Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.89 (14 ratings)

Genre: Drama, Historical

Writer/Director: John Sayles

Cast: Joel Torre, Ronnie Lazaro, Chris Cooper, Yul, Vazquez, Garret Dillahunt, Rio Locsin, Bembol Roco, Art Acuña, John Arcilla

Synopsis: In the early 1900s, a group of American soldiers in the trail of the fleeing General Aguinaldo arrives in the small rural town of San Isidro. Town mayor Rafael (Joel Torre) is forced to cooperate with the Americans in order to ensure the safety of his people. Complicating matters: his brother Simoun (Ronnie Lazaro) is leading a band of local guerillas, and his teenage son has taken up with those rebels. With both sides demanding his loyalty, Rafael’s life is put into constant danger, with no clear path to any salvation. (From Philbert Dy’s review)

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0          Bienvenido Lumbera (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

Amigo does not reach for the grand, comprehensive scope of Romero’s classic film Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon. What it does with its narrowed-down reach is to tell a story about Filipinos in the war that would resonate principally to the post-Vietnam/Iraq American public.” (Read full review)

5.0          Lito Zulueta (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

“Brave, provocative, and insightfully funny, Amigo weaves a complex tale that does not simplify the issues involved in the war and tries to give voice to the Filipinos’ yearning for freedom.” (Read full review)

5.0          Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“The climax really is the thing. You have that moment where you already know what’s going to happen, and you grab the handles of your seat (I did) and your hand is covering your mouth in shock (check!) and the expected happens. In a nutshell, Sayles thought like Rizal after all. Fighting without thinking and giving in to emotions bring nothing but doom.” (Read full review)

4.5          Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“With Lee Briones-Meily’s photography vividly capturing the story’s period feel, Sayles transports moviegoers to a little-known chapter of the Philippine-American war at the turn of the 19th century. His resilient skill at creating sturdy bonds among his characters smoothly moves the intriguing exposition along.” (Read full review)

4.5          Forg Files

“The film can sometimes feel like, unsurprisingly, a history lecture but it was presented in a way that will draw your attention completely. The characters and the town of San Isidro are charming and so raw that you would actually feel what it feels like to live there during that time.” (Read full review)

4.0          Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“Told in intimate narrative strokes, Director John Sayles carefully sculpts a town filled with distinct personalities, adequately fleshed out in modicums of amusing anecdotes. The character studies delve into human emotions ingrained in the cultural mores that run a small town. What’s even more interesting is how Sayles is able to capture the Filipino spirit as a community; how Sayles ensnares the gist of a captured spirit.” (Read full review)

4.0          Rudolph Ian Alama (Cinegang)

“Beautifully shot, with superb acting performances particularly from the Filipino actors, what is impressive is the authentic recreation of a long-gone period. Far from your usual cliched cardboard Filipino historical film, Amigo makes you feel and understand our long forgotten war.” (Read full review)

4.0          Ihcahieh

“What I like about this movie is the various representations of the typical Filipino as portrayed by some of the country’s brilliant actors.” (Read full review)

3.5          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

Amigo is a fine film, though it doesn’t quite make the connections that it feels like it ought to. At times, it feels instructional rather than entertaining or affecting, trading in the tools of the dramatist for those of the educator. It’s a tricky approach; one that certainly has its own set of merits.” (Read full review)

3.5          Paul Daza (Spot.ph)

“Ultimately though, it is this vivid portrayal of life in San Isidro—from the squabbles over trespassing pigs to the celebration of the town fiesta—that proves to be Amigo’s boon and bane. It’s the best thing about the movie and the very aspect that might prevent those watching Amigo from grasping the enormity of the conflict it depicts.” (Read full review)

3.0          Rob San Miguel (The Chair)

“Despite its flaws, the film’s charm is that it refuses to preach.  It simply presents a story and invites us to watch it unfolds, even if the unfolding is unhurried. Bottom line, Amigo, like its subject matter may be forgotten in a week or so and perhaps, we no longer deserve movies like this.” (Read full review)

3.0          Pinoy Movie Reviews

“It would have been nice to see better acting from the American troops. Also, if there was just a bit more information on the various successes of the Filipino insurrectos before the arrival of their American occupiers, as well as some mention of the false promises made to Philippine generals and background on the Treaty of Paris that eventually led to the conflict, it would have made for a more balanced and historically-accurate movie.” (Read full review)

3.0          Reel Advice

“In the end though, even with the beautiful scenery or the meticulous detail John Sayles presented in Amigo, the film cannot hide the fact that the story is a bland one at best.” (Read full review)

2.5          Libay Cantor (Leaflens Takilya)

“Aside from uneven characterizations, the film suffers from too much romanticizing of the old ‘Filipino way of life’ especially what life was in the rural provinces, and this is evident in the film’s overall visual presentation.” (Read full review)