Honor Thy Father Review

Honor Thy Father is really one of the few films that separates itself from the many identical Filipino movies in this year’s MMFF, and with good reason at that. In my opinion, it only comes 2nd to my all-time favorite Filipino movie which is “On the Job” which coincidentally also has a similar dark tone to it. The movie stars John Lloyd Cruz in sort of a new kind of role as I’ve only seen him in chick flicks before when occasionally tuning on to ABS-CBN or Cinema One. Here he assumes the role of a father (Edgar) who is forced to choose between being true and dependent on his faith or finding and making a solution himself when his daughter’s (Angel) life becomes at risk due to him and his wife (Kaye) being caught in the middle of a mess of an investment scheme. The main conflict of the movie starts when the couple finds out that the person whom they have invested a huge sum on including money of some investors and their own money as well has been killed. With all the money having vanished, Edgar and Kaye now face tremendous pressure from the investors they have promised interest/dividends to. This culminates to the investors forcing themselves in the couple’s house laying waste and stealing their property after beating Edgar to unconsciousness. All out of hope, the situation gets worse when the couple finds out that their daughter has been abducted (but returned) by two individuals who also demand a huge sum from them. Desperate and all out of hope, the couple turn to their pastor, Bishop Tony, to ask for financial help. The Bishop only dismisses their begging and in turn only tells them to believe in Yeshua (God) as He will provide. Frustrated, Edgar decides that it is up to him to get the money and attempts to rob a bank in which he fails as he suddenly aborted it the last minute due to a panic attack. He then goes home to his family for help. He and his brothers formulate a plan to steal from his church as it is raising funds to build more churches and are near to achieving their budget. They tunnel from the canal underneath the church ultimately getting inside from below the drainage of a bathroom. They locate the safe and get all the money they can until security arrives wounding some of them by gunfire. They escape the same way they got in but fail to get enough money. Upon contacting the kidnappers, who now have his wife Kaye with them, Edgar devises a plan B. Upon meeting with them, he throws a bag on the floor telling the kidnappers that it was the money only to be fooled as Edgar grabs a gun and shoots them both. Kaye is now close to dying due to the beating she has received from the kidnappers. Edgar tries to save her but ultimately fails and this is where the movie ended. I really liked the movie as in my opinion, it really has pushed Philippine Cinema forward. From the crude language to the dark tone of the plot itself, it truly has exposed some of the serious issues we are facing now in our country. All the actors in my opinion also performed very well. I believe that they were also perfectly cast specially Tirso Cruz playing the Pastor character very well. Lastly, as simple as it is, I also loved the title of the movie. Though confusing in the beginning, one would eventually get the reason behind the title after watching the movie intently. Overall, this movie has brought hope to myself with regards to the future of the quality of not only of the movies in the MMFF but in Philippine movies all year round as well. Nothing against the more lighter genres but when people behind the production of a movie decides that quality should be more of a priority over the profit they could gain, people and audiences notice.

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