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Alpha Kappa Omega: A Critique

Alpha Kappa OmegaAng simula at wakas ay kapatiran!

Mike de Leon filmed the experiences of seven neophytes during a hazing and initiation in
a fraternity, the similarities of the fraternity to martial law, and the microcosm of the Filipino
society as a whole. Even though this masterpiece was released in 1989, it is still relevant. There
were many cases of hazing related killing circulating the news today and frat related violence cases
still unclosed.
Director Mike de Leon went beyond narrating a story of fraternity hazing and initiation in
this film. He directed the neophytes brilliantly making them symbols rather than characters. Also
he used the violence and deaths of fraternity wars to convey a message that no one will benefit
when fighting each other. The music during the frat war scene was used perfectly. It gave more
meaning to the message that fighting will benefit no one other than the grief it will produce. The
cinematography in the end scene, when Sid Lucero (Mark Gil) became a master was created
flawlessly. The actors were also perfect in their characters because they were not the buffed and
handsome college students but normal and problematic youth. Noel Trinidad gave the film a little
comedy especially when he humiliated one of the masters in his class. Hands down to Mark Gil in
his acting, he became a legend in this film. His highlight was when he became a master in the last
scene and during the electrocution of Ronnie.
Mike de Leon had done what he intended to do in this film. How he narrated and directed
this film was full of meanings that will take you to the prison-like world of the neophytes. It can
be analyzed that the Filipinos were the neophytes, full of passion and love to serve the government
() for their good intention to the country. Not knowing that we are already following them
blindly in all their desires, and as time goes by we are becoming like them - masters of the next
generation of neophytes and blinded by the promises we inherited to the people we blindly
followed before.
In the critics opinion, the masters of were the false promises of progress for the
society in which violence was required to attain progress. The frat also signified the deceptive
promise of power in the society. Sid Lucero was the Marcos regime that issued Martial Law. He
was the only enthusiastic, passionate, and fanatical in the batch. The other neophytes were the
Filipino society. They were undecided, only joined to have companions, some urged by their
families, and only joined to have power. These were all the reactions Filipinos had during the
Martial Law.
The film talks about the blind following of religion in the Philippine society. The masters
in can be likened to the religious icons in the society. When Jaime Cardinal Sin called people
for mobilization in the EDSA revolution, millions of Filipinos came to end the dictatorship of
Ferdinand Marcos, proving the power of the religion in changing the politics in the Philippines.
When the masters of commanded the neophytes to remove their clothes, swallow saliva, and
run naked, the neophytes obeyed them.
It also talks about the effects of Martial law in the society. During the electrocution scene,
when Ronnie was questioned, Ang martial law ba ay nakasama o nakabuti sa Pilipinas? Roxas
was not answering, this symbolizes that there were no concrete answer to this question. But one
thing was sure, Filipinos were puppets of the government during and after the Martial Law.
Filipinos after the Martial Law trusted on the government to change their way of life and doesnt
care whether it will bring good or bad. As was said by the father of Ronnie, hindi naman hinihingi
ng fraternity ang hindi ninyo kayang ibigay Just trust your fraternity. This was happening in
the Philippines, Most of the Filipinos were giving their full trust and confidence to the people in
power without realizing that some of the promises of the administration were for their own benefit.
The film was not just full of metaphors or similarities, its something more, in which a
fraternity was revealed to be no more than symbolizing dictatorship, fascism, feminism, etc. It also
showed what drives the people into the frat, and then the process of artificial danger and violence
that essentially turns them into masters themselves. By the films end, they will do anything for
one another, for the memory of their killed brothers, for the ring of brothers around them singing
their creed, what started as craving for power or control, a need for self-determination or
companionship, had turned into crude and undying devotion to one another.
Filipinos should watch this kind of films, this film will cause social awareness to its
viewers. This movie was intended by the director to cause people to reflect to what they saw. After
watching the film, Filipinos will begin to reflect what they saw and began to question what really
the effects of Martial Law in the society are. Is the way of life better or worse when Marcos was
overthrown in the place? Am I just like the neophytes, trusting fully and obeying blindly to what
the masters of the government is directing me? Or am I becoming more like them?