Concerto (2008)

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That's what I said after watching this film.

Joselito, the central character and narrator played by Jay Aquitania, learned Japanese by heart. During the last leg of the Japanese occupation, he was able to use it to protect his family. I love studying different languages. I know I need to concentrate on one language to perfect it and so far, I only know bits and pieces of different languages.

Communication is an important factor and that is not only true for one country. It's a fact throughout the world.

Music is also one form of communication that needs no translation and besides food, the Dela Torre family used music to warm the hearts of "the enemy".

Having had my "formative years" in the USA, I grew up thinking that Japan (and to think I have Japanese blood) was evil to the core in the 1940s. Well, it is true, they did all those war crimes that haunted and annihilated our ancestors, but like you and me, they too had their struggles.  Yes, there were those that abused their power, but there were those who 
just NEEDED to fight for their mother land.

When the Japanese soldiers cried and asked Nanay Julia (Buencamino) to comfort them, I felt their pain. They were barely out of their teens and there they were (just like the US Veterans) fighting for their country...their honor.  They could not do anything, but follow their superiors.

The unspoken love between Yamada and Maria was, for me, one of the highlights of the story. It was very obvious what they felt for each other, but war tore them apart before they could even admit to anything(how frustrating).

Selma, the youngest girl, (they are six all in all...Nina [aspiring concert pianist], played by Meryll, Joselito played by Jay, Maria played by Ynna [plays oido], Luis, Selma and a little baby boy), was very apprehensive to learn the language, but once she started improving, she felt a little bit liberated. The little girl who played her is very talented.

It's also refreshing to watch Nonoy Froilan in this movie. I used to see him on stage as an actor and a dancer. He moved so gracefully and with passion. I saw that passion as he played the role of Ricardo, the father of the six siblings and the husband of Aling Julia. He was tortured by the Japs and hated them so much, but since his wife loved unconditionally, his heart, later on, melted.

Gary Lim, who is one of the best, but underrated, comedians, was great as Delfin... ma called his role, "the irony of ironies" least for that story.

This movie isn't perfect, but as one critic said, the flaws are forgivable. The story was beautifully weaved and the scenes were exquisitely "painted". The actors were all in character...they made people believe that they were really the people they portrayed...even just for a fleeting moment.

Kudos to the cast and crew!

Hope to see more movies like this one.


Directed by
Paul Alexander Morales

Writing Credits
Paul Alexander Morales ... (written by)

Jose F. Campo ... (inspired by) and
Maria Virginia Yap Morales ... (inspired by)
From imdb:


Concerto is about how, in the last part of World War II, a special piano concert is held in the forest outside Davao City, in Mindanao. In these boondocks, a displaced Filipino family, lead by Military Commander Ricardo and his wife Julia, become acquainted with a group of Japanese officers, similarly camped nearby. Their son Joselito, a Japanese speaker, becomes the conduit with the neighboring Japanese. Their daughters Niña, an aspiring concert pianist and the musically gifted, Maria, who is able to play by ear, are alternately repulsed and intrigued by the officers. Family values are questioned as the family treads the thin line between enmity and friendship with the occupying Japanese. Based on true stories from the director's own family history, Concerto celebrates a family whose reverence for life, expressed through their love of music and friendship, can survive even war, and shows how beauty and compassion does grow in even the harshest of conditions.Written by anonymous

Maria dela Torre (as Yna Asistio)
Meryll Soriano...
Niña dela Torre
Joselito dela Torre
Julia dela Torre (as Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino)
Ricardo dela Torre
Popo dela Torre
Selma dela Torre
Doring Angeles
Delfin Angeles (as Garry Lim)
Nardo (as Alex Medina)
Luis dela Torre
Commander Fujita
Lt. Uesugi
Guerilla / Juan

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