5 reasons why every Filipino should watch Jerrold Tarog’s Heneral Luna
All my friends know that I rarely write a review about books and movies but after watching Jerrold Tarrog’s Heneral Luna, I seemed to have been possessed by an overwhelming urge to spread the word on how brilliant and powerful this film is. Much like the historical figure himself, the movie exudes pure bad-assery with its strong visuals, fast-paced dialogue and a theme that strikes you in the gut (you can even feel its impact moments after the credits roll)
Now allow me to share the five reasons why every Filipino should watch Heneral Luna:
- The cinematic effects are comparable with that of Hollywood’s. The battle scenes are just right (not too cheesy/dramatic nor bland) and you can tell that it took a lot of hard work and thorough editing to stitch it clip by clip….blood and tears were literally shed to create these powerful scenes.
- The movie is packed with heavy symbolism and strong imagery that would leave a lasting impression in your brain. I don’t want to spoil anything but I just want to say that if you have to watch this film, just don’t focus on the story but also on how why the scenes are made that way. We had fun finding these Easter Eggs and it adds another dimension of enjoying this movie as a whole.
- Although it is a work of fiction based on facts, the movie remained anchored to the historical materials related to Antonio Luna and the events preceding and during the Philippine-American War. It is a creative and powerful re-telling of history that had long been forgotten…and one that we need to remember. I especially love that it was set during a blotted period of our history, the Philippine-American War, as it is overshadowed by the events of World War II, but one that definitely needs a re-visitation and critical reflection by today’s generation.
- Although General Luna is considered as a heroic figure, this movie is far from a heroic film. It doesn’t glorify our history, in fact it exposes its darkest deeds and secrets that had been swept behind the curtains for many years. It challenges and openly criticizes a mentality that is strongly rooted to our system – our strongly familial, tribal and regionalistic culture which, in some cases, perceived to be good but ultimately affects our way of thinking as a people brought together under the same flag. Much like Peque Gallaga’s classic Oro Plata Mata, the real conflict wasn’t with the Americans or any other foreign power, but with ourselves.
- It has a clever pacing and dialogue that will engross you to the very end. It is worth noting how the scenes are stitched together, exposition-wise. Jerrold Tarog’s effective use of tracking shot and continuous dialogue without cuts (I just know there’s a production jargon of it somewhere) is worth noting. Magnified by this style, the acting skills of the artists completely stand out. It is well-casted and brilliantly played.
As a fan of historical films (and local cinema), this film exceeds my expectations. I had the impression that profit is the last thing the creators of this film want when it was finally released to the public; what they want to leave us is a message and a challenge to deconstruct our perspective as a nation. It aims to leave an impact that is good and though-provoking to its audience (one viewer in particular stayed up until 12 AM to finish this post) In the end, isn’t it the main reason why films are made for?
Students can avail 50% discount when purchasing tickets 🙂 To the young readers of this blog, don’t miss the chance to have your minds blown by this epic movie.
What about you? What do you like most about the film? 🙂
Posted on September 14, 2015, in Filipino, My country, reflections and tagged Antonio Luna, Heneral Luna, historical film, Jerrold Tarog, movie, Philippine history, philippine-american war, review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.