'Manny' the movie is a tribute to a champion's life in and outside the boxing ring.
Even though everyone in the country (and quite possibly the world) already knows who Manny Pacquiao is, Manny, a truthful and honest documentary about the life of Pacquiao, will bring the beloved Pinoy boxer even closer to everyone with its inspirational tale of struggles, challenges, and hope. During the red carpet premiere held last March 10 at the Newport Performing Arts theater in Resorts World Manila, hundreds flocked to the first Asian screening of the movie which concluded with an appearance of the film's co-producer Raffy Puni who flew to the country just to grace the event after attending the world premiere in Texas.
The film starts out introducing Manny's humble beginnings in a poor community in General Santos City and how even as a little boy he strove to become a good breadwinner for his family. Expect raw and heartfelt testimonials from Manny's mother Dionisia and wife Jinkee as well as his uncle who became his first boxing trainer at the age of 12. The movie is initially narrated by Hollywood actor Liam Neeson, but it is ultimately Manny Pacquiao himself who tells most of the intricate details of his life (in his signature somewhat broken yet endearing English).
Manny also includes intriguing interviews with the people who helped shaped Manny's international career, like his longtime coach Freddie Roach (who, despite battling Parkinson's disease, continues to train the Pacman to this day), his advisor Micharl Kocz, his former strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, boxing promoter Bob Arum, celebrities like Jeremy Piven, Mark Wahlberg, and host Jimmy Kimmel as well as interesting insights from local and foreign boxing analysts who all have different perspectives on Manny's life.
Although most of the movie focuses on Manny's career as a boxer (including highlights of his world title bouts as well as his initial fights as a teenager), the filmmakers (Ryan Moore and Academy Award winner Leon Gast) made sure to give just as much emphasis on Manny's other pursuits like his subsequent political career as a congressman in his home province and his newfound faith as a bible ambassador.
As a documentary, Manny does not merely aim to glorify the already illustrious career of the "People's Champion." In fact, what it seems to want to do is show the Pinoy athlete for what he really is: a true fighter in and outside the ring; an imperfect human being with flaws and mistakes; and a man who grows in strength through the years. The movie shows Manny is a great guy not because he is perfect, but because he continues to inspire despite his imperfections. It shows Manny as a champion, a public servant, a hero to the masses and to his family as well.
Manny Pacquiao is currently in the US preparing for his rematch with welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas.