Quezon's Game (2020)
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It's a little-known bit of history that first-time features director Matthew Rosen...brought to the screen in a straightforward, efficient film that may not win many plaudits for style or acting but has a story that's never less than fascinating.
The story is a real-life political chess game with the makings of a gripping race-against-the-clock thriller; but here it drags out into sluggish, dull and unconvincing melodrama.
It may not always qualify as great cinema, but when it comes to presenting a fascinating, emotionally rewarding history lesson, you'll be hanging on every scene.
Unfortunately, the poor production values, ham-fisted screenplay and uneven performances prevent it from achieving the desired dramatic impact.
This political back-and-forth is... cheapened by the broad, near-hagiographic strokes with which Rosen paints his leading characters, who spend most of the run-time speechifying between stagy puffs of cigars.
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