Goyo, the ‘biggest’ Filipino movie ever made, out today; trends on social media

<i> Photo: Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral/FB. </i>
Photo: Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral/FB.

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (Goyo: The Boy General) has only been out in theaters for a few hours and yet it has already caught the attention of netizens, leading it to trend on local social media.

#AskGoyo is currently the number two trending topic on Philippine Twitter while “Ang Batang Heneral” is at number 12.

Touted as the biggest and possibly most expensive Filipino film ever made, this milestone isn’t its most important one. The true achievement here is getting Filipinos excited over a film that critiques the government as an institution, at a time when local politics is at its most divisive.

“I want to watch Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral now that it’s showing,” Twitter user @biennecy said in Filipino.

@cazzcaday invited her friends to watch it with her: “Hey, friends!!! GOYO: Ang Batang Heneral is showing today!!!! Watch with me plssss???”

“I want to watch goyo: ang batang heneral,” @jhoanniexxi wrote.

https://twitter.com/jhoanniexxi/status/1037188458815606786

At the center of the film is the titular character Gregorio “Goyo” del Pilar, one of the Philippines’ national heroes who fought in the Philippine-American War. But instead of focusing on his heroism, the movie is about a young man’s coming of age and the disillusionment of a naive patriot.

The film is the sequel to the 2015 sleeper hit Heneral Luna (General Luna).

While Heneral Luna eventually raked in more than PHP240 million (almost US$4.5 million) in the box office, it wasn’t a massive success in the beginning and was even pulled out from a majority of theaters on its second week.

This is not the case for Goyo, which has been highly anticipated since 2015.

Early reviews commend the film for being more restrained than the previous installment which has more action-packed scenes and slight campy undertones.

ABS-CBN News reviewer Fred Hawson called it “subdued but powerful.”

FHM‘s Anton D.  Umali wrote: “[Goyo] sets itself apart through a quiet, more meditative execution that allows it to step outside the long shadow cast by its brash predecessor.”

ClickTheCity film critic Wanggo Gallaga praised it for being a sobering tale about patriotism. “[I]nstead of inspiring, it serves as a warning,” he wrote.

Today, the Film Development Council of the Philippines also announced that Goyo was graded A by its Cinema Evaluation Board.

Have you seen Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.

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