THE COMMERCIAL MOVIE OF THE WEEK
1898. LOS ÚLTIMOS DE FILIPINAS (2016) by Salvador Calvo
“Defeated by oblivion”
New remake of one of the most surrealist historical chapters in the history of this country and which, in turn, was a perfect metaphor for the final decline of the Spanish empire. They have passed into the history books as “The Last of the Philippines” but I like to call them “The Forgotten of Baler” as they were victims of the nonsense of colonialism, war and homeland.
“1898. Los últimos de Filipinas” is directed by Salvador Calvo who makes a successful premiere to the big screen after enjoying television with numerous series and Tv movies among like: “The mysteries of Laura”,”Without Breasts There Is No Paradise”,”Alakrana”,”Niños robados” and a long etcetera. The film also has a cast full of great actors of Spanish cinema (which is often synonymous with success assured) among which are Luis Tosar, Javier Gutierrez and Eduard Fernández and more tv faces like Patrick Criado and Alvaro Cervantes. Special mention for this last one who is magnificent in his role and that, for me, aims to be one of the future great actors of our cinema as his evolution as an actor is advancing in each new character he performance.
The footage of the film (around two hours) is for me the main handycap and it was a unnecessary duration; perhaps should have consulted with Javier Olivares and Marc Vigil (creator and director of the wonderful and successful series “El Ministerio del Tiempo”) that dedicated one of the chapters to narrate these facts of the Philippines in about 70 minutes.
Leaving aside the issue of the footage, the truth is that the film technically is a jewel and has a masterful realization like that zenith shot of the beginning that makes feel insignificant to the moviegoer before the overwhelming majesty and hugeness of the landscape shown. The film was filmed in Guinea, Tenerife and Las Palmas and this arduous work in the search of the filming locations is very important to the good final result of the film.
In short “1898. Los últimos de Filipinas” can be classified as a Spanish superproduction that don’t have to envy American cinema. Action film that tells the truculent events in Spanish history but also shows how are the internal struggle of the characters and the personal motivations of each one of them, making clear the evidence that no war makes sense and that the military medals and honors are useless when the only thing that counts is surviving the horror and returning home.
Traducido por: Eduardo Llorente.