Hilarious, offbeat, and amusing are some of the words that can easily describe Patay na si Hesus. The film mixes dark comedy and drama perfectly into a tense, laugh-out-loud, and in-your-face experience.
Directed by Victor Villanueva and written by Fatrick Tabada, this Cebuano comedy will tug at the viewer’s heart for it is a story about a dysfunctional family: single mother Iyay (Jaclyn Jose), disabled son Hubert (Vincent Viado), trans son Jude (Chai Fonacier), unemployed son Jay (Melde Montañez), and their puppy Judas.
Upon the death of Hesus, Iyay’s estranged husband and father of her children, this family of four goes on a life-changing road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete City to make it to Hesus’ wake and to pay their final respects. As she drives them from Cebu to Dumaguete, untouched familial issues are gradually revealed. It also brings to surface their inner turmoil and the way they come to terms with it.
All throughout, the film’s often disdain towards the other character’s feelings and its no-holds-barred approach may seem off-putting but these silly little things are also the ones that make the whole viewing experience memorable and distinctive.
However, this does not mean that the film lacks the initial depth of things. In fact, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at times, it’s the complete opposite. Each character in the family brings in his/her own quirks and issues that make the film interesting. How each one deals with his/her own problems is the real adventure of the film because in a way, it is more of the exploration of feelings and of conquering their own fears and turning the negativities of their past into a cleansing experience.
Not surprisingly, the film features great and superb acting. Jaclyn Jose, in particular, has a noteworthy performance. Chai Fonacier, who plays a transgender struggling with a relationship, is also incredible in her part.
Patay na si Hesus is definitely an unusual film but in a good way. It is funny, at the same time it also hits the right dramatic buttons when it needs to.
Showing at 790 cinemas nationwide from August 16 to 22 as part of the inaugural Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, this is one movie you wouldn’t want to miss out.
Unlike the other 12 films for this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, Patay na si Hesus uses the Bisaya language and features scenic places in the region including Cebu City, Carcar City, Simala, Sibonga, Boljoon and Santander—the places one passes through on the way to Dumaguete. This is also one of the very few movies that really exhibits not just the geographical beauty of the region but the cultural aspect as well. Movies have been shot and located in Dumaguete and Cebu but, unlike Patay na si Hesus, they did not use the Bisaya language or represent the culture of the people from this place. This is more reason for Sillimanians to watch this movie.
Photos from: Patay Na Si Hesus Facebook page