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Honor Thy Father - Movie Review

honor thy father review mmff

Among all the eight entries of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), ‘Honor Thy Father’ is the black sheep film shown on the festival that normally caters family-friendly pop-corn fare. This is a film that tries to neglect the existence of a God with all the facets the film’s characters had to face in a screwed-up world where hope is dreamt without breathing the words enclosed in the Bible. A film that questions how capitalism has changed people on every aspect of their lives to the point of destroying others. Perhaps, it’s the last thing you may want to see after going in a church on Christmas season.

honor thy father review mmff

I can see why some people will have second-thoughts going into this movie. But what I can’t totally see are the people not relieving their hope to the MMFF for showing such provocative masterwork after seeing it. Selling it to the mainstream audience is a hard-fetch, because this is very hard to watch. There are no joy to find in ‘Honor Thy Father’, nor a hero saving the day from the explosions. Even by the film’s closing shot, hope may haven’t been fulfilled. Simply, this is a well-put together character study of the things a father (John Lloyd Cruz) would do for his family’s safety, even if it deals with returning to his dark roots.



Director Erik Matti managed to transform the provinces of Baguio and Bontoc into very grim landmarks. Despite having multiple beautiful shots of the city’s mountains and destination spota, one can’t help but to feel very uncomfortable throughout the film. Every scene sets up to an even heavier obstacle where the tension and pressure within the father increases rapidly. It doesn’t hold its breath to slow down nor speed up, Matti lets his audience to sink in with disgust the world he created here.


John Lloyd Cruz excels as the father, providing one of the most electric and mature roles in his career. With minimal dialogue, the actor effectively pulled-off multiple personas within his character, whose unpredictable desperate decisions also sees his character unfold to the whole extent.

honor thy father review mmff

Honor Thy Father’ is a broody, hard-to-watch film that turned out as one of the best offerings of our local cinema this year. Matti’s direction, alongside Michiko Yamamoto’s masterful screenplay and Cruz’s terrific turn proved why the film is set to rejuvenate the MMFF brand. Or more so, the local mainstream cinema scene. To not see it is a big shame.

The geek rates it 9/10!

'Honor Thy Father' is now showing in cinemas nationwide!

honor thy father review mmff poster









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