Jaclyn Jose takes on an offbeat maternal role in ‘Patay na si Hesus’

May 20, 2017 - 6:05 PM
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Jaclyn Jose arrives for the InterAksyon Cinemal Club screening of 'Patay na si Hesus' on May 13 at the Shangri-La Cinema 3. (Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

The InterAksyon Cinema Club was recently launched with an invitational screening of the critically acclaimed dark comedy “Patay na si Hesus.”

Leading the cast is Cannes International Film Festival Best Actress winner Ms. Jaclyn Jose in the role of Iyay, a solo parent who, after many years of separation, forces her grown children to ride a multi-cab from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral of their estranged father.

In contrast to her award-winning portrayal of a small-time drug dealing sari-sari store matriarch in “Ma Rosa,” Jose’s role in “Patay na si Hesus” is a refreshing and completely different take on motherhood.

The film traverses a series of light and funny moments, inclusive of supposedly dramatic scenes overshadowed by the precise comedic timing of the characters.

Each of Iyay’s three children—Bert (Vincent Viado), Jude (Chai Fonacier) and Jay (Melde Montanez) —give Iyay more than enough to worry about, largely contributing to the kind of mother Iyay has become; stern yet soft-hearted, strong-willed yet devoted.

Jose, 53, herself a mother in real life to 26-year-old actress Andi Eigenmann and 15-year-old son Gwen Garimond Ilagan Guck, seems to breeze through her role in the film and doesn’t appear to break a sweat at all.

However, Jose insists that like the other roles she has portrayed, playing Iyay was a challenge, and one that she could not say no to.

“It’s so light and powerful. And entertaining. Hindi siya heavy. At maipagmamalaki ko kasi alam kong masayang pelikula siya, magaan. Masakit pero…hindi ko ma-explain eh. Basta maganda siya,” Jose said in an interview with InterAksyon.

Jaclyn Jose (center) with her all-Cebuano family in the black comedy ‘Patay na si Hesus.’

Jose is happy with how her career has panned out; and how she has always felt the love and respect from the industry she belongs to.

“Nakapagtatag na tayo ng foundation. Naka-apat na dekada na ako rito. Na-recognize na rin naman tayo ng mga award-winning bodies dito sa atin. So yung respeto and yung puwesto, andun na.”

Jose admits that winning Best Actress in Cannes is most definitely her greatest achievement, and she could not ask for more.

“Alam mo, okay na ako dun. Huwag na tayong masyadong…yung naibigay sa akin na yun, wala na akong mahihiling pa. Kasi parang, ano na yun eh. Yung Oscars malabo na rin talaga. Pero at least, ka-level naman nun. Okay na ako dun. Wala na akong hihingin pa.

“Tapos meron pang mga recognition na yung mga local awards na binibigyan ako. So okay na ako, ang dami ko nang nakuha,” she said.

“Patay na si Hesus” won QCinema festival’s Audience Choice and Gender Sensitivity awards last year and has been lauded by critics for its bleak yet hilarious depiction of societal conditions.

Written by Moira Lang and Fatrick Tabada and directed by Victor Villanueva, it is rated R-13 by the MTRCB, with the following comment: “Yes, it is a film for the mature, with strong adult language. But it is, above all an endearing film that holds a mirror to our faces and lets us see ourselves—as a family, as a people, as a country.”

UPDATE: The film is one of the 12 entries in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino film festival which opens this Wednesday, August 16.