norteVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.53 (17 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Lav Diaz

Writers: Rody Vera, Lav Diaz

Cast: Sid Lucero, Archie Alemania, Angeli Bayani, Angelina Kanapi, Soliman Cruz, Mae Paner, Hazel Orencio

Synopsis: A man is wrongly jailed for murder while the real killer roams free. The murderer is an intellectual frustrated with his country’s never-ending cycle of betrayal and apathy. The convict is a simple man who finds life in prison more tolerable when something mysterious and strange starts happening to him.

MTRCB rating: R-13

Running time: 250 mins.

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         Noel Vera (Business World)

“Diaz doesn’t mean to present an ethics lesson; you realize this sitting through the film’s entire 240-minute length, and in fact I’d even insist it’s necessary to sit through the film’s comparatively long running time… to realize the full extent of its complexities and ambiguities, a realization which gradually seeps in, as opposed to being baldly presented on a silver platter — or not present at all.” (Read full review)

5.0         Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“What remains most striking about Norte, however, is its embodiment of a Filipino protagonist in a seemingly foreign, postmodern characterization — distinct from the voiceless subalterns and the oppressed that dominate our present cinematic lore.” (Read full review)

5.0         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“It’s unfair that there’s only so much a writer can talk about in the presence of great art, but the inability to express and explain every aspect of its finery simply confirms its worth. Every attempt to assess Norte reflects the failure to cover countless areas of discussion it cracks open.” (Read full review)

5.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

Norte is a powerful film that digs into every nook and cranny of our sad little republic, providing the kind of examination that has become increasingly rare in a nation so willing to forget its history.” (Read full review)

5.0         Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“According to English novelist George Orwell, ‘the most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.’ Within the four hours of Norte, Diaz has mapped the disparate but connected lives of people struggling in a society that has been skewed by a history plagued with ill motivations and half-truths.” (Read full review)

5.0         Renelson Morelos (Reel Thoughts)

“Its Kieslowskian narrative structure of intertwining lives, subtly and deftly shown onscreen, rather than confusing and putting the viewers at a loss, makes them all the more engaged. The effect is more enriching than confounding.” (Read full review)

5.0         Emil Hofileña (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“The cinematography is great. It’s very crisp. It’s both epic and personal in scale at the same time.” (Watch video review)

5.0         Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“Fueled by strong performances from its seasoned cast, and told in a relaxed but disquieting manner that slowly lingers on the senses even after seeing it, Norte becomes an instant classic.” (Read full review)

5.0         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“It’s alternately shocking, heartbreaking, moving, suspenseful and even funny! Despite it being deliberately paced and over 4 hours long (short for Lav Diaz’s standards but long for most people), I almost never drifted away from the film nor did it feel dragging or felt too long at all. I felt like watching a master at work.” (Read capsule review)

5.0         Nood.ph

“Long, expansive shots ng Ilocos ang makikita sa pelikula, mga normal na shots na makikita mo sa mga pelikula ni direk Lav. Kahit ang simpleng bukang-liwayway ay nagmukhang painting.” (Read full review)

4.5         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“For those who do invest their time with this, you will experience the artistic vision upon which Lav Diaz has built his name. The innovative camera angles make mundane household items and rustic scenes look and feel different.” (Read full review)

4.5         UrbanTribe.ph

Norte is a film that I can sincerely label as a journey or an experience. It’s a film that exudes emotions and thoughts in every frame. It’s a film that shows the good and dark sides of humanity. A film that showcased the beauty of simple life.” (Read full review)

4.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

Norte, along with a good number of other socially conscious independent films, are made for people like me: the intellectual hypocritical cowardly miseducated elite who can engage in philosophical jousting at any given coffee shop or university classroom in a patch of a city that resembles the First World.” (Read full review)

4.0         Nel Costales (1505 Film Avenue)

“The viewer friendly Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan shows Diaz at his storytelling best. Every scene and segment are necessary. Every discussion, even the initial nose-bleed-inducing intellectual discourse at a cafe, is relevant.” (Read full review)

3.5         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

Norte is relentlessly bleak, even nihilistic, but has its relative merits. It’s a film that every serious film enthusiast must see at least once.” (Read full review)

3.5         Jes Manipon (Pinoy Exchange)

“Aside from telling a unique story, I felt that Norte should be appreciated as an art, intricately written and shot to make a masterpiece. It can be interpreted and appreciated in many ways, but in the end, what matters is the emotion from watching it.” (Read full review)

3.0         Spot.ph

“We can’t discredit moments when the film strikes gold. Sid Lucero’s character, Fabian, is engrossing – in  a similar way that a plane crash is spellbinding. Here is a character who is squandering his potential, but the screenplay gives him flimsy reasons for his actions.” (Read full review)