The Shadow of HENERAL LUNA

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I seldom watch movies because I am too picky. But with this, surely, I would watch it, even as I saw its trailer.  What made me eager to watch this movie, well, aside from the presence of some of my favorite actors in it, is the fact that I know movies like this are rare these days, especially that our cinemas are conquered by cheesy romantic comedies or the maybe-good-for-nothing adult romantic films. The crave of watching an action movie in me is there, but the longing to witness a once in a blue moon historical themed movie with the well-chosen cast is the best reason…..and I was not disappointed.

Even during the first few minutes of the film, I was already amazed by it’s features. Every scene was worth to watch. Surely, I have my favorite parts, but every scene became memorable for me. The emotions I felt during the movie’s showing left a mark in my heart. Indeed it made me realize a lot of things, not just about history and sacrifices of our heroes but also appreciation of a wonderful cinema masterpiece we can rarely see in this modern time. With this, it made me decide to write this review about my thoughts of the what is it about this film which made it truly unforgettable and must-watch.

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Undoubtedly, this movie is real star-studded with award-winning actors both from mainstream and independent film section. That does goes with the way they portray each characters they have. Some of them even seem to breath the real hero they represent as shown on their every expressions both through their faces, eyes and even through their voice projections.

Veteran Actor JOHN ARCILLA unleashes the faces and shadows of one of our great national heroes, Antonio Luna
Veteran Actor JOHN ARCILLA unleashes the faces and shadows of one of our great national heroes, Antonio Luna

This made me say that indeed award-winning actor John Arcilla excellently portrayed the role of Gen. Antonio Luna. I can feel each emotions in every words he uttered and in every glimpse of his eyes. What a brilliant way it is to portray a hero, not just by showing his positive sides but as well as his negative sides fairly, the way sir John did. Do you know what I realized after watching his portrayal? It is the essence of Gen. Luna being a fierce and strong hero in front of his constituents and enemies but a very weak man deep within his heart. Let’s face it, that we can see that he himself even has doubts in some of the decision he made, but still pushed through it for the freedom of this country.

Of course Gen. Antonio Luna was not the only “star of the film”, because his constituents and enemies also made unforgettable scenes. Aside from sir John, these actors and their characters, made me enjoy and love the film to bits. I am always looking forward to their appearances as well as their weapons toward each other, may it be negative or positive. Just like the lead actor, they also delivered their characters believably.

All brilliant actors in the cast list. Just one reason why this a movie is a must-watch.
All brilliant actors in the cast list. Just one reason why this a movie is a must-watch.
Another reason to love this film? Handsome actors Paulo Avelino and Benjamin Alves did a cameo roles as Gregorio Del Pilar and Manuel Quezon respectively...and Paulo nailed his scenes.
Another reason to love this film? Handsome actors Paulo Avelino and Benjamin Alves did a cameo roles as Gregorio Del Pilar and Manuel Quezon respectively…and Paulo nailed his scenes.

The movie is not boring. I witness that. I love the script. It was very witty, to the point that there were times that it unconsciously play with our emotions. The dialogues delivered by the casts obviously has poetic elements in it which made it sounds so beautiful for the audience. If you think that the movie is a hundred percent serious with all just guns and screams, you are definitely wrong. We laughed, we cried, we screamed and we even fell kilig.


The cinematography was colorful. I was amazed to see creative shots of the scenes as well as the location itself. Sometimes, it made feel as an audience that as if I was in the movie itself. When I asked Mr. Mon Confiado about where did they took the scenes of the movie, he told me that the staff went over more than 50 locations all over the country. It was worth it showing the picturesque itself of the location, as well as the cinematography and effects both visual and audio used, because it made the movie more realistic than what we have thought. It made your eyes stick to the screen, because every scene seems very important.

Spoiler though, the one-act scene between Sir John and Sir Marc Abaya was beautiful as well as the finale scene of sir John’s character. In a mall show I attended, he shared to us that it was one of the hardest scene they ever did. Indeed, one of the most beautiful yet heartbreaking scene of the movie.

These were just the simplest praises I could ever tell to this wonderful movie. Yet, the review is just an outlet of what I feel and how amazed I am with this brilliant film. I admire the actors, the writer and most especially the director, Director Jerrold Tarog, whom I now consider as one of my favorites.
To each one, take time to watch this beautiful masterpiece in cinema. It is more fun to watch it on the big screen. It is not just any ordinary history movie you know. It is the mirror of what we are now, because of these heroes who fought for our freedom. Truly, a movie which will make you say WORLD CLASS.

Just a tip though, do not leave the cinema during the credits. There will be a surprise.
Disclaimer: Some photos used are owned by Heneral Luna page. 
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