Fans of good road trip movies are sure to love Victor Villanueva’s Patay na si Hesus. The film follows Iyay (Jaclyn Jose) and her family as they embark on an unforgettable journey. After receiving news of her estranged husband’s death, Iyay drags her three children to Dumaguete to attend their father’s funeral. With no shortage of dark humor, absurd situations, and eccentric characters, Patay na si Hesus promises nothing but a heartfelt, good time.
The soul of the film lies in its motley set of characters. Iyay’s family is composed of Bert (Vincent Viado), the eldest son with Down Syndrome; Jude (Chai Fonacier), the daughter-turned-son transgender; and Jay (Melde Montañez), the aimless bunso. Down the road Linda (Mailes Kanapi), Iyay’s sister-in-law, hitches along. The unhinged ex-nun who, at one point, eagerly strips on the open road, adds a ton of crazy to the already chaotic bunch.
These extreme personalities wouldn’t have meshed well if not for the cast. Standing out among the rest are the performances of Jose and Fonacier. Jose’s Iyay finds a balance between uncompromising and compassionate, perfectly depicting the two roles a single mother has to play. Fonacier’s portrayal of Iyay’s transgender son, Jude, is raw and real. It is the honesty in her performance that quickly catapults Jude to fan-favorite status.
Patay na si Hesus tells a heavy tale, but does its best to balance it out with spells of laughter. There are moments that go overboard with crude humour, but it helps alleviate the somewhat sluggish ninety-minute run time.
The plot comes off as pretty straightforward, in the way it helps shed light on pertinent issues. The film addresses the intricacies of the broken family dynamic, acceptance in the light of unconditional love, and forgiveness when you need it the most, and for that, Patay na si Hesus succeeds.
Photo retrieved from interAksyon.com.