A few days more before the release of 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival entries yet one of the entries is bound to be boycotted by the authorities of the Catholic Church which speaks for the the angry catholic people otherwise the so acclaimed offensive scenes in the movie are going to be omitted.Father Jejemon is an upcoming comedy flick by the Comedy King “Dolphy”.It is directed by Frank Gray Jr., written by Bibeth Orteza and Rhandy Reyes.Father Jejemon is about a story of a modern-day priest who deals with different people in fictitious town called Parmbil. He mostly deals about the criticisms he’s gotten from the townspeople because they find him too “offbeat” for a churchmen.And things take an interesting turn when the priest gets accused of child molestation.Now he tries to find ways to make his name and reputation clear, with the help of friends!
Now, the Issue:
The Catholic Church is standing up against the seemingly offensive scenes shown in the teaser trailer of Father Jejemon movie.It is wherein the movie shows Fr.Jeremiah Jerome Montes a.k.a “Father Jejemon” is giving communion to a woman with the host falling into her cleavage.Another portion shows the host getting stuck in an old woman’s dentures.
The Catholic Church criticized the scenes saying the host should not be made a mockery of as it was the body of Jesus Christ.Former CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said “They are negative, the movie does not give a good reflection on the priesthood”.He also added that “Fr. Jejemon” could have been a good campaign for vocation as he remembers the “King of Comedy” has an uncle who was a priest, Fr. Vera.
After that, numerous protests against the movie had spread like wildfire from text messages saying “Let’s not allow the ‘King of Comedy’ to make a comedy of the ‘King of Kings'”.Until it finally came into the mainstream media.A protest message was in fact, aired on Philippine television in a program called “SNN”, saying:
“Please boycott ‘Father Jejemon’ where the Holy Eucharist is accidentally dropped in between the cleavage of a female communicant. In another, it is stuck between the dentures of a senior citizen.”
And because of that the new MTRCB Chairman Grace Poe Llamanzares has ordered a second review of the movie.She further stated that “Due to the feedback received we received regarding the trailer of ‘Father Jejemon,’ I have ordered a second review of the scene in the movie being questioned. Please note that the MTRCB board is given the autonomy to decide what rating to prescribe. As chairman, I’m bound to respect the independent view of the majority of the members in a committee review…” as read on “The Buzz” by Boy Abunda last Dec. 19.
Dolphy immediately apologized and said “Sagradong Katoliko ako para awayin ko ang Panginong Diyos. Nahihiya ako sa nangyari, pagpasensiyahan na ninyo ako kako. I was just meant to do good pero kung masama, ayaw nila, aalisin ko,”.
However, according to Dolphy while shooting the film, a priest was present to look over the script.”Mayroon kaming adviser na pari doon. Mayroon kaming pari na pumupunta doon. Tinatanong namin kung okay ang nasa script. Sabi niya okay naman,” he said.
But then to give respect to the Catholic Church, even he was hurt, Dolphy said the show must go on.According to Zsa Zsa Padilla, one of the producers of the film, they are willing to spend money to re-edit the film.
My Personal Take
Despite receiving not-so-good comments about the movie trailer and the poster from yours truly.Yes, I didn’t like the poster for it’s so baduy and yes I didn’t like the trailer because it is so corny.But as for the so acclaimed offensive scenes in the movie everybody’s been talking about.To be honest, I really have nothing against them!
At first, just like me, you are likely to raise a brow especially in the portion where the host fell into a womans cleavage.But when the second clip rolled; where the dentures got stuck – you’d laugh out loud, and you will automatically think that it was done all for comedy.
Imagine if it happened in real life.Would it be that funny? Perhaps yes in a way – but just like what any Priest would do, he’d try to apologize, for some reasons will intentionally get the host back (without malice) and even try to cover the eyes of the altar boy beside him and that’s what Fr. Jejemon did in the teaser.It just appeared to be funny because it’s a comedy movie right?
As for the second portion, if so that it happens in real life, If you were the priest – are you kind enough to give the dentures back to the woman? Because if I am, absolutely I will – *with a smile pa!*.
While it is true that Filipinos are sensitive when religion is being tackled at some point.And the movie tackles a sensitive issue (even I am tackling a sensitive issue).Shouldn’t be a movie who is after all, for the Filipinos (esp Catholics) deserves to be supported by the Church? I believe the teaser doesn’t tells much about the movie.The movie itself has something to say about the people and about the church.
Priesthood isn’t described by the shortcomings done by a fictitious character.Not even the unintentional falling of the host into the cleavage of a woman or the dentures stuck on the host during the Holy Eucharist.And not even a movie could redefine Priesthood and faith itself and above all respect to God.
I believe Dolphy, himself including all the person behind the movie doesn’t mean any harm and offense to the Church.He doesn’t even have to say sorry because all he wanted was for the people to be happy.He is not after topping the box-office.In fact in the interview he said “Gusto ko lang masayahan ang manonood,”.
Nothing is wrong with the teaser! Therefore nothing is wrong with the film – the problem is within us Filipinos.Years have passed yet we still judge the book by its cover – you still judge the movie by its trailer.May this be a lesson for the producers also – provide good movie trailers okay?
Forgive me for saying that those are just ‘seemingly’ offensive scenes in the movie.But then I stand my point.I take no offense upon saying this.But just so you know, there is one open minded Filipino-catholic here who clearly knows which one is offensive and which is not.Someone, who doesn’t weigh in faith because the some people told me so! (The most common problem of Filipinos).Just because everybody’s standing up against something they’d also join the bandwagon of hating something even though they doesn’t even know what’s that thing! Hahay..
And Yes, the clip tells that a Holy Eucharist is on going but then let me state for the record that it is just a movie – after all.
P.S: If there’s anything about the movie trailer that I didn’t like – it’s where Dolphy punched EJ Falcon’s character.But as what your friend might have told you – everything happens for a reason.Do not Boycott the film!
Katoliko ako, manonood ako. 😉