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The movie tells the life story of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. It shows his life and works, his struggles in order to free his countrymen from abuse, until his death under the hands of the Spaniards who occupied our country in the late 19th century. We are also thrown into the world of Rizal's novels (filmed in black and white), so we get a glimpse of how he viewed Filipino society under the Spanish heal. The movie introduces us to the life of subjugation of the Filipino people under the rule of the Spanish friars. From the execution of three Filipino priests in 1872 for alleged subversion to the harsh and unequal treatment of Filipino students in the schools, this film is a stinging indictment of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. We see scenes both from Rizal's actual life but also from his imagination (via his novels). As a young man, Jose is sent to study in Spain. This is a plan hatched by his brother Paciano. Jose will write and do everything in his power to bring to the attention of the world the abuses of Spanish power in the Philippines, while Paciano will protect the Rizal family at home and keep up the struggle against Spanish rule. Jose excels in his studies as a medical student at Madrid University and eventually earns a degree as an ophthalmic surgeon. Meantime, he becomes involved with a group of radical Filipino students who also seek to end the Spanish abuses in their country. He eventually has a falling out with the student group as he realizes that the real struggle is taking place back home. He decides to return to the Philippines. He is arrested by the Spanish authorities upon his return to the Philippines in 1892. He is sent to Dapitan in Mindanao where the Spanish authorities can keep a watchful eye on him. It is there that he meets the love of his life, Josephine Bracken, although the movie does not devote much attention to this love affair. When a rebellion breaks out in 1896 the Spanish governor orders that Rizal be moved to the prison in Manila. It is here that Rizal is introduced to Luis Taviel (played by Jaime Fabregas) who has been appointed to defend him at his trial. Taviel is a Spanish officer who at first mistrusts Rizal and views him as a dangerous revolutionary. Most of the movie takes place in Rizal's prison cell and involves Taviel confronting him about his life. There are frequent flashbacks but some of them are flashbacks to his novels, so it is sometimes hard to keep the order clear. Eventually Taviel learns to respect Rizal and he decides to do his best job in defending him. But it is to no avail. The evil head of the Franciscan order in Manila arranges for a new governor to take over control of the Philippines. The new governor promptly orders a show trial where the outcome has already been decided. Rizal must die. Despite his best efforts, Taviel cannot save Rizal from his fate. The verdict is reached and the execution date is set for December 30, 1896. Taviel admits to Rizal that he is ashamed to be a Spaniard.

In what is the most bizarre scene of the movie, on the night before his execution, Rizal is confronted by his own character Simoun from his novel. Simoun urges Rizal to rewrite him so that his mission can be for a higher purpose. And so in his final work, Rizal pens "Mi Ultimo Adios" knowing full well that his death will light the torch of the Filipino Revolution.

The final few scenes show Rizal being led out to the execution ground. He requests to face the firing squad but he is denied. The Spanish want to shoot him in the back as a traitor. But as he is shot full of bullets he manages to turn as he falls so that he lands facing the sky. REACTION This movie Jose Rizal is a great explanation of the Philippine tragic history. I didn't suffer the 3hours-movie long. It shows nationalism and heroism in a nonviolent manner, though, there were instances that the characters speak in Spanish and it's hard to appreciate unless I will read the subtitles. I couldn't see that Cesar Montano and other characters were having difficulties in reciting their Spanish lines. The plot was full of twists and turns yet still not difficult to follow but it is so confusing to watch because there were too many flashbacks and you won't even know if it is still in flashback or not. Apparently, some scenes are brutal, and some scenes are unsuitable for young kids such as the bed scenes in the first part wherein the Spanish priest with the used of his power tried to rape the Filipino woman. The amusing surprise was the dedication of Cesar Montano to his role and matched with the good actor Jhong Hilario, played as his servant and a great actor Jaime Fabregas as Rizal's defense attorney, Lt. Taviel de Andrade, they made the story of Rizal's life easy to understand. Anyway, it is a very good movie with the combination of a professional movie director Marilou Diaz-Abaya and multi-awarded actor Cesar Montano with the help of other actors and actresses that made the movie more pleasurable. After watching this film documenting Rizal's life I couldn't help but to feel the sense of pride being him as the Philippine National Hero. I recommend this movie to people who would like to know more about Philippine history and to anybody especially Filipinos. It was an ideal blend of Philippine national hero's life and his two proud novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo

CONCLUSION After watching the movie Jose Rizal I concluded that it will surely invoke the thoughts of our fellowmen to do the same good deeds of Rizal. Our minds will be enlightened to give importance of freedom and doing something that will bring wealth for the country. I concluded also that Pen is mightier than the Sword which Rizal really depicts it through out his life and reason for him to be our foremost National Hero. Some may say that a pen cannot harm anyone, but a sword can actually kill someone. However, what matters the most is not the pen itself, but the words that Rizal wrote. Besides, a pen can hurt others eternally. However, for most of the time, the wound, which is caused by words, cannot be healed simply. The power of a pen can change a person's mind from inside out, while a sword can only hurt or kill the body. The sword is powerful, but the pen is much more powerful and this is one of the great contributions of Rizal in our history. Our countrymen needs to know that it doesnt need a bloody war just to give justice of something instead use our knowledge to think for better solution. Lets avoid brutality to each other. If we are going to suffer from life of subjugation, we must keep on our minds that we should be brave with courage to defeat our opponents on the right track. As a youth, we should not answer in chorus when our parents are talking. We should be polite in any manners, show respect to our parents and always obey their rules because they are only thinking of what is good for us. This movie is must-see for those who would like to know more about Philippine history and to anybody especially Filipinos.

Reaction Paper
Submitted by: Juan Rafael H. Aurelio Submitted to: Prof. Elvira Leones