection to our country’s history.
Lead actress Febie Agustin, was perfectly cast. When she spoke of her heartbreak at what her father suffered, her her strength and determination was evident with each word, capturing not just the attention of the guerillas but the audience across the screen. Viewers feel her rage, as most Filipinos may have at the time. Here was a real life heroine who stood her ground. She commanded respect.
It was a beautiful tribute to one of our nation’s heroes. Director Myra Aquino deserves much praise for this respectful and compelling account of Kapampangan history. Congrats!