REVIEW: A Secret Affair   9 comments

Mistress themed movies are the new bread and butter to become a staple hit nowadays, so everyone wants to star in one. Whether it’s the society’s penchant for seeing two women fight, hear endless quotable lines, or simply the gossip mongers nature of the people in our country, they’ve become a tradition now to expose affairs in the big screen, at least. The latest to join the bandwagon is the triumvirate of Anne Curtis, Derek Ramsay, and Andi Eigenmann under the helm of TV director Nuel Naval in his first movie offering entitled  A Secret Affair.

Raffy (Anne Curtis) and Anton (Derek Ramsay) have been in a relationship for just three months, but he already popped the question to her. While she said yes, she gets cold feet the night before the actual wedding causing them to call the event off. Raffy went abroad to think about it, while Anton is left here devastated. Raffy’s sorority sister, Sam (Andi Eigennman), has the hots for him and tried her best to take her place, sexually at least. So when Raffy re-entered the picture, chaos ensues among the three.

To start things off, the storytelling seems straight out of the telenovela handbook. Characters leaving no room for logic at all and women snapping at each other. The friends of the other two women switch from one camp to the other, while Raffy switches from a petty bitch at one scene to a helpless crier on the next one. Sam’s too one note of a character that when she feels hurt, you can’t help but laugh at her. It seems as if there’s no big rationale behind their actions but just to play cat and mice with each other trying to have the last laugh.

As if that’s not enough, the dialogue was cringe-worthy. I admit there were those parts that worked with me dialogue wise, but it was an overkill. Normal people do not speak this way, and it occurs as if the writers are attempting to come up with a quotable line that will serve as a catch phrase in the long run, so they inserted all their entries in the film and relies on which one will work (For the record, my favorite is Raffy’s delivery of “Alam mo saan masarap mag-kape? Sa burol mo.“). The rest were just simply cheap pot shots that reflect how poorly the characters were written. The biggest laugh though comes in the end, when we’re treated to a “reflection” part of the three characters of what they’ve learned from it. Ahhhhh! Last shot to justify the relevance of the film.

For what it’s worth, I appreciate Nuel Naval’s direction. There were some scenes that showed some potential. I’ve been a fan of his Maalaala Mo Kaya episodes, and I know that he can do better given a tighter and better material to work on. As for the acting, Anne Curtis has already amassed this likable persona that you would be rooting for her either way even if she’s the mistress (see: No Other Woman) or this time, the protagonist. But having a likable personality can only bring you so far especially if you’re given a poorly written character to play. The same can be said for Andi Eigenmann who definitely has made her presence felt but can’t escape from the one note character that she was given too. Derek Ramsay was thankless as usual, though I guess one puts too much effort given that body he shed off in the film. Jaclyn Jose was the only remarkable among the supporting players, but even she is a hit or miss.

The way I see it, the film’s biggest problem is its material. For a movie that tends to borrow all the tips from the telenovela handbook, it tried to push a “realistic” (re: moral) ending. I’m pretty sure that many people from this production can do better than this; it’s just that there’s no one who rose above the helpless material they were given.

Grade: 2/5

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9 responses to “REVIEW: A Secret Affair

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  1. Pingback: A Secret Affair « Pinoy Rebyu

  2. Sa advertising campaign pa lang sobrang pinupush na na nila yung mga “lines” na naging trying hard na dating sa akin but then again it worked I guess reading how it did well sa box office. So I’m guessing the movie is melodramatic, just like No Other Woman, sana ginawa na nilang campy all throughout.

    • Yeah I noticed the overkill with the quotable quotes. Funny thing is, some didn’t even make it in the finish product. I don’t know, I really just can’t warm myself with this one. Dinelay ko pa yung pagrereview considering na baka immediate response lang yung dislike ko sa film. Apparently, it isn’t.

  3. Eto yung comments ko sa pelikula na A Secret Affair.

    Opening: Panget–kumakanta si Nina na ang labo ng camera movement. Masyado maliwanag at unnatural yung lighting–mukhang set na set yung look. Parang di pa ata nakapunta yung dop sa isang gig or naka-shades siya at yung direktor nung iniilawan nila yung scene. Yung crane shot parang yung camera nakakabit sa sarangola or lobo na tatas at bababa.

    Dito pa lang sa opening sinusukat ko na yung pasensiya ko kung tatagal ako sa palabas na ito pero ako na yung nag-adjust at pinababa ko na yung expectations ko ng super para lang di masayang yung ibinayad ko sa palabas na ito. Sa dialogue pa lang sa scene na ito alam ko na kung ano yung mga susunod na linya sa ibang eksena. Waaah– nariirndi ang mga tenga ko. Parang ang pangit ng linya ni Derek at parang bumubulong siya na may hawak na microphone. Parang pinipilit maiyak pero di niya magawa or mukhang pa-serious na mukhang di convincing. Si Anne naman okay lang… baduy nung scene na ito.

    Habulan sa Pad ni Derek: Ok lang–pasado na kahit mukhang pinipilit nilang maging sweet after getting engaged. Ewan ko, maganda naman yung set pero di na naman na-maximize ng director. Parang tripod lang dala nila para sa camera ni wala man lang hand-held at mas malapit para maging intimate yung scene na ito. Ang sagwa na parang sasakyan ni Derek si Anne nung nasa kama na sila. Parang si Derek lang gusto kunan ng direktor at si Anne laging natatakpan or nadadagan. Di ko tuloy makita yung katawan ni Anne na ang ganda pa naman sana lalu na yung mga legs niya. Baduy nung dialogue nila dito. Yes, No, Yes, No– masyado unnatural or di cinematic.

    Bar Scene with the Sorority and Derek: Ayun eto na yung medyo weird. Di ko alam kung ako lang pero bat ba nandito si Derek? Diba lakad ng mga babae ito? Tapos nasa isang area lang si Derek tapos sinakyan na siya ni Andi na di napapansin ng ibang friends nila? ***** ang liwaliwanag ng ng pagkakailaw nito tapos parang mga nearsighted mga friends nina Anne? Come on, para lang ba mangyari yung betrayal scene na ito e kailangan sa same bar ba mismo mangyari? E lumabas lang sila para mag-quicky tapos balik bar na agad? E ano naman yung paiyak-iyak ni Andi habang naka-angkas siya kay Derek? Panget talaga… kulang sa excitement yung important scene na ito parang yun lang yung pagkaka-execute ng scene na ito. Sana sa banyo na lang sila tapos nag-lock sila.

    Hay, mukhang hahaba talaga yung comments ko… Napansin ko mas maganda pa siguro kung ginwa na lang 100% English yung script kesa 80% English/Tagalog–nakakalog utak ko… well English kasi yung title so mostly in English dialogue. Pero ang corny naman nung script–parang lalung di maka-relate yung mga viewers sa mga characters na ito kasi konti lang tagalog na salita nila dito. Meron namang kasing tagalog na sosyal pakingggan. Di naman porke nagi-ingles e sosyal na pakinggan.

    Ang isa pa sa nakakainis na eksena e yung nasa hotel si Anne para i-settle yung reception ng kasal nila kinabukasan. E bakit may nagfe-French dun sa mga nakabuntot kay Anne? Parang sinabay-sabay ng hotel manager yung iba’t-ibang clients niya tapos iku-confirm niya na ready yung hotel to accomodate si Anne na di man lang humaharap ng maayos–wtf? Ano ba talaga koyang direktor or ateng direktor ba ito? Mahilig dila tumuhog ng eksena na di maputol-putol sa edit kasi nahihirapan sila mag-setup ng cutaway?

    Ay nako ang hirap palang magtype in tagalog…. Anyway, if you want to watch this flick, go ahead. For the sake of comparing this movie to others that share the same genre, it could be wise. My intention in watching this movie was purely for comparison reasons especially that the film outfits are really milking on this subject matter.

    The real problem that I have with the movie is the same with the observations of a pro movie reviewer: There are two treatments that have been employed in the movie instead of just one — that made it really annoying. First, they made it well executed at the first half–like what it was supposed to be. Then on the other half, they started to introduce the cell phone and social networking slowly. There were blue supers coming out as they use their cell phones. Then there’s the inevitable word war in the social networking sites. Para akong nanuod ng dalawang pelikula na magkaiba treatment. Actually, you can come in late in the movie and you can still get the idea of the whole movie–you won’t miss a thing. There lots of going back and forth–like they want you to really understand what’s going on and they have troubles moving on in the story.

    Parang chopsuy yung storytelling. Some characters could have been introduced earlier to give more meaning to their existence particularly Andi’s mother. Andi’d character could have been more meaningful if they switch parents with Anne’s. Kasi hiwalay yung parents ni Anne while Andi’s are just okay parents. Tapos later Anne’s parent will be together for wtf reason??? They are together sleeping in bed? Waaahh gusto ko sabunutan ulo ko sa lito. Saan ba galing yung script na ito? Wala ba si Michiko para ayusin ito (or kasali ba siya–ewan ko)? Tapos akala ko ok na si Andi at Anne pero ayun, may naligaw na page ata tapos tuloy pa rin yung bangayan nila lalo na yung sa parking lot na nasa harap ng magandang motor si Andi. By the way, this was the most beautiful shot of Andi in the whole movie–just watch out for this scene.

    Hay nako, ewan ko talaga. Andaming sablay sa pelikula na ito compared sa ibang palabas. Sorry pero di ko napanood yung No Other Woman… yung The Mistress oo. Medyo malayo naman ito compared sa The Mistress na mas matino pa ng di hamak. Magaganda na sana yung locations at ibang scenes ng A Secret Affair pero wala epek sa overall impact at appeal ng movie.

    What I like in this movie is yung legs ni Anne–grabe nakakalaway. Maganda si Andi–minsan paeang nagmumukhang maputing Angel Locsin siya sa ilang angles pwera lang yung kulot na buhok niya sa noo. Maganda yung bahay ni Andi/Sam dito. Para ngang pang class A yung locations nila dito pero nagmumukhang bobo nga lang yung pelikula. Yung mga kotse ang gagara–parang pinipilit nga lang maging sosyal na palpak.

    Sige manood kayo–pera niyo naman yan. Inom kayo biogesic pagkatapos.

    • Hi sugaDaddy4u! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments. I particularly appreciate the effort you had put into such. 🙂

      I’m with you dun sa treatment especially with the social networking sites scenes. While it worked during the first time, bigla na siyang inadapt nung director more times than it can only handle. Gasgas na tuloy yung effect dun sa bandaung dulo.

      As for the bar scene with Andi and Derek, that was a flashback regarding how the two are connected aside from Sam being Raffy’s friend. 🙂

      Thanks again, and I appreciate the input! 🙂

  4. Thanks! Well, as I’ve mentioned, I was covering my ears at some point and maybe I’ve missed what that bar scene was all about. Unfortunately, that flashback I think was a mistake–putting that flashback where it wasn’t supposed to be in the edit. Flashbacks are more helpful if placed at the very beginning of the film–like most movies do. That’s was why I was uncomfortable looking at it by the visuals. I knew there were more strange scenes that will pop out later in the movie–or it was the plot that had issues.

    Anyways, great review, Nicol!

  5. imy suspicions were somewhat affirmed by your reviews. as expected, fashion show lang talaga tong movie na to. anne curtis and andi eigenman are relatively good actresses but they need TONS of support from SUPERB performers. Derek Ramsey has only his body to show. sana mas mas magaling yung male lead.

  6. I just finished watching this movie last night before reading the reviews. I kind of “knew” that this movie wouldn’t be a good one. In other words, na “sense” ko na…but i still went through with it because I’d like to see if I was wrong with my hunch. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was right. When Sugadaddy4u mentioned about his confusion with regards to the flashback, I kind of experienced it the same way. It took me a few seconds before I realized it was a flashback scene pala. The way it was placed in the scene was a bit off-timing. And yes, lots of kung anu-ano pa that would make you think, “baket?!?!” There is no question that Anne and Andi have talent in acting – unfortunately, the material given to them was not interesting enough. Derek, on the other hand, I think still needs help with his acting. I find his facial expressions a bit confusing – what emotions was he trying to portray? He just looked like he’s squirming most of the time. The story was slow, it’s like you’re waiting for the big scene to happen but none came. You’re hoping things will eventually come together at some point but there was none. It’s just plodding from one scene to another…til it reached the end. Anyway, I’m a movie-buff and I’ve seen all kinds of movies – there are great movies and there are not-so-great ones. When I get to watch a not-so-great one, I just shrug it off and forget about it the moment I leave the cinema. But not with this one, it has been a long time that I reacted this negatively to a movie. I guess it only shows how bad that movie is. Well, my only wish is that Filipino filmmakers start to become more creative when it comes to developing stories. I know they’re after making big bucks, but sana naman they also create “art” while making money -di ba mas maganda, they please the viewers while they please their pockets- para naman win-win lahat, diba?

    • Hi Ayzecandy11! Thansk for sharing your inputs. 🙂

      I agree with the comment re: Derek Ramsay. It really makes me wonder how he gets all these leading man status, when he can barely show emotions. To be fair though, I think he was good in I Love You Goodbye, opposite ex-partner Angelica Panganiban. But when you look at his last three films: No Other Woman, Praybeyt Bejamin, and A Secret Affair, you’d think that eh was lucky as he was just carried along with the cast.

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