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The Mistress Reviews

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Ivan D

Super Reviewer

September 19, 2012
Keeping up with Star Cinema's seemingly non-exhaustive obsession with infidelity and anything extramarital, "The Mistress" is the said film production company's latest offering which revolves around some mature issues (yet again) about love. For romantic tandem John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo, this is their much-awaited jump towards true dramatic maturity, and for Olivia M. Lamasan, this is a great chance for her to prove that Star Cinema has something more to offer other than some frequently rehashed plots and cheap sentimentality.

Although I found the film's screenplay (by Vanessa R. Valdez) to be quite strong, I thought that the way the film itself was executed, especially in how the film's ending was decided, is very, very frustrating to the point that I really have given up all my hopes that Star Cinema may one day give us a film that's purely worthy of the commercial successes ("Praybeyt Benjamin", anyone?) that the company itself often undeservedly enjoy.

But with that statement, I don't mean to say that "The Mistress" is a bad film. It is, as far as I'm concerned, one of Star Cinema's better offerings, but that is mainly because of the performances. The ever-luminescent Hilda Koronel, after being absent in the local film scene for about 6 years or so, is very good in her comeback role as Ronaldo Valdez's wife. While both Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz, arguably the only romantic tandem in the country right now that is able to surpass that shallow 'love team' branding by constantly improving their respective dramatic range throughout all these years, have finely highlighted their characters' emotionally incendiary arcs by delivering what may be the most mature performances of their careers.

On the other hand, the film's story, about the emotional struggles of a mistress as she criss-crosses between necessary romance (with Ronaldo Valdez's 'benefactor' character) and true love (with John Lloyd Cruz's), is sort of a non-event. Although the film is held together by its own dramatic sophistication mainly because of the cast, the plot suffers because of its predictable familiarity. How many times have we seen that sequence where the mistress, together with her benefactor, gets caught in a restaurant by none other than the benefactor's emotionally on-the-edge wife? How many times have we seen a relatively old character succumbing to a heart attack after a crucial argument? How many times have we seen that awkward confrontation between the mistress and the legitimate wife with a killer dialogue on the side ("Layuan mo ang asawa ko. Tagalog 'yan para maintindihan mo.")? At the end of the day, the real, more generalizing question is this: How often have we seen films like this? Well, the answer is 'all the freaking time'.

"The Mistress", a film that's heavily sappy in nature, is surprisingly crisp and articulate about its statements about the nuances of love. It's also an entirely flawed commercial work made fine by the cast's dramatic consistency. Its cinematography is also commendable especially on how it evokes the visuals of an old-fashioned melodrama. Just do not get me started with that opening and final scene.

Yes, if you've already seen the film, I'm talking about the opening 'rain' sequence set within the vicinity of a National Book Store branch. But what's even more saddening is the fact that the film must resort to that illusory 'wedding' sequence in its final scene just to make its audience feel better. So what if the characters don't end up together? Get over it and just move on. No need for that unnecessary 'what could have been' scenario.

On a final note, if both John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo have indeed taken a big step towards 'maturity' (as actors) by way of this film, then I think Star Cinema (as a movie studio), in its complete lack of faith on how its audience may react to a less comforting ending by adding that sparkly wedding fantasy, still has a long way to go.
December 16, 2012
The film throughout has been diluted with distracting sob-story elements but it was brilliantly acted and most of all, its message was flawlessly delivered.
May 15, 2013
this is a great example of what a Filipino Film should be! the Chasing Cars song of Snow Patrol at the end made me liked this movie.
Anya Tawnee
April 24, 2013
super beautiful! :)) ???
January 9, 2013
A REALLY TOUCHING FILM...
NICELY EXECUTED!!!!
:)
December 14, 2012
The very strong performances from Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz moved me. Even though "kabit" and "kerida" films and dramas are the hype lately, this differs as it got depth and does not dwell on sharp senseless lines.
October 5, 2012
I would describe this as one of my favorite local films. The genre itself is not the usual Filipino-maintream theme but a kind of theme that doesn't mind profitability first before the actual story. Story wise, script wise and actors were the perfect fits. Realistic and very honest, it gives the film more life.
October 2, 2012
Good movie,but not that great.
thenewalphabet
September 28, 2012
Sensual, moving, and heartbreaking, it's an understatement to compare 'The Mistress' to the preceding adultery-themed Filipino films. Olivia Lamasan, through the four-sided love story of its excellent cast, successfully redeemed the titular role. John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo continue to bring out the best of each other and this film is their best yet.
September 27, 2012
When this came out last week, there were a lot of lines in the cinema houses. That would tell us this was an awesome movie? I don't believe that even for a second. Most mainstream romantic movies has false pretexts. Anyhow sooner or later I was dragged by my wife to see this movie. And at the end of it, I still can't figure what makes this film a big sell out.

I know it's not the cheeky dialogues, Bea's acting or John Lloyd's new found bad boy role. The only logical reason is the perverted shots in the movie or the gross fetish of John Lloyd's mistress. Having your dad's mistress is just fcked up! I think Filipino's love this sickening semi-incest fetish! ARGH!
September 25, 2012
They murdered Snow Patrol's chasing cars and the characters are obsessed woth Thursdays.
September 24, 2012
The plot is seemingly Star Cinema's strong commitment to infidelity slash love triangle stories (remember No Other Woman?). For the most running time of the film, I was guessing what happens next to this scene and that...in other words, the storyline is very predictable that I'm quite sure a third grader can foretell. There were really scenes that saddened me because they're like copied right from our TVs straight to the big screen...the restaurant scene with the growling "legal" wife plus the heart attack after a very intense confrontation. The movie is definitely charming as the actors were superb in portraying their respective roles. Whle thumbs up for the cinematography, the ending is just like a consolation to the happy-ever-after expectant viewers. What I like the most? The movie soundtrack, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. One movie-goer shouted in the exit, "Umiyak ang mga Kerida" (The mistresses [in the cinema] are crying). Well, when the society relates to it, no wonder it is a commercial success topped by the glossy branding of Star Cinema.
September 23, 2012
now I am a believer of the Philippine movie industry after watching this movie..
September 17, 2012
"pwede ko ba siyang gustohin?" LMAO
awesome acting
September 14, 2012
Iba talaga ang Be-lloyd tandem hahaha! :) nice movie sulit kahit inabot kami ng 1 am :)
September 14, 2012
This is just a collection of superb scenes essayed by a sensitive and talented ensemble of great actors led by the very magnificent Miss Hilda Koronel. The story notwithstanding the very difficult situation that the characters found themselves involved in simply challenges your mind and touches on your sensitive emotions. What is keeping me from giving this movie a at least a 4-star is the script. There were some lines that did not seem in seem with the character who said the line or it just ran off tangent from what is happening in front of us. I would recommend this film if only to see Ms. Koronel.
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