Movie Review: El Presidente on MMFF

On December 25, 2012, the annual 38th Metro Manila Film Festival was officially opened. Among the entries were the 14th annual segment of Shake, Rattle and Roll, One More Try, Sisterakas, El Presidente, etc. I have watched the historical based film El Presidente directed by Mark Meilly.

Considering the visual effects, musical score, the roster of actors and actresses, and the technical aspects of the movie, it was classy and above average. The cinematography was as I expected for a classic historical film but pretty much plain at some parts and overrated on other parts but the rest of the movie was enjoyable. The roster of actors and actresses were star-studded, some are known as politicians and others, known in the field of theater arts. Some of the settings in the movie were fictitious and far from the real deal like their battle position on the Tirad Pas and the shooting locations in Cavite but that’s not an issue worth prying into. It’s just that, for some reason, it’s misleading. The costumes and transformation of the set into the historical event period is quite correct but some little details that I’ve encountered like during and after the fights, it’s as if the actors haven’t even fought yet. The actors have no sweat or even the facial expressions are quite bland. The fight scenes are non realistic, quite slow motioned and boring.

One of the most intriguing scenes for me is when Emilio Aguinaldo was a Cabeza De Barangay when he was in his teen years and they’ve come across an old woman in the far and isolated parts of the province of Cavite. Did it really happen? And I still don’t get the symbolism of the item he was given. How was he protected by the said cloth? How has that helped him win his battles? Did he even wear it once? Moving on, the movie was too political. In reality, as we’ve known the real Emilio Aguinaldo was not really that interested in politics but in the movie, he concentrated pretty much on politics. His whole life as shown in the movie was geared towards politics.

The movie, as expected was commercialized and product placement is very obvious. Yes, sponsors are very much important in producing such expensive film and advertising via frame rate per second in a movie is one of the reasons there is product placement. And the movie is a very big political advertisement. I’ve noticed that the movie, almost the 2-hour period was focused on the face of Ejercito. It’s such a big factor for the Estrada family being the limelight of this movie because actors are not only involved in showbiz but in politics as well. They will be the benefactor of this because they can use this to lure more people into falling for their endeavors for the coming election. In short, the movie is one heck of political paraphernalia.

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