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Movie Review: Rosario

Rosario is the official entry of the 36th Metro Manila Film Festival. This is a period film set from the 1920s. This is the first directorial debut of Albert Martinez. The film stars Jennylyn Mercado, Yul Servo, Dennis Trillo, Isabel Oli, Sid Lucero, Ricky Davao, Philip Salvador, Eula Valdez with the special participation of the Philippine Comedy King Dolphy. This is a high budgeted film where it is the tales of TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan's grandmother named Rosario.

The film documents the triumphs and misfortunes of Rosario. From her charmed beginnings as a unica hija or only child of a Don Enrique and Dona Adela who owns a Tabacalera or tobacco plantation in the province of Isabela where she was also known as the Carnival Queen (known today as beauty queens such as Ms. Universe or Bb. Pilipinas but the known socialites around the Philippines at that period). Carmen is Rosario's cousin who secretly envies her.

That led to Rosario's mysterious life to a regrettable end. Rosario was just 18 years old that happened to her. Having a husband twice her aged then had three children. Unfortunately, Vicente, the husband had tuberculosis but curable. An illicit romance with Carmen's finance that lead to the scandal that the filing adultery case against Rosario by Vicente. She was pregnant by her lover and the court sentenced them in exiled to Hong Kong for four years. Misfortunes came afterwards. After four years, they went back in the Philippines particularly in Manila. Her lover abandoned Rosario and his son and they tried to lived with odd jobs.

The film ends in 2009 where the narrator named Jesus, an 82 year old to reconcile with his long lost nephew. He is curious about the story of his grandmother's story and whose mother is Soledad that turns out to be Rosario's eldest daughter. Upon learning the Rosario died a poor woman after being stricken with cholera. "Her life was filled with regret and all she wanted was for her children to forgive her." (Reference: http://www.mmda.gov.ph/MMFF-rosario.html).

Watch this 1920s period film where it is a portrait of a woman's desire that sometimes leads to a painful consequences. Each family has a story within a story. This tale is all about love, betrayal, guilt and redemption and most of all a woman's journey where Rosario is ahead of her time.

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