Magnifico – Movie – Review

Magnifico Collage

An awe-inspiring slice-of-life!


Set in an impoverished town, a couple begins to lose hope and courage when faced with life’s adversities – a daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy, a son who loses his scholarship, and a young boy named Magnifico or Ikoy, who is not so good in school. But Ikoy has a good heart and a large spirit that allows him to give joy to the hopeless people in their community and magically transforms their lives for the better. With Ikoy’s grandmother is discovered to have stomach cancer which has reached the uncontrollable stage.

Year: 2003
Country: Philippines
Language: Filipino, Tagalog
Genre: Drama
Director: Maryo J. De los Reyes
Writer: Michiko Yamamoto
Cast: Jiro Manio, Lorna Tolentino, Albert Martinez, Gloria Romero, Isabella De Leon, Danilo Barrios


My very first Filipino movie and despite being open to movies from around the globe, I always sidelined Filipino movies and dramas. But, one day my friend suggested me this movie and I am glad I did!!! This is one of the best movies that I have seen till date. The simplicity of this movie is its biggest credit. A modest and beautiful story, it is surely worthy of its name.

I personally love ‘A slice of life’ types of movies and this is one of them. Not many clichés or overdramatic conflicts and no sudden unrealistic twists in stories, just a peek into the life of a poor family and the people around them. There are no angst-ridden villains, evil step-mothers or the poor main hero turning out to secretly be a rich guy’s lost son. Just a wonderful boy, his family and the people in his life. Simple yet deeply moving.

Magnifico - Jiro Manio - Isabella de Leon
Ikoy hugging his sister

I really enjoyed seeing Ikoy (Magnifico) and his family members. Everyone was a sweet and close to each other. A hardworking father, a lovely grandmother, a loving mother who is always stressed out about how to make ends meet, a cute little sister who unfortunately suffered from cerebral palsy, an aloof elder brother and finally our dear Ikoy – Magnifico, one with a warm heart, a helping nature and a sweet and kind composition despite being not too good in the brains department.

When Ikoy hears about the possibility of his dear grandmother passing away soon and his family not being able to shoulder the funeral expenses, he takes matters into his own hands and sets off to try and earn enough money to afford a coffin. This was just one of the many touching and overwhelming scenes in the movie.

There were several scenes which greatly moved like seeing Ikoy take care of his younger sister, taking his sister to the carnival, or the way their mother looks after all her children, or the neighbours helping out Ikoy and his sister whenever possible, and there are many more…. I am moved to tears yet again simply by recalling all this while writing this review.

Also, Ikoy was an inspiration to me. Why you ask? It is because neither did he ever lose hope nor pitied himself and his circumstances. He had great determination and a heart of gold. He never backed off from looking after his ill grandmother or taking care of his handicapped sister. He worked hard to fulfil his promises and selflessly lived for his family members and yet never considered it a burden.

All the actors were exceptional and very genuine in their acting. I never felt that anyone was acting, it seemed as if I was watching them as the embodiments of their characters who in reality were one family related to one another, living and eating together under one roof. I especially adored Isabella De Leon, the girl who played the role of the handicapped sister. If you just watch her, you will understand what I mean.

Magnifico is one of the best films ever & a must-watch film! I hope Bollywood will make a film like this someday. A film which has the capability to lift the hearts of people!

  • Story
  • Acting/Cast
  • Music


A great film if you want a slice-of-life film! A film which has the capability to lift the hearts of people! Even if you are not a slice-of-life type of person, I highly recommend you to watch Magnifico!

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Have you seen ‘Magnifico’? If yes, then what do you think about it? If not, would you watch it? Comment below!

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About Mit

A proud introvert with a love for the big and small screen world. Have an obsession with the world of Asian Cinema. Welcome inside my Asian plagued mind.

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February 3, 2018 8:13 pm

I loved the film. It had a meaningful and touching story.