Rosario Movie Review

Rosario was the movie my mom and I decided to watch last Christmas.  The lines were long for all the entries in this year’s Metro Manila Filmfest Festival and I’m just glad we were able to buy tickets.

I had to wait for the awards night before I could share with you my review of the film.  I wanted to know if they won so that I could share with you my opinion and whether or not I believe they deserved it.

The movie tells the true story of Manuel Pangilinan’s grandmother, Rosario Herrera.  Rosario’s son, Jesus Herrera-Fernandez, who at 82, narrates his mother’s life in the film.  The movie ‘Rosario’ is basically a flashback of Rosario’s life when she was 18 years old till she was 32 years old.  A true story of a lady in the 1920s.

Rosario had come to the Philippines straight from New York just for a vacation at their hacienda.  Her sheltered and quite prestigious life would soon take a turn when she, at just 18 years old, fell in love with the administrator of their tobacco company, Vicente Perez (35 years old).  Rosario’s parents were furious when they found out and Rosario would then be sent to a convent.

However, Rosario would follow her heart and defy her parents’ wishes as she eloped with Vicente and lived their lives in Manila where they had 2 children.  Rosario never went back to her parents and they both died without their daughter on their side..

Her life changed again drastically when Vicente got sick of tuberculosis.  As Vicente was sick, the toll on their marriage would soon manifest itself as Rosario would commit adultery with her best friend’s boyfriend.  To make matters worse, she got pregnant.  She was caught in the act by her husband, Vicente, who never forgave her for what she had done.  Back then, as it is now, adultery was shunned and forbidden as a culture.  But even worse, the penalty was harsh as Rosario was sent to Hongkong in exile as she was proven guilty of adultery.

She was abandoned by the guy eventually as he could not support Rosario and her son, Jesus (who was young at that time).  Rosario met another man but she decided not to go with him in the end.

Doing a period type of movie is a massive undertaking usually.  Depending on the era and the time where the movie takes place, the sets, the costumes, and even the props have to be true to the time.   I was honestly in awe as the movie kept going along, just seeing the people in the 1920s era gave me a totally different movie experience than usual.  I have to admit that it really opened my eyes and fascination for this period, just imagining myself in such an era, really thinking to myself that this is how people lived and looked like back then.

I believe the acting was pretty excellent too among all the cast in the movie.  This is a true story and you can’t really change the story just to make it award worthy or exciting.  The lesson I got from watching the movie is.. karma’s really a bitch.  With Rosario being unfaithful, she wasn’t able to be with her children, never got forgiveness from the people she loved and lived her life with hardships and sacrifices.  Until the very end, I believe she would be haunted by her past mistakes and decisions.

Regarding MMFF awards, I was shocked that both the director and lead actress didn’t even get a nomination.  I believe they both deserve at least a nomination.  For a movie who being rated A and even winning 2nd best picture and cultural award, I just couldn’t believe that they didn’t even acknowledge the director and lead actress.  It was contradicting, I must say.

I’m not sure if everyone would love this movie since it strays away from the usual path that many Filipino films have become in this modern era.  This story chases the actual story, it envelopes the viewer in the romance that was the Philippines of the 1920s, and brings back to life the true story of a liberated woman of that time.  Rosario’s life was colorful, it showed a lot of her weaknesses and faults.  And also, which I think was important, the actors were splendid in the movie, and let the story of the characters speak for themselves.  They didn’t overact even if they are good actors.  It made the movie realistic and I guess, closer to reality.

There are a lot of firsts in this movie, 1st directorial job of actor Albert Martinez, 1st title role for Jennylyn Mercado, 1st movie of TV5 and 1st to use the Arri Alexa camera in the film.  If I may add, 1st truly deserving movie that did not receive best director and best actress nominations for a MMFF movie.

My Rating for Rosario: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Share Button
  • Alex_tan0074

    It didnt get any nomination because of several reasons. First the judges are composed of culturally-deprived people, mostly jologs and jejemons who considers ai ai de las alas an epitome of a great actress. Second they dont know how to appreciate a film unless the actors and actresses do slap stick comedy or a horror movie with the main actress looking like a comic relief (kris A, helo). Third a movie isnt considered a good movie unless it follows some proven formula that clicked with the young crowds. Fourth and lastly a movie isnt a great movie unless it earns a tons of money. So now we wonder why our local film industry is dying if not dead already.

  • http://rochellesychua.com Roch

    sadly :(

  • Shanbu23

    I seldom watch movies but when my daughter recommended this we did view it and we’re not disappointed. Fact is, some viewers clapped their hands at the end of the movie. Jennylyn acted with finesse (sans hysterics or any overacting which i commonly observed in our drama movies). This is one movie we could be proud of.

  • http://www.skysenshi.com skysenshi

    Been waiting for this. Naghahanap lang ako ng kakampi. Hahahaha! It’s not perfect but had the jurors been qualified people (armed with credentials), this would’ve been best film.

  • http://rochellesychua.com Roch

    hahaha! naghahanap ng kakampi.. I know some people didnt like the movie but if you compare Rosario with the other MMFF entries, you would really feel sad talaga with the way they’ve chosen the nominees & the winners.

  • http://www.skysenshi.com skysenshi

    Marami pa siyang flaws eh. BUT I always attribute it to lack of budget and the production and post-prod team had to make do with what’s there. Even RPG: Metanoia…I know hindi ma-perfect yun kasi the editing software we’re using here are not international industry standard. Despite all the flaws, I loved Rosario. It’s a great start.

  • Daniel Escurel Occeño

    I have not seen Rosario so thank you for the review. TV 5 is doing movies, which is great because they will have the initial capital to do movies without trying to get investors risking investment capital. I am hoping ANC will join the game and release Filipino movies with English-speaking Filipino actors and actresses like their broadcasts of local and international news events.

    I am for the Bi-lingual world of English/Filipino (Tagalog) and I am even encouraging dialects like Bicol in music and specialty movie production for local programming.

    1st to use the Arri Alexa camera in the film – is a great idea because one of the criticism I have been told by Manila people capable of going to Filipino-made movies on a regular bases is the quality of the filming was grainy or bad quality compared to movies from Hollywood.

    The poor quality of the film reduces the blockbuster potential of profit, I was told, so I could only imagine not doing movies in English for the international markets.

  • Patty San Jose

    I haven’t watched it yet. But then anyway, I’m sure it’s an excellent movie. I just watched the trailer and it’s luring me to watch it. I think the only problem with it being an entry is that the other movies are sequels and so people stay tuned for it. And I do agree with Alex. Kawawa filming industry. Masyado kasing nagaadapt sa kung ano ang gusto at gustong paniwalaan ng tao. I watched nga old Filipino movies with my parents eh just recently. They’re smart and good movies. I wish we had them back.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UIFF2G5HXD3IFQXP3CIAHHYAQU Michael Keine

    Napanood ko na ang Rosario at talagang nakaka-disappoint na di man napabilang sa nominasyon ng MMFF si Direk Albert Martinez at Jennylyn Mercado samantalang nagampanan nila ng maayos ang kani-kanilang trabaho. Hindi biro ang paggawa ng ganitong klaseng pelikula na nangangailangan ng mahabang pag-aaral at panahon kaya naman ewan ko ba kung bakit dinedma ng MMFF committee ang pelikula. Maayos na naipresenta ang screenplay at naiiba talaga ang istorya. Deserving rin ito na manomina sa kategoryang best musical score dahil nakakaantig ang paglapat ng musika. The best ang cinematography at production design talagang pinaghandaan at passable na rin ang editing kahit medyo may loopholes ng konti pero di naman nakaapekto sa buong pelikula.

    3.5/5 stars for me

  • Arianne_pena

    The movie moves me..I was in silence and awe while watching it. truly took my breath..others may not liked it, but for me. The movie fits me. fits my taste for class and simplicity much to my delight that it was based on a true story it kept me imagining about what kind of tragic life Rosario had back then. Two thumbs up! for the actors and actresses and to the one who share with us the story of his grandmother Mr. Pangilinan.

  • Amiel4200

    I just want to add something…Rosario had 3 children with his husband Vicente, 2 girls and a boy… Hesus is the fourth from Alberto…And Carmen is not only her best friend but also a cousin…I love the movie…from the production design, cinematography, musical score and the story and direction…too bad jennylyn and albert were not nominated…The movie is not too melodramatic and acting was superb…Especially Dolphy and Ricky Davao…

  • Angel Chloe

    When I first saw the trailer, I knew it will be a great movie and that is worth watching. When I finally saw the movie, it did not fail my expectations.
    The best ang production and the movie moved me as well. Im proud of the people behing the movie.
    The say that Rosario was the 1st woman who comiited and got exiled due to adultery, and my lola said it was true that during their time, when your family got humiliated, you really have to move and live far from your place. unlike now that gossips and immorality is everywhere.

    i love period films and this movie is a favorite :)

  • Rosedmd

    she had 3 children with vicente. i had great expectations for this movie. i just saw it last night…. well, i was disappointed. though the costumes and make up were in that era..it wasn’t believable… something is lacking.

  • http://islandhopperchronicles.blogspot.com Islandhopper_girl

    Aw. I missed this movie. Was very busy during the holidays. Anyway, what a well organized blog you have here. I’ll make sure I come back.

    I saw you were following me in my islandhopper livest it up blog. Thank you. Just dropped by to say that my islandhopper blog has moved to: http://islandhopperchronicles.blogspot.com

    Hope you will follow me there. Thanks!

    Keep blogging!

  • Larkspur1150

    I agree that Albert Martinez deserves the Best Director award. The movie should be Best Film & Best in Cinematography. But if you can still remember the 1994 MMFF scandal there’s no way I can trust the award’s credibility. They should make Rosario an entry to Cannes.
    Just my opinion.

  • APRILiiciious

    How did this movie end? Did her daughter Rosario/Soledad forgive her? =)

  • Caneybealone0209

    napanood ko na ang rosario movie, maybe a difficult movie to make but then parang may kulang. kaya hndi sila na nominate. bakit kasi si jennylyn yung kinuha dito? hindi pa masyadong maluto ang acting nya. hndi naman basta2x mananalo si ai2x de las alas kung hndi magaling. batikan nayun at pioner. hnd q lang gusto kay jennylyn may pagka O.A sya mag act sometimes she tried na ilabas ung feeling na gusto nya pero nakaka aafect sa galaw nya at sa mukha which is for me.. nagiging lousy, well my opinion.

  • Marj King26

    Hindi naman kasi jologs

  • Glowickisong

    I did not see the movie as I am not a fan of Albert Martinez and Jennylyn Mercado until now I do enjoy watching their films or TV shows.

    Watching the movie trailer made me want to watch it in its entirety.

    Can’t wait to buy DVD.

    Thank you, Mr. MVP.

  • Dahlialanza

    tanong ko lang, she was a wealthy woman, being a daughter of a haciendera…
    bakit hindi siya bumalik sa kanila para hindi siya naghirap, automatically, sa kanya naman maipamamana ang mga lupain… medyo nabitin lang ako sa istorya, but i love the movie. honestly. sana naidetalye sa istorya kung bakit hindi siya bumalik sa kanila, hindi po ba?

  • malamang

    wala akong pakialam kung panalo sya o talo sa kung anu mang awarding na yan basta maganda yung kwento, maganda ang pelikula deserving ito para manalo siguro mga substandard lang talaga yung mga judge ng movie na ito kaya di nanalo mas my sense naman ito kumpara sa ibang mga movie

  • malamang

    ang husay nung napanuod ko ito no comment ako ganito dapat yung mga movie na tinutularan di tulad ng ibang mga palabas ngayun basura mga non sense

  • http://www.facebook.com/stella.belle.52 Stella Belle

    ive watched the movie tonight.. i have an aunt just like Rosario.. now, i understand her… too bad, these women were born ahead of their time…

  • joyce

    The best filipino movie i’ve ever seen. Everything is well done, t