The Mistress: A Review

ImageJohn Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo have portrayed countless memorable characters in the past ten years of their love team. To mark this milestone in the formidable (and marketable) duo’s careers, Star Cinema reunites the two onscreen dynamos in this riveting drama that is on the surface, a love story but turns out to be so much more.

Renowned director Olivia Lamasan helms this story about four central characters — Rico Torres (Ronaldo Valdez), the head of a large telecom company, his wife Regina (Hilda Koronel), whose distress over her husband’s infidelities have pushed her to drinking, their son Eric/JD (John Lloyd Cruz), who carries the burden of his troubled family life, and Sari (Be Alonzo), a kept woman whose inner strength has drawn both father and son to her and threatens the very fabric of their family.

Without giving too much away,The Mistress is the type of movie that can truly boast of quality. It delivers a triple of whammy — it is evenly paced, intelligently written and well acted. It has a story that is easily relatable to the viewers, with characters that suffer flaws like the rest of the human race. The story makes sense of the characters, giving the audience a window to understand their actions, their choices without dismissing them as right or wrong.

Just because it has a powerhouse cast, the movie did not simply rely on the actors to carry the movie. Rather, it paid attention to details. Each aspect was well thought about and executed, from the cinematography, to the scoring, to the script, to the blocking. Each scene enhanced each sequence, each dialogue was brought to life with such realism that one can’t help but be convinced by each performance.

There was great balance to the movie, the way that it was structured, the way the story was unraveled, the way the lives of the central characters connected. The story may not be overly deep but it made perfect sense, a thing that is missing in most movies today, who focus too much on a surprising twist that in the end, the basic premise of the film collapses. Not so with The Mistress. It takes a controversial concept and provides audiences with a fresh perspective on the issue.

One thing I should say, I have not followed all the movies that Bea and John Lloyd have starred in for the past decade but never has this love team come out with a dud. They have been paired with other partners and done separate projects but these two have a unique chemistry between them that produce sparks whenever they are on screen together. They work well together, and one can see the ease in which they exchange their dialogue. Bea, being in the title role, has grown very much as an actress throughout the years and I should credit her for looking her best in this movie. She looks lovely, not because she managed to lose weight and keep it off, but rather because she seemed really comfortable with the way she is right now. I think this comfort added to her excellent performance in the movie.

Ronaldo Valdez is one of the greatest film actors of his time and this has not changed. His role may be supporting but he proved once again why he is still sought after by the networks — he’s still got it.

Despite a six year hiatus from the movies, Ms. Hilda Koronel accepted this  project and did not miss a beat. She played the martyred wife flawlessly, effortlessly — a master class in acting.

John Lloyd is a different story altogether. I do not think I have enough words to describe how great this actor is. He has range, and he has this unique ability to play the goofball and the serious dude with equal conviction. There were even times in this movie that John Lloyd was delivering a long line, and I would forget that there was any other actor in the scene with him. He’s that good. I believe that in this generation, John Lloyd is one of the best in the game. He will stand the test of time and if he keeps his focus, his star will only shine brighter in the decades to come. I truly believe this.

My only complaint perhaps, was that the romantic element to the relationship of Rico and Sari did not quite translate to the screen. The scenes felt more like father and daughter than benefactor and mistress, which made the scenes between Bea and John Lloyd stand out more.

The Mistress is a great watch. It is not a typical drama/love story. It is something else entirely. The ending is something to watch out for — a refreshing change from all the mainstream formula pieces out there. Very interesting. Highly recommended.