Jose Rizal is biographical drama by GMA Films, directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya in the year 1998. The film depicts the life of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, from his childhood with Paciano to his untimely death in Bagumbayan. It stars Cesar Montano as Dr. Jose Rizal, together with a highly-acclaimed cast including Gardo Versoza as Andres Bonifacio, and Joel Torre who played the familiar role of Crisostomo Ibarra. The film was indeed one of the most spectacular and controversial Philippine epic movie. It was one of the biggest, finest and most successful historical films I ever watched. In this film, Dr. Jose Rizal's life, works and writings are recounted through a series of flashbacks which reflects the various aspects of his life - a writer, reformist, lover, friend, brother, doctor, and the man that inspired a revolution.
I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride when watching certain parts of the movie. It is a perfect blend of our National hero's life and his two books, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibustrismo. Director Marilou Diaz-Abaya proved her creativeness and expertness in doing the film. Her ways in giving the real happenings in the life of Dr. Jose Rizal are very effective. The movie was being portrayed clear and the viewers would really believe that it was really as it was before from the setting, actors and actresses and also the time. The lavish sets, costumes and cinematography added to the realistic feeling the movie offers.
I highly agree with the director’s way of stitching together Rizal's life through his patriotic novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. After all, these two novels were Dr. Rizal’s most prominent works which tremendously contributed to the formation of Filipino nationalism during the Spanish regime. Furthermore, director Diaz-Abaya described Rizal not only from outside but also from his inner side. Unquestionably, director Diaz-Abaya was able to give life to the character of Rizal. The plot was quite complicated. At times it was hard to follow because of the constant shifting between the then present 1896 to many different times in the past and back. But it was worth the bit of confusion because it is such an interesting and important story. Obviously, the actions and on how the actors and actresses move is very truthful in the eyes of the viewers.
Mr. Cesar Montano did a great job in playing the role of Dr. Jose Rizal. The supporting actors and actresses are also great in giving their roles, portraying it right and the message is very effective. The setting like the hills, the farms and the surrounding are also clear. The movie succeeded in capturing the issues raised by Rizal against the religious and political oppression of the Spanish Government and also the Friars. It focuses on the condition of the society and the government at the time of the Spanish Colonization. Additionally, the film had brilliantly showed the remarkable characteristics of the Filipino like being brave and patriotism amid the injustices brought by cruelty.