Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral: Movie Review

Somber and sad. "Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral" is a complete 180 from its predecessor, "Heneral Luna" in every shape and form. What we get is a more intimate look into the real lives of the heroes we have always looked up to - warts and all.

After the assassination of General Antonio Luna, the task of rooting out Luna's loyalists in the Philippine Army falls to the President's favorite General Gregorio "Goyo" del Pilar (Paulo Avelino). This journey leads him to Pangasinan where they find themselves in a five-month-long break from combat. Instead of preparing for the impending attack of the Americans, the Philippine Revolutionary Government instead parties and continues the infighting that is slowly sapping away their strength. Goyo himself finds himself in falling for the daughter of a rich merchant in the area, Remedios Nable José (Gwen Zamora).
You should not compare "Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral" to "Heneral Luna". These two films are completely as far apart from each other in terms of tone and genre and even with this, both were effective in showing the deficiencies of the heroes we have looked up to as infallible. If you're expecting to laugh and be entertained with non-stop quips as what we got in "Heneral Luna", "Goyo" will definitely disappoint you. It would be unfair though to judge the film in the same light as its predecessor. In fact, "Goyo" is the better film if you ask us. As the credits rolled, we felt sad, burdened and, in deep thought of what we just saw. It tugged us in a deep philosophical and emotional level as a citizen of this country. The same basic premise is at play here, our heroes are not what they seem to be. They are as human and as grounded as you and me and they make mistakes - grave mistakes in this case. The film is a long one and audiences might find themselves in a bout of boredom as nothing exciting really happens in the first three-quarters of the film. And that's probably the point, our heroes did nothing but partied and flirted away our slim chance against the American invaders. Overall, the film's production was top-notch and one of the best. The acting was also great. But minus the fluff, the biggest gem of "Goyo" is how thought-provoking it was.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- thought-provoking and emotionally-heavy, this will leave you in a somber mood
- top-notch production like no other
- stupendously great acting

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- don't expect the same tone from "Heneral Luna"
- there's little to no action from "Goyo"

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