Warning: there will be spoilers.
Yesterday I decided to venture out of my home to check out Honor Thy Father which was still screening in SM Megamall in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). To be honest, I am always nervous about watching the films in the MMFF. The titles and their trailers in the past years only gave me the impression that all the movies there were either sappy, kilig-enducing romcoms or slapstick comedies. Yep, I’m judging the movie because of its trailer and title. And nope, it’s still a critical process.
Long story short: Honor Thy Father blew me away. Some scenes in particular stood out for me – there was the scene underground in the mines and the tunnel (how did they get the camera down there?), the one with John Lloyd (playing Edgar) shaving his head on screen in one take, and the brutality of the church-going parishioners when they beat up Edgar while only their silhouettes are caught on the camera.
As the movie begins, we see only black but there is a sharp sound of metal meeting the earth. It was almost like gardening or grave digging – the thought that it was a contrast between life-giving (gardening) and life-ending (grave digging) struck me and remained with me throughout the movie. The near silence that occupied the opening scene (along with Edgar throwing some bread to a starving dog looking for food) carried a faint whisper of There Will Be Blood from 2007 starring Daniel Day Lewis. It was also interesting that the writer took some looks at There Will Be Blood in making the script for Honor Thy Father. Check out the trailer and see for yourself:
From the beginning Honor Thy Father had a dark vibe surrounding it. Although we are distracted for a while by the white from the church (Church of Yeshua our Savior), it only serves as a smokescreen because later we see the same people forcibly entering Edgar’s home and beating him up while he’s on the floor. All we see are their silhouettes – indistinguishable, dark shadows.
Later on we learn that the conflict revolves around Edgar being pressed to pay back some of his investors who lost their money. If he doesn’t, then Edgar probably dies along with his family. The bad guys are a couple with a Hummer with an 8-license plate and are chasing Edgar for six million. The man always seems to have a gun in his hand and a cigarette in the other. While that was irritating, what was equally if not more irritating was the lady partner who, after they kidnapped Edgar’s daughter and threatened him, said as she walked out, “Pasensya lang.” The satisfaction in the end when Edgar killed them both was intense. Interestingly enough, Edgar finished off the bad guy with a pickaxe(!) and made almost the same sound from the beginning of the movie. Life and death again.
All in all, it was well worth the money (even more so!). Please watch it!
There were other movies out in the cinema this week like Walang Forever and Beauty and The Bestie (the AlDub one). They are all rom-coms though and I don’t think I could muster the money going to a rom-com alone. Maybe that will be for another time.
By the way, Happy 2016!