Sundance 2022 Film Review and Official Trailer: ‘Honk For Jesus Save Your Soul’
Sound the horn for Jesus. Save your soul. centers on a megachurch whose pastor was involved in a sexual misconduct scandal. The scandal that caused the closure of the church indefinitely. First Lady Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall) has remained faithful to her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) through it all. Now Pastor Lee-Curtis seeks to rejuvenate his church and try to win back the congregation from him. With the help of his reluctant wife Trinitie, they try to open on Easter Sunday.
This movie specifically follows Trinitie, and I’m so glad that was the case. Sterling K. Brown gives an excellent performance, but Regina Hall stole the show hands down. Trinitie is obviously committed to her husband and her church, but you can tell how withdrawn she is. The signals are through the delivery of certain lines or body language. Even until the end of the movie, you can see the pain on her face. Pastor Lee-Curtis believes that his work is a gift from God Himself. However, he exemplifies the level of vanity that is frowned upon in the Christian faith. In addition, the idea of megachurches as a whole is thoroughly examined. Whether it’s the multiple Prada coats Lee-Curtis owns or the over-the-top mansion, no megachurch is safe.
What makes this movie more interesting is its way of telling the story. It functions as a mockumentary about the reopening of the church. The best part about this is that you see these characters as raw as possible during their lowest moments. Even during the sequences where Trinitie and Lee-Curtis bump into other people, it feels like these people actually exist. One particular moment with an individual stopping traffic to berate Lee-Curtis shows these characters with a sense of dismay that I don’t think can be captured in any other format.
Even with all this, honking for the meanders of Jesus is too much. Taking too much time on scenes that have already run their course. Not to say that these long scenes don’t have a purpose, but we get the same information spread out over different scenes. We spent too much time in church at first, we spent too much time on the side of the road. It felt like he was talking in circles at times. Sometimes the scenes were good to keep you entertained, other times you get lost in the sauce. However, most early feature films do this (as does Blood Simple at times).
At the end of the day, this is an enjoyable movie. A scathing examination of mega-churches and people who crutches their faith as a way to atone for their bad deeds (rather than to atone for their bad deeds). I think the Ebo twins made a great film debut, despite their flaws. I really appreciated the level of experimentation and performances that are within. If this is the direction cinema is going, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Source: Jacob Mauceri, Full Circle, Direct News 99