Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chikkaness Review: Pedro Calungsod: Ang Batang Martir - An Inspiring Film That Shouldn't Be Missed

Francis Villacorta's Pedro Calungsod: Ang Batang Martir (Rocco Nacino) mainly concerns the Filipino saint's life when he assisted Spanish Father Diego de San Vitores (Christian Vasquez) in baptizing the Chamorros (natives of Marianas Island, now Guam) that eventually led to his death. The film chronicles the saint's commitment to his faith amidst the danger that he has to face in influencing the natives to follow the word of God and abandon paganism. The young Visayan catechist served as the eyes of Father Diego when the latter gave up his eyeglasses so he will be perceived as someone not above with the people he's preaching. The journey becomes difficult when the group faced resistance from a a Chamorro chieftain. Father Diego pursued to have a peaceful relationship between the Spaniards and the natives even if there have been killings already.

I don't know much about this Filipino saint but the movie has provided me the understanding I needed about his faith and sacrifices. Though I wish it could have been told with more focused on him rather than just the sidekick of Father Diego. Villacorta brings to the table a colorful palette that provided the film a topnotch cinematography. The musical scoring was gripping.

Rocco Nacino gives a satisfactory performance as Pedro Calungsod. His restrained acting worked well for him with subtle nuances that made him fit for the role. The camerawork needs some a bit of improvement but I love the extreme closeups of Rocco's eyes that conveys a powerful message in itself without any dialogue.

The rapport between Jao Mapa and Marc Justine Alvarez as father and son is very evident. Christian Vasquez delivered a sincere performance.

One of my favorite scene that I believe was done skillfully was the execution of Pedro Calungsod on the last part. That specific scene defines how good an actor Rocco is.

I left the experience thinking, "I could be a better servant of God." If for the inspiration that you will get from this movie, then this film should not be missed.

Photo courtesy of Pedro Calungsod: Ang Batang Martir Facebook page.

I had an opportunity to chat with the lead star Rocco Nacino and he shared to me why his proud of the movie and his reaction that his one of the main contenders for the Best Actor award. Check this out.

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