I am neither a History nor Film major.And although I did spend Saturday afternoon watching Miramax’s The Great Raid—and felt compelled to write an entry on my blog afterwards—I have to warn you that I have never considered myself credible enough or well-equipped to do its movie review, or any movie review for that matter.Hence, before you start thinking that I’m going to say anything about its cinematography or storyline, I would like to be Friend enough to you and suggest that you go ahead, click X, and kill this Window.You should do so also if you expect me to rant about how much the Americanization of heroism has been overrated, because this is a Hollywood flick and well, I should at least let them have their cake and eat it, too.I wouldn’t bash a film with good reviews, just for the sake of being unconventional. So this entry was written in my highly decompartmentalized state.
Because, honestly, instead of having a strong opinion, I only had these scattered thoughts:
What would Renato Constantino say about the film?
Just out of curiosity I thought about that. I did devote two semesters to KAS I and KAS II and read Constantino’s A Past Revisited from cover to cover—first, out of fear of Prof. Gealogo and his constant classcard shuffling, and later on, out of sheer interest (You have to believe me, really!).And what I remember about KAS and Constantino were that I came to terms with the concept of “benevolent assimilation” and I came to realize that my elementary education on Philippine History was indeed very elementary.KAS (as in Kasaysayan, di mo pa rin makuha?) really defragmented my intellectual and emotional hard drive. My blockmates and I all said, “Ngek! All those years in Social Studies (a.k.a. Araling Panlipunan) and now, we learn we had it all wrong?”
Now, I’m not going to tell you which parts of our Philippine History were lies.Otherwise, I’d have to loathe myself for my Quiz Bee medals earned doing what? Analyzing and memorizing lies?
You know what I think? I am just proud of Cesar Montano, both as a Filipino actor and as a character (Capt. Juan Pajota) in the Raid.In all fairness, I cannot recall having watched a non-Filipino movie which showed that Filipinos have intelligence or strategy, without making us appear like a whole country of con-artists.Or one that did not have a Filipina dancing near-naked in some seedy bar or washing aged Caucasian butts.But then again, you can say my hard drive needs memory upgrading.
The point of this blog is that it doesn’t have a point. Heehee. Nach! I am kidding, of course.My point is, for a minute there (actually, I think it was for 2 hours), I had set aside my recognition of “benevolent assimilation” and believed that we are indeed one of the “two proud races, brothers-in-arms.”
My only disappointment was that Connie Nielsen spoke better Filipino (“Para sa aming tatlo.”) than the Manila Underground girl (how bad am I at citing references?) with the lines, “Isa lang po. Salamat,” which sounded more like Chinese to me.
I did not go with such high expectations. So fair enough, I should say.
For the Chicago Sun Times review, however, you might wish to hit these sites: