- 1 hr 50 min
Baler is a historical drama film set in the town of Baler during the late 1800s, which tells the story of the 54 Spanish soldiers who fought for their lives in a church against Filipino rebels for 11 months. The movie centers around the love story of Celso Resurreccion (Jericho Rosales) and Feliza Reyes (Anne Curtis), a mestiza who falls in love with a Spanish soldier, while the uprising was happening, creating a forbidden love story in the midst of a revolution. Meanwhile, the Lieutenant Saturnino Martin Cerezo (Phillip Salvador) commands the Spanish soldiers and tries to keep them alive throughout the struggle.
The story begins with the arrival of Spanish forces in Baler, whose purpose is to plant their flag after hearing that the treaty of Paris was signed to officially end the Spanish-American war. However, they soon realize that the revolution that started almost two years ago is still very much alive and that they have to fight for their lives.
The Spanish soldiers barricade themselves inside the church while the Filipinos surround them. Soon, tensions mount, and the soldiers discover the true nature of the Filipinos' hostility. However, Lt. Martin Cerezo makes sure that the soldiers know the value of discipline, honor, and dignity as they face the difficult and dangerous situation.
As the months pass by, the tension between the Spaniards and the Filipinos escalate, and their survival hangs in the balance. The soldiers turn to the church for refuge and protection, and they become experts in making their own ammunition and food supplies, creating a bond built upon camaraderie and survival in the face of danger.
Meanwhile, Celso Resurreccion, a Filipino, and Feliza Reyes, a mestiza, fall in love. Their budding romance creates conflicts and questions about loyalty, race, and societal status. They struggle to keep their love alive as they face the challenges of the war.
As the story unfolds, viewers get a glimpse of how war and rebellion can take a toll on a personâs life and how love and sacrifice can make it all worth it. It also highlights the effects of colonization on the Philippines and the journey of Filipinos towards independence.
In the end, the Spanish soldiers' resistance came to an end, and the Filipinos finally entered the church, but what they found was a group of victorious yet starving, tired, and wounded Spanish soldiers, proving that true heroes are those who fight for what they believe in, even when the odds are stacked against them.
Overall, Baler is a film that gives viewers a deep understanding of the importance of respect, unity, and solidarity in the face of adversity. The performance of the actors, particularly Jericho Rosales, Anne Curtis, and Phillip Salvador, is outstanding, providing the audience with captivating performances. The movie also showcases the commitment of the people behind it, paying attention to every detail in recreating the historical event. The production design is second to none, delivering an immersive and spectacular atmosphere that effectively brings small-town colonial Baler to life.
Baler is a 2008 history movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.