Saturday, 5 September 2015

Movie Review: Heneral Luna

Set during the Philippine-American war, a short-tempered Filipino general faces an enemy more formidable than the American army: his own treacherous countrymen.

In 1898, General Antonio Luna ( John Arcilla ), commander of the revolutionary army, is spoiling for a fight. The Philippines, after three hundred years as a Spanish colony, has unwillingly come under American rule. General Luna wants to fight for freedom but members of the elite would rather strike a deal with the United States. The infighting is fierce in the new cabinet but General Luna and his loyal men forge ahead even as his military decisions are met with resistance from soldiers who are loyal only to President Aguinaldo ( Mon Confiado ). Ultimately, it is the general’s legendary temper and pride that bring him to his death when a pack of presidential guards assassinate him in broad daylight. While American newspapers are quick to point the blame to Aguinaldo, the mystery has never been completely solved and the General’s killers were never put to justice.

John Arcilla characteristically delivers in this witty, dignified portrait of General Antonio Luna. Director Jerrold Tarog brings a level of tension to what could have been an overly stuff historical period piece. He's supported by a superb cast (Joem Bascon, Archie Alemania, Aaron Villaflor, Mylene Dizon) highlighted by the work of Antonio Luna as one of the commander of the revolutionary army in Philippines history. The movie is great because it is entertaining despite the fact that it is a dialogue driven historical, the film tries to add humor in some of the scenes. I love Luna's scene with his mother along with it's visual presentation. The editing of the film is consistent, sound is adorable and most of all musical scoring is superb. Not only intimate and engaging, Heneral Luna also presents a surprisingly thoughtful and relevant hero of our country. A must see and one of the best local film that I've watch for 2015.

My Verdict: 4/5


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