El Presidente- MMFF 2012 poster-sfVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.48 (22 ratings)

Genre: Drama, Historical

Writer/Director: Mark Meily

Cast: E.R. Ejercito, Nora Aunor, Cesar Montano, Christopher de Leon, Cristine Reyes, Baron Geisler, Sid Lucero, Ronnie Lazaro, Allan Paule, Emilio Garcia, Archie Adamos, Jeffrey Quizon, Felix Roco, Gary Estrada, Gerald Ejercito, Gloria Sevilla, Hero Bautista, Ian de Leon, Ian Veneracion, Jerico Ejercito, John Arcilla, John Regala, Joko Diaz, Joonee Gamboa, Lou Veloso, Roi Vinzon, Soliman Cruz, Sunshine Cruz, Tony Mabesa, Alicia Mayer, Troy Montero, Wendell Ramos, Will Devaughn, William Martinez, Yul Servo, Roldan Aquino

Synopsis: The movie takes glimpses at the life of Emilio Aguinaldo (E.R. Ejercito). It begins with him as a child, unaware of the great life ahead of him, receiving a strange prediction from an elderly fortuneteller. The film follows him through the entirety of his life, stopping to examine significant historical events: his joining of the Katipunan, his leadership in Cavite, his conflict with Andres Bonifacio (Cesar Montano), the struggle for recognition of the country’s sovereignty, the tension with Antonio Luna, his flight from the American invaders, his eventual capture, and his life following the downfall of the Katipunan. (Click the City)

MTRCB Rating: PG-13

Running time: 160 mins

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         Phillip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star)

“The care, the attention to detail and the commitment to produce a quality film all combine to make this a film we owe ourselves as Filipinos to watch and learn from.” (Read full review)

4.0         Maridol Rañoa-Bismarck (Yahoo Philippines)

“More than its breathtaking cinematography,  well-choreographed fight scenes,  haunting music and brilliant acting, El Presidente is about the triumph of good over evil.” (Read full review)

3.5          Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“The historical drama’s boldly imaginative take on the power struggle between Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio (the award-worthy Cesar Montano) is riveting, but its protracted running time and dark visuals compromise its viewability and commercial appeal.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rianne Hill Soriano (Yahoo Voices)

El Presidente is not a perfect film. But in the end, it still shines as a passionate attempt to contribute something valuable for Philippine cinema.” (Read full review)

3.0         Emilia Narni J. David (Business World)

“What the movie does well is usher the audience into the history often ignored by students.” (Read full review)

3.o          Ivan6655321 (IMDB User)

El Presidente, although admittedly a grand, sweeping production, is a very clunky film that offers little to nothing that our history text books have not taught us yet.” (Read full review)

3.0          Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

El Presidente is an enjoyable escapist action-epic flick.” (Read full review)

3.0          Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“Despite all the imperfections, I still think this was a very earnest film made with the very best of intentions, and obviously produced with generosity of budget.” (Read full review)

3.0          Chino Roces (Katipunan)

“While it is deeply flawed, Mark Meily’s El Presidente is a beautifully crafted piece of Philippine cinema, in the line of the late Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Jose Rizal.” (Read full review)

2.5          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The gumption is admirable, and its interpretation of history is intriguing. But taken as a whole, it ends up feeling bloated and awkward.” (Read full review)

2.5          Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“The technical achievements were mostly good to horribly bad, and the screentime is difficult to sit through.” (Read full review)

2.5          Ivan Thoughts

“El Presidente” never quite connects on the emotional level. Instead, and this is quite saddening, it merely gives out the occasional ‘wow’ factor with its action set pieces, mammoth scope and nothing more.” (Read full review)

2.0          Carljoe Javier (Rappler)

El Presidente is flawed. Individual scenes and sequences can be gripping, but the overall film suffers from sprawl and lack of a narrative drive.” (Read full review)

2.0          Rina Jimenez-David (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“My biggest beef against El Presidente is its reliance on art direction and CGI images over character and substance. True, it may have gotten its settings and costumes just right (don’t get me started on makeup), but do we come away from the movie with an insight into the character of Aguinaldo, admittedly one of Philippine history’s most neglected, underrated and unfairly judged heroes?” (Read full review)

2.0        Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The film is often cumbersome viewing and needs more wit and energy to make it more entertaining for the average viewer.” (Read full review)

2.0        Adrian Mendizabal (Auditoire)

“A pseudo-historical farce, a parasitic revisionist film that tricks and misleads the audience, a propaganda disguised as a popular film.” (Read full review)

2.0        Jowana Bueser (The Birth of Damnation)

El Presidente boasts a grand production but lacks ambition in depicting the personal and political struggles of one of Philippine history’s least understood power players.” (Read full review)

1.5        Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

El Presidente is just indisputably dull. It is unable to muster enough movement or excitement to be a compelling war film.” (Read full review)

1.5         Mikhail Lecaros (GMA News Online)

“The film suffers in the handling of its subject matter; specifically, a complete lack of emotion and drama in its interpretation of some of the most tumultuous decades in our nation’s past.” (Read full review)

1.5          Zig Marasigan (Kristn)

“It’s easy to pin the film’s woes on the weaknesses of Meily’s script, but Ejercito’s performance carries just as much blame. There is not a shred of humanity in Ejercito’s portrayal of the former president. His performance is as robotic as it is lifeless, hidden behind a wall of empty eyes and insufferable speeches.” (Read full review)

1.0         Edgar Calabia Samar (Atisan)

“The movie becomes a series of textbook reenactments masquerading as film.” (Read full review)

1.0         Reel Advice

El Presidente is a monumental disaster and one of the worst films we have seen in years. It’s running time is almost 3 hours: 3 hours that anyone could have spent being a productive Filipino.” (Read full review)