Baler is a movie about the fall of the Spanish soldiers occupying the area. It is also a love story between a provincial lass and a Guardia Civil. Set in the province of Baler, Aurora just before Spain surrendered.
It was packaged as a movie about Philippine Revolution, but fails to be such. Baler had an identity crisis and wasn’t sure who the real heroes are of the particular battle.
Technically, the movie has great cinematography except for one scene, Anne Curtis’ was reading a letter from her beau. The editing could’ve been better. The scenes are abruptly cut short and the focus shifted to another back story.
However, the story itself is problematic. It seems to enshrine as heroes the Guardia Civil locked up in the church instead of the Katipuneros who laid the siege. The story, it was told, was based on a Spanish officer’s diary account, so the bias is definietely there.
The movie failed to give something new, it even failed to accurately depict the Katipuneros. They were shown as very emotional people, who have a one-track mind and a proud swagger. Phillip Salvador’s character is so shallow. Of course, Filipinos were outraged by Spanish soldier’s atrocities, but they joined the revolution for perfectly legitimate and justified reasons, not just purely personal ones.
And while the Katipuneros are being shown as stereotypical goons, with long, unkempt hair and wild eyes, the Spanish soldiers are promoted as heroes for lasting a year long siege.
The movie was geared as a love story, sadly, all the movie achieved is be an apologist for the church and spain.