Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chikkaness Review: EL PRESIDENTE - an engrossing mosaic of history with impeccable acting, and a story that is both patriotic and uplifting

Two-time MMFF Best Director Mark Meily creates a powerful biopic on the life of the iconic figure Emilio Aguinaldo (Jeorge ER Estregan); and the stories behind the Philippine revolution and its independence. It will also highlight the outer and inner struggles encountered by Emilio Aguinaldo as he protects himself, his wife and family, and the Philippine nation.

Meily's monument to the Philippine President who fought hard to provide independence to the country against colonists is  an effective humanization of the title character. Great setting, impressive musical score, well-choreographed fighting scenes, and very fair portrayal of the characters, this is a solid film that needs the attention and commendation it deserves. It may have a long running time but its needed to highlight the powerful true events in Philippine history. You might be surprised on some revelations told about those we consider our "heroes." The movie manages to cover the political and personal motivation of Emilio Aguinaldo with grace. 

Jeorge ER Estregan's title performance shines with great commitment and heart especially as he ages across more than fifty decades which the film depicts. It also has a very strong supporting cast that were given the right spot to shine like Cesar Montano as Andres Bonifacio in the trial scene, Felix Roco as Gregorio del Pilar in the battle of Tirad Pass, John Regala as the wicked Spanish priest, Baron Geisler as the vicious Spanish tenente general, Christopher de Leon as the sly Gen. Antonio Luna, Cristine Reyes as the modest and meek wife of Emilio, and Nora Aunor for her unforgettable raw reaction on her first meeting with Emilio.

"El Presidente" is an engrossing mosaic of history with impeccable acting, and a story that is both patriotic and uplifting.      

"El Presidente" is one of the MMFF 2012 entries that's currently showing nationwide. If you haven't seen its glossy trailer, hit the jump.  

 Photo credit: El Presidente Facebook page

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