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This movie is a sequel of Heneral Luna (2015), also directed by Jerrold Tarog. See more »
Dialectics of Philippine History
Goyo, Ang Batang Heneral is not just a period film re-telling our History, neither a simple account of what transpired in the battle of Tirad Pass against the Americans, and not just an artistic expression of the director and the writers; "Goyo" is a film that defines and connects our past to our present plight as a People and as a Nation and the dialectics of our history--We are because of what we were and we will be for what we are now.
The film gives the audience a sharp and deeper insight about us Filipinos-past and present. In one of the dialogues of Apolinario Mabini in the film that really struck me and it was mentioned 3 times, if I remember it right. I may not be able to recall the exact lines but let me paraphrase it; "The Americans have always regarded the Filipinos to be like children, and there may be some truth to that". What is the subtext of the line then? Our leaders are like children-immature and selfish, prioritizing their own Political Agenda, always wanted to ensure hold of power and personal convenience. And these things affected our struggle against colonial rulers and our quest for freedom. Sadly, these children-like traits are still prevalent in our present leadership as the struggle of every Filipino shifts not from Colonial rule but against poverty, inequality, corruption and abuse of power with emphasis on the treachery and betrayal of some of our fellow Filipinos serving their personal interests.
"Goyo" is a well-written screenplay, the main plot as told by Apolinario Mabini (played by Eppie Quizon) describes the internal machinations among the Filipino Generals and Aguinaldo during the Philippine-American War. While sub-plots depicting the perspectives and experiences of Joven Hernando (played by Arron Villaflor) who typifies a Filipino caught in between crossfires; and Goyo-Del Pilar (played by Paulo Avelino) despite being a General who is notable for his courage, in the battles he won and a mercenary henchman against Filipinos opposing Aguinaldo, was depicted to be more human having a conscience that chases him in his nightmares and dreams.
The approach to reality shifts from realism to surreal, while dialogues use contemporary language with a blend of lyrical phrasing that made the interaction between characters easy to understand and relate with.
Cinematography is commendable without any effort to make the scene superfluously dramatic that includes the camera shots, angles and movement. Color and texture of the film brings you to the era of 1890's without much of sepia or black and white schemes.
Just like in any period film, Production design has always been challenging, like Katipunero's or Soldiers uniform to be very neat like a newly tailored fit; a location where houses and other structures are obviously fabricated and constructed.
I laud "Goyo" Production Designer for an excellent job, gone are the uniforms of the Soldiers who look like freshly ironed even after a battle and no more hand props that look unreal. There may still be issues with the details like texture and finish windows, wall or roofing; structures that are still obviously fabricated, which maybe improved on the next period films. Remarkably, the production design has given the audience the experience of 1890's era.
The music score is also notable as it served its purpose of complimenting the development of the Film. It was designed to accentuate key sequences, and share with the audience the same level of emotion as the characters in the film have.
Bravo! Paulo Avelino, Alvin Anson, Mon Confiado, Arthur Acuna, Jeffrey Quizon, Carlo Aquino and Gwen Zamora for an outstanding performance.
Kudos to Director Jerrold Tarog, Screenwriter Rody Vera, Producers of Artikulo Uno, Cast and Crew!!
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