Jaguar is a 1979 drama film by Lino Brocka. The title comes from the Filipino word guardia or "guard," Anglicized into the word "jaguar." Colloquially, the word means "bodyguard," the occupation of the film's main character, played by Philip Salvador, who dreams of becoming an important person one day.
The movie is based on the 1961 essay written by Nick Joaquin on the notorious 1960 Brown Derby shooting (as printed in Reportage on Crime) of Napoleon Nodecal. The film has also gained the distinction of entering into the Competition Category in the 1980 Cannes International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the prestigious Golden Palm Award.
Poldo (Philip Salvador), a poor man, fantasizes about having good pay, social acceptance by the rich, fancy clothes and a good lifestyle, like most other Filipinos. He becomes a security guard in a posh apartment house to help his family. Trouble ensues after he saves his boss's son, Sonny (Mengie Colarribias), from a corrupt nightclub owner's attack. The grateful Sonny offers Poldo a job as his bodyguard. Unbeknownst to Poldo, his new employer publishes porno magazines and is just as corrupt as his attacker. Poldo, however, is lulled because now he gets a taste of his boss' carefree and extravagant lifestyle and believes that his boss accepts him as a friend.
In one of the nightclubs they frequent, Poldo meets Cristy (Amy Austria), a dancer whom Poldo is attracted to. Sonny, too, is smitten by Cristy and aggressively pursues her, despite a warning from San Pedro, the movie director with whom Cristy has had an affair. Sonny and San Pedro fight over Cristy, while Poldo and Cristy act upon their sexual attraction with each other. Soon after, Sonny and San Pedro fight. Poldo comes to his boss' rescue and guns down San Pedro. Sonny, however, is unwilling to risk his reputation defending a functionary from the slums, and Poldo comes to the bitter realization that he is alone, abandoned, and betrayed.
Jaguar made the competition section of the 33rd Cannes International Film Festival (1980) and was given French recognition by being given the designation "A Film Noir by Lino Brocka." With its main character trapped in an amoral world, Jaguar has a true noir sensibility and mood of grim determinism.
Chosen as one of the best films of the 1970s by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, Jaguar also won Best Picture during the 4th Gawad Urian Awards and the 28th FAMAS Awards. Brocka won Best Director in both the FAMAS and Gawad Urian for the film.
- Philip Salvador ... Poldo
- Amy Austria ... Cristy
- Menggie Cobarrubias ... Sonny
- Anita Linda ... Mother
- Johnny Delgado ... Direk
- Mario Escudero
- Tonio Gutierrez
- Roi Vinzon
- Directed by: Lino Brocka
- Writing credits:
- Original Music by: The Vanishing Tribe
- Cinematography by: Conrado Baltazar
- Film Editing by: Rene Tala
- Production Design by: Bobby Bautista
- Sound by: Luis Reyes and Ramon Reyes
- Tobias, Mel. One hundred acclaimed Tagalog movies. Canada: Peanut Butter Publishing, 1998.
- Jaguar at imdb.com (accessed on 15 Dec 2007)
- Jaguar at Database of Philippine Movies(accessed on 15 Dec 2007)
- Jaguar at NY Times Movies (accessed on 15 Dec 2007)