REVIEW: The Mistress   38 comments

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

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38 responses to “REVIEW: The Mistress

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  1. Neither did i like it. The film attempts to humanize Sari as mistress– poor writing and directing got in the way though.

  2. Did you Olivia Lamasan’s The Buzz interview? She [proudly] stated that they had a workshop first between John Lloyd and Bea, before even finishing the script! Maybe that’s the problem with Pinoy movies — mas nagba-bank sa star power at publicity kesa puliduhin ang istorya/plot, character development, resolution!

  3. Pingback: The Mistress « Pinoy Rebyu

  4. I have yet to watch the film. But I am watching it just because I need to see it first before forming my own opinion. But I am watching it with apprehension though. Star Cinema has a pechant for crafting its films with same formulas over and over again. I agree with Eloy, Filipino films bank on the “hatak” power of the celebrity not on the story or the film itself.

  5. John Lloyd Cruz is John Lloyd Cruz…

  6. The movie was okay…i don’t know why, but everytime JD asks Sari for coffee I was thinking of Unofficially Yours (John Lloyd and Angel movie)…I like the theme..the mistress falling for her benefactor’s son…although the storyline was a bit of cliche…like there is nothing really new to it…i mean, i wasn’t that engrossed with the movie…i even checked the time and saw that the movie has already been running for an hour but they haven’t really captivated me entirely…the cave scene was good though there is something in it that put me off i just can’t pin point what…there is something missing in the confrontation scene of Ronaldo Valdez and John Lloyd…the scenes before the ending seems a little bit rushed while the first part of the movie was a little draggy for me…what saved this film for me from being just a typical romance-melodrama was the ending…i like it so much! I guess it has the most realistic ending compared to other mainstream movies…so overall it’s a 3.5/5…

    • Thanks Althea! Incidentally, I also saw myself checking my watch and seeing how the movie is progressing. 🙂 And everybody seems to love the ending.

      • yeah…because it was something new I guess…and it’s realistic (only thing I can say without spoiling the others who haven’t watched it yet)…the Chasing Cars background music was effective too…the song keeps repeating in my head…^_^v

      • The first time Chasing Cars was played, I was like. “Wow. Good use of a song!” The second time they did, I turned into “NOT AGAIN!!!!” Hahaha. Pero I agree sa LSS siya and fits the atmosphere of the scene perfectly.

    • Personally,i like the new theme, not the usual love story… this one is kinda fresh. Maybe its just me but when Ronaldo Valdez told his son ” dalawang beses ako Na-Inlove”… at his age… He should have more depth, like “totoong nagmahal” or sorts… i don’t know. but i consider in love “term” for High school and young ones.

      SAri was so beautiful… wow, and john Loyd is good no doubt, but the eyes is different from the way he is in his past films.

  7. its pathetic movie , wasted script and rubbish

  8. John Lloyd and Bea are incomparable. There’s something in them that everytime they make movie,there’s this spark that shines on the big screen.
    It was not that excellent but that movie stood itself among local movie mainstream. The ending was great.

  9. I’m gonna watch it first. Based from your reviews, there’s something that is lacking from the movie but I’ll find it out.

  10. Pingback: IN MY OPINION. The Mistress - DailyServings

  11. I just think it doesn’t send the right message to young girls who idolize Bea. Sure it’s the truth that there are many in our country who are mistresses or are born of an illegitimate relationship. It’s not right to glorify a mistress’ position. The movie is rated PG 13 but it should be R.

    I don’t think the script brings justice enough to the issue on hand. There are many ways to be a prostitute. Being a mistress is one of the many. What will a 13 year old girl from a low to mid-income family think when she sees Bea Alonso, her idol as mistress? The topic is too heavy and the wrong doing of being a mistress is too justified wherein it even seems right.

    It’s so irresponsible of ABS CBN. They should be wary of long term repercussions they send out to the youth today. Tsk tsk

    • Oh wow. That’s one angle I’m surprised was brought up. I respect your opinion, but I think that a 13 year old girl who enters the movie already knows that Bea Alonzo is the mistress even before she purchased a ticket.

      I guess here comes the part where we figure out the line between portrayal of a film and the reality. If people think Bea Alonzo was *actually* a mistress the moment they leave the theater, then I guess that signals how effective she was.

      Moviegoers have different experiences when they enter and leave a film. That’s one thing I commend this movie for, thus, the different reactions about it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I really find them very interesting. 🙂

    • Moviegoers are smart people, and no, i don’t believe that watching “Mistress” will one opt to be a mistress as well… too low.
      As what sari said “Walang babaeng pinangarap maging querida”. so chill, enjoy the movie :))

  12. The song and the cave scene really turned me off. The should have their own song not borrowed snow patrols if i lay here.

    • the title of the song is chasing cars

    • First things first: thanks for pointing out the cringe-inducing bgm that was Chasing Cars, which was effing-off in that scene. Very spot-on observation, along with the way the scenes were abruptly cut which distracted me as I watched it. I also find that “you-can’t-always-get-what-you-want” line too redundant to my taste as well.

      Now that I’ve got those stuff out the way, here comes the crux of the matter: plot-wise, it’s your typical love story placed in a (very)complicated situation, but since our characters have chosen the path they have taken from the get-go–Sari chose to be the mistress, Rico chose to have an affair, Regina chose to be the suffering wife and Eric/JD chose to get angry at his father–we start looking at how things turned out when the son started to chase after the father’s sweetheart. I loved the story build-up on the first half of the movie, particularly the part where Eric just discovered that Sari is his father’s mistress and the initial hate which came after then turned into sympathy, then…you know what comes next (the whirlwind romance was kinda cheesy, but tolerable esp when you have a kiddo as a rival for the girl’s affection, heh). I also love that the who-the-mistress-was reveal was laid out early on, to pave way for the more crucial angst that (must) come from the titular lead, which I think was also nicely done.

      Finally, the ending! The ending per se, I can say is a breakthrough for the Philippine mainstream cinema. It’s refreshing to see how this story ends–it’s logical, it’s fitting, it’s satisfying and it’s real, although there’s this one thing that I’m gonna gripe about because it’s kinda fanservice-y and seemed to be a consolation for the Bea-John Lloyd shippers *cough*dream sequence*cough*. Story-wise though, it drives home the point of facing the consequence of one’s actions whether it is pleasant or not. As I watched the ending I was somehow reminded of the Korean/Japanese melo-films that I watch, and I like it.

      I’m not that of a fan of the Bea-John Lloyd tandem (even though I’ve watched some of their works), but after watching I think these two have come a long way in their acting career after and their chemistry is still great, hands down. The rest of the ensemble were also good, though I would have wanted HK to have more screen time (but I understand nonetheless since this movie is not about the wife, ha).

      In the end, this is my take: For an industry which has been plagued by cheap gimmickry, crappy plot/storytelling and a lot of fanservice for such a long time (and counting), this movie, though not perfect I consider as a breath of fresh air for the Philippine mainstream cinema.

      • I respectfully disagree with respect to the ending being a breakthrough. Marami na rin naman sad or unhappy endings na movies. Iisa Pa Lamang, Babangon Ako At Dudurugin Kita, Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit, Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan, and even the FPJ-Vilma starrer Bato sa Buhangin. All beautiful and well acted films. Classics, I must say. Hence, nothing ground breaking with The Mistress’ ending.

  13. @Concerned’s comment: The film IS rated R-13. I saw it in GH Awhile ago and it won’t be ABS-CBN’S fault if the film is rated PG-13 because MTCRB handles all the ratings

    • If it was given a more restrictive rating, I think it would make a big blow to the movies’ success, teenagers makes a big part of the audience and everybody would think, why did it become 18+, somebody must have done something daring, then comes the bad reputation (I hope our showbiz don’t turn out to be ‘there’s no such thing as bad reputation’ drama) unless explained why, not to humanize a mistress (which is personally, more moral)

      • If it was given a more restrictive rating, I think it would make a big blow to the movies’ success, teenagers *make* a big part of the audience and everybody would think, why did it become 18+, somebody must have done something daring, then comes the bad reputation (I hope our showbiz don’t turn out to be ‘there’s no such thing as bad reputation’ drama) unless explained why, not to humanize a mistress (which is personally, more moral)

  14. whats the ending though?

  15. im watching it online and in
    the ending part it stopped! what’s the ending?

  16. I myself watched this movie and for me it’s a hit and napapanahon sa atin ngayon.

  17. actually kaya lang naman nagiging block buster ang mga movie ng abs cbn di dahil magaling ang mga artista o maganda ang story magaling lang talagang magmarket ang abs cbn pera pera lang.

  18. Technically, fail din yung movie. Olivia Lamasan obviously needs to work on that aspect of her movies. For example, in one of Hilda’s drinking sessions, ang puti-puti niya because of the lighting. She should be flustered because of the alcohol. The transitions from one scene to another were also rushed and awkward. Plus, luma na ang kwento. One of the movies with similar plots is Iisa Pa Lamang. Mistress din si Dawn. Dun nga lang, the benefactor was the stepfather of Richard’s fiancee (later his wife). This movie banked on the star power of the John Lloyd and the rest of the cast. That’s my problem with local showbiz, most projects are built around stars, instead of creating a story and script and then looking for suitable actors.

  19. The last movie I’ve watched was entitled The Mistress which was leaded by Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz. It talks about a woman who was having a secret affair with an old businessman who had helped her a lot especially in financial matters. As a payment, she offered herself for that old man and accepted to be his mistress. That woman is a dressmaker when she met a guy same as her age. She’s the one who makes formal attire for that guy until they become close with each other and suddenly fell in love with one another. That guy I’m talking about have his parents in a not so good relationship because his mom knew that her husband was having an affair with another woman. So the guy tried to find out who’s the another woman of his father.And then he knew that the girl he love was his father mistress. The guy was very angry and confused because he had an argument and asked the girl why was she having an affair with a married old man..is it because of money? or lovemaking? That he could offer more than the old man can give offer her a marriage. But the girl answered that she loves the old man so much because of his kindness. That argument ended and the guy accepted the woman she loves even he knows that she’s having an affair with her own father. Until such time that the girl found out that the guy and the old man are father and son. She felt betrayed and was very angry with both of them and it caused the old man to have a heart attack when he also discovered that his son and his mistress are having an affair. At the end of the story, the girl left both of them and became alone because she believes that it just can’t be. After watching the movie,I’ve learned that you can’t judge anybody from what you know for who they are. Just like Bea Alonzo in the movie, even she is a mistress, you can’t say that she is immoral because you don’t know all behind the stories. Also, I was inspired by the role of John Lloyd because I still hope that there is a guy like him that would accept someone whatever his/her flaws.

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  21. I love this movie.Di ko lng gusto ending.Sana gumawa kayo part 2 pls.Yun magkakatuluyan si Bea and John Loyd.Kung gusto may paraan.

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