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REVIEW: ‘PATAY NA SI HESUS’ Thrives on the Hysterical Side of Life

 

 
Overview
 

Directed by: Victor Villanueva
 
Produced by: Rex Tiri, Moira Lang and Bianca Balbuena
 
Written By: Fatrick Tabada
 
Starring: Jaclyn Jose, Chai Fonacier, Chai Fonacier, Vincent Viado and Mailes Kanapi
 
MTRCB Rating: R-13
 
Genre: ,
 
FG RATING
10
10/ 10


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

Raves


Screenplay, dialogue, humor, Jaclyn Jose and the cast's performance

Rants


Some audiences might not understand Cebuano jokes.


  When we think about humor in the discourse of Philippine Cinema, specifically in mainstream context focuses on the slapstick and insults. Since the early 2000s, indie films paved the way, it brought new compelling stories to Philippine cinema, influencing, reinventing genres and creating original that takes on untouched subjects. In such a case of […]

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Posted August 14, 2017 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

 

When we think about humor in the discourse of Philippine Cinema, specifically in mainstream context focuses on the slapstick and insults. Since the early 2000s, indie films paved the way, it brought new compelling stories to Philippine cinema, influencing, reinventing genres and creating original that takes on untouched subjects.

In such a case of Patay na si Hesus, it’s more than just a comedy, drama but delves into something deeper. Set in Cebu, the story follows Iyay who drags her family to visit their estranged father’s funeral in Dumaguete.

The road trip narrative is more of a character study of Iyay her family, and as the film progresses, we get to see their own frustrations, quirks, antics and other aspects of their personalities and these play out in their dynamic is where the comedy, drama and other emotions come out resonates with the audience. Exploring the characters combined with genuine performances thanks to the writing was allowed the mostly newcomer Cebu-based actors to perform well.

The use of Bisaya language gives you that feel of the South region other than the scenic landscapes of Cebu, the churches to the laidback town locale of Dumaguete, and seeing a glimpse of Siliman University is a nice touch. Not only that, the humor, quirks spoken in Bisaya language doesn’t make the audience felt out of place since language itself brings that authenticity to the characters, locale, landscapes and the whole film to itself and in turn benefited the actors too look believable.

Absurdity is that binds the film together. It makes fun of the tragedy, usual Filipino customs and tradition such as the 60-day lament to tackling subject as death and funeral but at the same time it is respectful to these matters since there are heartfelt moments and scenes that is addressed in a genuine way.

Fatrick Tabada’s screenplay laid out the characters’ path and that journey and dialogue carried the range of comedic to dramatic tone follows a rhythm rather than expository and the story itself, waiting for specific moment, every scene frame build, that’s why every spoken word such as Hubert’s “char” and one-sentence line such as “you need an accountant” as simple as it may sound comes out at a right time, or the situation is built.

jaclyn jose in Patay na si Hesus

Jaclyn Jose led the cast brilliantly and made a formidable ensemble. She doesn’t hold back in every scene and gives it without overdoing it, while she’s got an intimidating screen presence her vulnerable moments were the best, she projects emotions tenderly. And on top that, the cast was able to keep up is because Jaclyn takes them to that moment.

Mailes Kanapi’s Sister Linda seems to be the most random character in the film. Kanapi relishes the weirdness and shows makes the character liberated as much as possible, her transition from being a conservative nun to a kindred spirit illustrates broad strokes of absurdity I have mentioned a while ago, opens another form of laughter.

Chai Fonacier’s take on Jude, a transgender man role handled it with care, and conviction. Every inch of toughness and straightforward attitude speaks to it. Melde Montanez’s Viktor works best ‘with Jaclyn Jose’s Iyay and Chai Fonacier’s Jude, especially the banter and verbal sparring.

And Vincent Viado as Hubert stands out among the cast, who has down syndrome, didn’t allow his disability to hinder his performance but was mesmerizing, full of warmth and in my opinion, is the film’s heart and soul.

It’s too simple to call Patay Na si Hesus a drama or comedy, it’s a film, not an indie or regional film, a film that doesn’t take it too serious or pretentious, throws artsy beauty shots, stale one-liner hugots or the infamous poverty porn tropes but instead lingers on the genuine side of life where every scene made us shrug, laugh, awed and cry. Director Victor Villanueva keeps it real and simple.

Patay Na Si Hesus (Jesus is Dead) is among of the 12 entries of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino which runs from August 16-22 in cinemas nationwide. Special thanks to Columbia Pictures Philippines for the invite!

 

patay na si hesus_


Mico Orda

 
A passionate, enthusiastic writer, Mico Orda utilizes his filmmaking skills to keep his writer’s edge. He enjoys a lot of outdoor activities, which juice up his creative juices.


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