While watching the film, I cannot help but relate Rizal to Crisostomo/Simoun, Leonor to Maria Clara. Rizal and Crisostomo both came from a well-off family. Both of them studied in Europe. Both have dedicated their life to free their people from oppression. And then there's a scene where Leonor was walking down the aisle and Maria Clara singing in the nunnery. Both were locked up-the former to a person whom she does not love; the latter to a place, which seems to be a dead end. Maria Clara jumping off from the bell tower is her way to get out, her way towards salvation.
The film also works through a series of flashback showing Rizal as a genius, a writer, a doctor, an artist, a lover, a friend, a brother and a son, thus giving a rich texture of Rizal's character. I also commend the film for its bravery in showing the evil tyranny of the Catholic Church during that time. Considering that the Philippines is a Catholic nation, that is like butchering a sacred cow but alas, Abaya works her magic in depicting the suffering of the Filipinos because of the friars.
I particularly love the last scene of the film when Rizal, excellently played by Cesar Montano by the way, fell in the ground facing the sky, having his last breath looking at a beautiful sunrise- a metaphor depicting that Rizal did not die in vain. He did not die defeated because his death is the... [continues]
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