I enjoyed Aljur Abrenica's performance in his last expressive movie, which probably gave way to this historical flick. The treatment does lead it to be of an indie nature but it is still going for some mainstream appeal.
Hermano Puli is a religious leader in Tayabas in the late 1890's but the Spaniards treat him as a heretic due to greed and discrimination.
This is a romanticized account of the life of Hermano Puli, as evidenced by the slight love interest and gratuitousness. But it could have laid out the facts a little better. The purpose and practices of the confraternities aren't exactly shown or explained so the audience seeking these details won't pick up on it. The use of the amulets, if it was the basis for the pagan rituals, wasn't stressed enough. But entertainment in lieu of accuracy, sure. If only it was more so instead of being by the numbers.
The presentation of the film does seek to entertain but seems to be more for the smaller screen. The scene transitions are abrupt with little smoothness of follow thru. There is hardly any background music to create an engaging atmosphere and when there is, it's slow and somnolent. The supposed suspense and action scenes aren't presented as such, though it isn't what the film is really going for. There isn't much in the form of dynamic cinematography so it created a sort of tv mini series aesthetic.
To be fair, the movie looks crisp and clear in terms of quality. The setting and props are well produced, if a bit too pristine. The actors deliver their lines with practiced measure, tho some more passion would be appreciated in certain parts. The subject is of national and religious import so the presentation of the story of Hermano Puli is of true merit. It just needed to be a bit more engaging.