random thoughts about ignacio de loyola

SPOILER WARNING: THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT A SAINT WHOSE BIO IS ALL OVER THE NET (CATHOLICISM HAS SURVIVED THIS LONG BECAUSE IT TELLS AWESOME STORIES, REPETITIVELY.) BUT IF YOU’RE SERIOUSLY ANTI-SPOILER, STOP READING, COME BACK WHEN YOU’VE SEEN THE MOVIE.

1. two ateneans walk into a cinema to watch a movie about the jesuit knight. of course they cannot help themselves: “is this mt. doom? am i in the right movie?” and “his mom died at his birth + his family’s coat of arms has a wolf (two, actually) + he’s a soldier defending a wall + “died” + nursed back to health by a woman = ignacio is jon snow!” hat tip to my sis Lynne for co-creating this bit. SORRY to the two nuns in front. and the couple in-the-know at the back (he said: “i know this…what’s this song again?” she said: “take and receive” in duh tone). obviously my sis and i have seen too much fantasy.

2. is this a film made by believers for fellow believers but deviously marketed for the mainstream? hm. but people generally do like this movie, hence the A grade and G rating. reviews are fairly complimentary, with only a bit of nitpicking. (see my movie bible, Nood.ph.) they can’t all be heavily invested. stick around. there’s a payoff.

3. some people are just beautiful. wait for it! beautiful head-shot #5, hair blowing in the wind, yaaas. such pretty brown eyes, iñigo  de loyola; medyo INTENSE ka lang koyah. then again, may K ang pagka-intense mo. (youch.) oh em gee, princess catalina you look like mary magdalene with all that glorious hair…but did they lift you from soap opera territory (maximum beauty, minimum subtlety)? such a nice supporting cast (primo xanti, doña magdalena, doña ines, father sanchez, etc.)! they do a bang-up  job with the time they’ve got onscreen. oh wow, brace yourself for the blue-eyed inquisitor.

4. that line was funny. ignacio is getting all the one-liners. wait, that line was pretty funny too. okay i probably shouldn’t have laughed at that one, but *gasp* there’s humor in this seerrious film. yay!

5. oh lord, masochism is strong in christianity. every saint has a messianic complex. get over it, this is the life of a saint. you know that they have a great tolerance for pain and suffering (a lot of it self-inflicted). deprivation is a given. and when there’s fasting and catering to the sick, there’s bound to be delirium. as for spiritual torment, you know a dark-night-of-the-soul is a must. a saint is a saint because they emulate christ, and the passion of christ is the standard to end all standards of self-sacrifice.

6. the enemy lives at mt. doom and wears the same face as the pilgrim. epic. but this soldier’s got a tenacious soul. i guess what we admire about ignacio is his valor, conviction, and commitment to a life lived “for the greater glory of God.” he surrenders his will so beautifully. yes he’s kinda cray (his mind palace is definitely whacked, and if psychologists existed at the time, saints would be prime candidates for study), but he stands his ground, and out of a sincere desire to help people keep the faith.

7. maybe they should’ve started with the inquisition, or at least heavily edited the first few acts. it always pays to have public support. and a good lawyer. while in the 16th century your chances of survival were better if you’ve got noble blood, and a wounded war hero to boot, the inquisitors were the bogeymen of the age. the church liked its power and wealth, and tended to throw its weight around. having a good defender at an inquisition is priceless. being popular with the locals, gentry and commoners alike, also helps. (if the entire town beseeches the local priest to hold a prayer vigil on your behalf, and said priest tells the inquisitor that “the church has never been so full!” it’s the BEST. DEFENSE. EVER. after all, the more believers you bring to the church, the more money and influence the establishment gets. you’ve just gotta work with the powerful padres, otherwise, you’re a threat.)

8. you bet your ass preaching is earned. ignacio, bless him, had to go through hell to get his discernment. he had to go through institutional initiation to be allowed to teach what he learned from painful experience. how dare we be moralists, we’ve certainly not earned it.

9. becoming just a decent person is damn hard. thinking beyond your petty concerns is hard. and you, at seat G10, after watching a saint go barefoot and hungry, how can you leave your food tray nakatiwangwang aka an accident-waiting-to-happen? seriously. was it too much to ask for you to bring your leftovers to the cleaners below? go find a cave to dwell in!

10. ignacio de loyola is an ambitious pinoy production, shot in scenic locations abroad, with a non-filipino cast, and scored by the maestro ryan cayabyab (medyo overwhelming minsan aktwali). as a side-note, it deals with the issue of mental illness (sorta explains why there was an ad re MH Act pre-movie). why not give it a chance?

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Behind the fiction: The Autobiography of St. Ignatius

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