Star Cinema’s latest offering, Olivia Lamasan’s The Mistress, is a reunion of some sort. First, it’s the comeback project of the tandem of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo after 2010’s Miss You Like Crazy. Incidentally, it’s also a celebration of a decade of being paired together. This is also Hilda Koronel’s comeback movie after 2005’s Nasaan Ka Man, and her first, since she decided to live with her husband abroad. Thus, it gives The Mistress some sort of an advantage in terms of chemistry and acting intensity which can be both beneficial and disadvantageous at some parts.
JD (John Lloyd Cruz) meets Sari (Bea Alonzo) and invites her for a date; Sari refuses, yet their paths meet again. When JD uncovers the reason, he became more persistent; Sari starts to become confused. Thing is, Sari is a mistress of a rich businessman (Ronaldo Valdez); thus, she claims herself as taken already. But JD won’t stop, while Sari shows her vulnerability. What happens in the end?
There’s always something that strikes me to like the film, only to pull me out of it every now and then. For one, I really like how the story ended. It embodies something that I long waited in Philippine mainstream films. but of course, Lamasan can’t stray away from pleasing all types of movie watchers with her treatment of it. Still, I appreciate what they did there.
I actually liked the first 20-30 minutes of the film, where the tension is built and it engages you into something interesting, only to see it fall downhill from there. We were then treated to almost a different film that focused on the romantic montages reaching to the climax which will lead to a bunch of recycled Star Cinema treatments. For someone who’s tolerant about Star Cinema dramas, even I got tired seeing and knowing what happens next. It will only lure you again with the ending but not enough to save the whole experience. Though, I must say I like the production design of this one especially during the wedding cave scene. That’s actually really beautiful.
Also, I really find it hard to like anyone in the film. John Lloyd is so mad against the world, but you get confused with his intentions. But since it’s John Lloyd Cruz, I guess he is entitled to a free pass? Hmm. Not this time. JD is confident yet pleasing, he has opinions yet he can be petty which makes one wonder how can he still be someone you are rooting for? The same can be said for Alonzo’s Sari. She’s a mistress who does not know what her perspective in life is. She claims herself taken, yet she entertains. She loves her grandmother, yet she’s bitter about her mother who commits the same fate as her. Ronaldo Valdez is bitter, but he’s in denial. He thinks he can handle everything in his hands, only to see him admit it’s not possible since the movie’s about to end. Hilda Koronel’s character is some sort of a mess, and despite being “the original”, you don’t actually care for her at all.
I guess that somehow affects the performance of the actors. John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo really has this palpable chemistry, so it’s not surprising to witness their banters working perfectly. However, I think John Lloyd fared better in his individual scenes as compared to Bea (she was good in the film generally), who can’t help but do the “kunot noo-pikit mata” acting during their confrontation while her partner steamrolls all this emotions in front of her. With that said, I am captivated by how the camera loves Bea Alonzo’s face. She is ravishing and sparkling whatever angle you look at her. She really commands the camera and her face knows no angle to highlight her beauty. Ronaldo Valdez was typical Ronaldo Valdez, while Hilda Koronel seemed to suffer the most from the writing with her mostly relying on theatrics with her line deliveries.
In entirety, I see this is as a hit or miss. When The Mistress is good, it’s really good. But when it falters, one can easily notice the weakness in it. Sadly, the latter trumps the former in this one.
Rating: 2.5 / 5