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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Movie Review: Honor Thy Father - A Catastrophic Journey of A Family Wronged

When my friends watched Honor Thy Father last week, they said it was a depressing movie and that it was not the right movie to watch during the Christmas season.

It's actually good for the producers of Honor Thy Father to have themselves included in the 2015 MMFF line-up, otherwise, if they released it in any other week, the movie might get lost in the shuffle, especially when Hollywood movies are the competition.

Well, it used to be that the MMFF in the 80s and 90s featured movies like this and I think it was only in the past decade that the MMDA, with the goal of earning more money during the Christmas season, decided to 'unmake' the original goal of a film festival and turned it into a 'comedy' festival instead.

That's why for the past few years, comedy and movies with fluffy plots lorded over the MMFF and has made a lot of money for the MMDA. This year, they again grossed almost a billion pesos. I guess they found the right formula to earn moolah during the holidays.

If I were pitching this movie to a producer, I would say it's like having a Liam Neeson character (at least in his recent movies) find himself in a situation that the Coen brothers have concocted.

In other words, it's the ordinary man being thrust into a very s**tty situation, which is none of his doing.  

I picked the Coen brothers because in their movies, the end results of the actions of the protagonist have mostly been catastrophic.

I surmise to say that you won't be leaving the theatre with a smile on your face.

What makes this movie special though is that there are elements that anchors the movie in contemporary Filipino society - religious hypocrisy, Ponzi schemes, bullying in schools and the prevalence of pastors and preachers proclaiming that they are messengers of God here on earth.

Everyone here does solid work.  Directing, writing, sound, the score, the cinematography, the editing, even the freakin' make-up team was good!  

And of course the acting.  I've always been a fan of Meryll Soriano and she does really good work here.  Tirso Cruz III takes advantage of his flashy role here and his MMFF award should be the first of several this incoming awards season.

As for John Lloyd, it kinda reminds me when Aga Muhlach decided to do Miguelito under the able hands of Lino Brocka, I think that's the shift John Lloyd wants to do.  Anyway, he already has that lucrative catch in the rom-com genre, a few acting trophies on his headboard wouldn't hurt his rep.

I don't know though if he is deserving to win one for this role, but it's a good start for him to lay the foundations of showing his versatility.

It's never easy shaking off that romantic lead aura, especially when millions of fans have already associated you with that genre.

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