One of the strengths of Jose Rizal is the incorporation of the characters of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo in the life of Rizal and of the Filipinos in general. This only shows that the two books are reflections of the lives of the Filipinos during the Spanish regime. But the thought and noble ideas of the book do not only live in the past but also in the present manifesting the universality and immortality of Rizal’s ideas. The beautiful transition of Rizal’s time and the setting of the two novels is really impressive.
One must have really read the books to better appreciate the movieJoseRizal. 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 forme 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 thebelltowerisherwaytogetou, herwaytowardssalvation. 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 becauseofthefriars. 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.