Before and during this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), “Honor Thy Father” has created a resounding noise among patrons of this annual event. The most recent involved the disqualification of the film in the Best Picture category a day before the awards night.
Despite the disqualification, the movie has garnered five wins that include Best Supporting Actor for Tirso Cruz III, Best Director for Erik Matti, Best Child Performer for Krystel Brimner, Best Make-up, and Best Original Theme Song.
Because of these background and our impulsive instinct, my friends and I decided to give this movie a big shot of a try.
Knowing Erik Matti’s craft especially his “On the Job,” I believe that his production’s promise that we will enjoy the movie is somewhat easy to accept.
We did enjoy the film.
WHY IS THE MOVIE A GREAT FILM?
(NOTE: I will not tell the summary yet to avoid spoilers)
- I don’t usually trust Filipino movies, so I choose movies where I spend my money. I am not saying that Filipinos make lousy films. Sometimes, filmmakers produce movies for profiteering purposes that resulted to mass production. For me, Star Cinema has proven its reputation to have good cinematography and that its movies worth watching. On the other hand, “Honor Thy Father” has excellent shots and great sights in the film. I am not an expert in film-making, but I am extremely satisfied with the way I viewed the movie. The angles were great.
- The acting is superb. Although only 2 acting awards were given to this movie, I believe that the actors effectively portrayed their characters and their respective character motivation. It’s very important that the character motivation should be revealed among the audience for them to understand why they behave that way. John Lloyd has proven that he is a magnificent actor. Merryl did the same, and so with other actors like Tirso.
- The theme is fresh, raw, and riveting. I guess the plot and the central issues where the events revolve around are something new to Filipino audience watching a Filipino film. Hypocrisy, Spirituality, Secrets of Syndicates, and others are taboo topics that most movies usually do not tackle. Indeed, it’s a huge leap for an indie-style of movie to go mainstream.
- The story is well-polished. The dialogues of the actors seem real. The suspense in the film makes the movie predictably unpredictable. I found some witty incidents in the film like when the characters made a larger than life decision to risk their lives in order to meet a deadline. We were able to relate since it’s like “buwis buhay” when you try to meet intense pressure.
- Last and most important, it makes the viewers think and reflect. It’s making them go home and take not only enjoyment but profound insights from the film. It’s an art in its finest–beauty and excellence.
I cannot say that for me, it’s the best picture since I have only watched two movies; but I can claim that it deserves to be part of the top 3 best pictures in this year’s festival. Disqualifying the movie is a disrespect to the people who uphold doing a masterpiece in film-making. It’s like telling Beethoven that he was not good enough. It’s like telling Walt Disney that he was not really creative. It’s repeating history that certain group of people downgrade real artists. For me, that is an intense social blunder.
The movie made me respect Direk Erik even more. For me, he deserves to be the best director for bringing this movie altogether.
Very few will be able to watch the movie because some cinemas are even removing it in their roster to give way for movies that attract more audience because of star-studded cast. I just hope that people like the makers of “Honor Thy Father” will not stop making movies like this to open our eyes and thoughts to different possibilities that we ourselves have never thought about or even if we did, we have not shared or given life. It’s rare, and that makes this movie so attractive.
Those who want to watch MMFF, this movie must be part of your choices.