Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul (2022 Sundance Film Festival); Grade: B
Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years 2022 Sundance Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul.
Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul is a mockumentary style film centered around a pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and his wife Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall). Pastor Lee-Curtis is trying to make a comeback after a huge scandal that truly wrecked his reputation as a pastor, making many followers who used to come to his Sunday Service every week, now no longer wish to come back. Here in this film we get to learn the unfiltered side of Pastor Lee- Curtis and his wife behind the scenes while film making their documentary, as we’ll experience their dysfunctional journey into achieving this comeback.
The presentation of Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul made the film quite intriguing for me, as the shift back and forth from documentary style of film making to shooting a regular narrative film. Of course this type of style has been done many times in film before, however for this kind of story telling it’s a neat choice, as you get to see what this pastor and wife is like on screen by the documentary style to when the camera is no longer on them… It’s a nice little shift revealing just how phony these two individuals are when they’re not being filmed.
Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall to me were the main highlight of this entire film, as they delivered great performances in this film, I would even say they’re by far the most entertaining part of this film without a doubt. They really delivered a very accurate portrayal of those working in the church field, whom are not working in the field genuinely to deliver the word of Christ, but more so working in the field to fulfill their selfish needs of glamorous items and such. Moments of frustration between these two characters were pretty strong, I also really enjoyed the one scene where Brown and Hall singing along to a rap song in the car… They had such great chemistry together as it did felt very believable as they were a married couple.
The story at hand is kind of hit or miss for me. As a comedy it has it’s moments and the story at hand is a neat concept to take on. However the comedy material at hand can be corny to me, as a lot of the jokes and mannerisms displayed by the characters missed several times for me. I think for a film like this the comedy has to be at least on par especially from a mockumentary style story like this, if you’re not thoroughly laughing for a fair majority of it, it can suddenly be less interesting as at times it kind of was. What really saved this film for me was Brown and Hall’s passionate performances: I feel without them this film would’ve easily been average or even mediocre, but lucky for this film their performances really benefited A LOT.
Overall, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, I feel this is going to be a nice film for a future double feature with last years The Eyes of Tammy Faye. -Mitch Smietana