“Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” Review: What Makes a Hero Rise and Fall

Directed by Jerrold Tarog

While Heneral Luna was bold enough to be made and to be released in a country wherein mostly romantic comedy movies are patronized, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is braver to be bigger but at the same time, be more than just a movie about a hero.

The film tells the story of the events after the death of Antonio Luna in Heneral Luna (2015). Fallen hero, divided government, the rise of Americans. It’s time for General Gregorio del Pilar to take over Antonio Luna’s responsibilities but Goyo (Gregorio del Pilar) has a different take on how he’ll lead the army of the Philippines.

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral isn’t about the hero on the screen anymore, it’s about you, us, the audience. The film slowly and smartly fleshes out its characters through conversations and challenges they encounter, but all these characters are just tools that play a role in a battlefield which is larger than what they are fighting for.

The film gradually builds its story, yes a bit stretched but the conversations are so interesting which makes the story more engaging. The lines are not only applicable to the characters’ conversations, it feels as though they are talking to you. The issues before are still issues today, the politics before are still the same. The film takes place in the 1890s but the themes it tackles are highly relevant.

“Tandaan mo kung sino ka,” is not just about who you are but also a wake up call that you’re part of something bigger than your existence. The film might or might not make a hero out of Gregorio del Pilar, but the film is not totally about him,  it’s how we see our heroes, how we idolize them and how some of us do not see their vulnerabilities, their imperfections, their inabilities, that they’re the same as us, committing mistakes and not invincible.

We may see our heroes up there, but everything that goes up must come down. Heroes may rise as idols for some but how they fall actually defines them, defines us. What we do defines what we leave behind. Hero or not, we all have a part in this world.

5 Goyo



“Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from TBA Studios, Artikulo Uno and Globe Studios, also available in Dolby Atmos in select cinemas. Rated PG by the MTRCB.

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