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Concerto (2008)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 6 users  
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Concerto is about how, in the last part of World War II, a special piano concert is held in the forest outside Davao City, in Mindanao. In these boondocks, a displaced Filipino family, lead... See full summary »

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Title: Concerto (2008)

Concerto (2008) on IMDb 7.2/10

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3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ynna Asistio ...
Maria dela Torre (as Yna Asistio)
Meryll Soriano ...
Niña dela Torre
Jay Aquitania ...
Joselito dela Torre
Shamaine Buencamino ...
Julia dela Torre (as Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino)
Nonoy Froilan ...
Ricardo dela Torre
Iluminada Medrano ...
Angela
Luis Morales ...
Popo dela Torre
Alyssa Marie Lescano ...
Selma dela Torre
Naomi Villa ...
Doring Angeles
Gary Lim ...
Delfin Angeles (as Garry Lim)
Alex Vincent Medina ...
Nardo (as Alex Medina)
Elijah Castillo ...
Luis dela Torre
Hiro Sakoda ...
Commander Fujita
Kazumi Yoshida ...
Lt. Uesugi
Leon Miguel ...
Guerilla / Juan
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Storyline

Concerto is about how, in the last part of World War II, a special piano concert is held in the forest outside Davao City, in Mindanao. In these boondocks, a displaced Filipino family, lead by Military Commander Ricardo and his wife Julia, become acquainted with a group of Japanese officers, similarly camped nearby. Their son Joselito, a Japanese speaker, becomes the conduit with the neighboring Japanese. Their daughters Niña, an aspiring concert pianist and the musically gifted, Maria, who is able to play by ear, are alternately repulsed and intrigued by the officers. Family values are questioned as the family treads the thin line between enmity and friendship with the occupying Japanese. Based on true stories from the director's own family history, Concerto celebrates a family whose reverence for life, expressed through their love of music and friendship, can survive even war, and shows how beauty and compassion does grow in even the harshest of conditions. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Music | War

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Release Date:

19 November 2008 (Philippines)  »

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Concerto  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is inspired by "The Unpublished Autobiography of Jose F. Campo" and "Diary of the War: WWII Memoirs of Lt. Col. Anastacio Campo" by Maria Virginia Yap Morales See more »

Soundtracks

Rosas Pandan
by Minggoy Lopes
Courtesy of Ronald Villar (Mareco Publishing)
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User Reviews

Deeply Felt
30 January 2009 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

It is actually hard to restrain one's emotion especially on my part in watching the film Concerto. The subject matter is in fact a taboo with our Japanese ancestors and relatives. It really hurts to hear people say; Japanese people are violent. Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies is a prime example that even in Japan at the time of war, they also suffered. Concerto tackles a story of a Filipino family during the Japanese Occupation. It is atypical with its wartime depiction, much of it with subtlety and objectivity. It tries to show some sympathy towards the Japanese soldiers. It could be all true that the horrifying events are just the consequence of war.

Concerto is written and directed by Paul Alexander Morales. It tells the story of a family during wartime in Davao. During the Japanese Occupation, the family of Ricardo (Nonoy Froilan) and his wife Julia (Sharmaine Buencamino) evacuates their house in the city and stays in the farm of their relative. Their son Joselito (Jay Aquitania) shows fondness towards the Japanese culture. Joselito knows how to speak Nihonggo; which in return gets the consideration from the Japanese soldiers. Aside from the daily ration of fried sweetened potatoes, the Japanese soldiers always had lavish dinners in their home. His sister Maria (Yna Asistio) also showed some kindness towards the Japanese and even had a slight romance with one of the soldiers. But their other sibling Niña (Meryll Soriano) and their father Ricardo are hesitant in showing the same empathy.

The vital aspect for a period film to be successful is if it renders a film with accuracy. Concerto is able to mobilize their resources and come up with a film scenario that could be sufficiently convincing for a period look. It was able to show a 1940's era without too much pretension. The story itself is set in a farm. That is an advantage on their part. The story happens during the Japanese Occupation. Morales gives deference to his story material by using authentic Japanese actors. This is quite admirable for obvious reasons. Filipino characters can only be played by Filipinos.

With the film's title, some people confuse it with its inclination to music rather than a film. Some thought it is a musical extravaganza of some sort. Anyhow, Concerto offers a little tribute on how fruitful our music was produced in those times. Yna Asistio's character Maria play and sings with the piano a common Visayan song entitled "Rosas Pandan" which is written by the famous Domingo Lopez. The other song played in the film is written by the National Artist Nicanor Abelardo. The song "Nasaan Ka Irog" gives a sense of nostalgia and it would really stimulate a sense of sentimentality. One evening, Joselito sings a famous Japanese patriotic song "Aikoku Koshinkyoku" by Morikawa Sachio. The Japanese soldiers join him with much enthusiasm and even cry "Banzai" afterwards. Classical Composition of Chopin and Beethoven was also played. Despite political and social barriers, the language of music is universal as it breaks walls.

The story of Concerto was based on the diary of Lt. Col. Anastacio Campo. "Diary of the War: Memoirs of WWII" is interpreted by the director's own mother Virginia Yap Morales. The director has given a touch of melodrama with a more subtle approach in letting out human emotions. Joselito's family might be a common welcoming family in your community. Each member might have differing opinions and approach of thinking. But here, we see them come together during the hardest of times. They entertain the Japanese soldiers wholeheartedly and provide them succulent meals in all chances. We cannot argue that Joselito's comprehension with Nihonggo did help them save his family's lives. War is not completely forgotten. The family has shown kindness but there are subtle points that there are calculated actions.

At one point, we will be questioning the kindness within us. Human sufferings, crisis, and wars might change our outlook in life. It will make monsters of us. The frightening truth is we tend to be influenced with austere similitude to life's cruelty. Julia has a very good approach to combat misery and that is through prayer. Their family shows us a golden heart and has revealed it at the time when we should stay away from modesty. The Japanese too has shown compassion. One even knows how to show love and affection through Maria. Even Ricardo's determination to show composure to the people who tortured and beat him is quite remarkable. Concerto humanizes us by showing both sides of the wall. With my mutual blood coming from two races, Concerto has been very sensitive with its rendition of a Filipino-Japanese relationship during the time of aggression. My partiality did not matter anymore because I was moved by the film completely.

Rating: 3.5/5


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