Okay, I really got nothing to write about in the past few days. Maybe because most of the days that passed were uneventful or maybe because I simply do not feel like writing anything. That would be one real trouble had I pursued a writing career. I would definitely got a constant pounding from my boss.

Well okay there were a few interesting things that happened. Firstly, my right shoe gave way the Friday before last. I was at work and for a minute I thought about getting to the nearby mall to buy myself a new pair. But it would only add to my emergency expenses which is already bloated due to countless emergency meals. To add, there’s no one to lend me even an old pair of slippers and the idea of limping to the mall was not very fascinating. Thankfully I was wearing my Mr. Quick Fix hat and was able to think of an artistic way out with a masking tape and my black white board marker. After 22 years of existence I acquired my very first lucky shoe.

Lucky Shoe
Getting creative with a masking tape and a marker.

Another interesting event? There was this one night I rode a jeepney like what I usually do and had this notable conversation with the driver.

Me: “Manong, bayad po. Tagapo.” (Manong, [here’s my] fare. [I’ll be getting off at] Tagapo.)
Driver: “Ilan?” (For how many?)
Me: “Isa?” (Only one?)

My reply was in a form of a question as I was unsure. I gave him 20 pesos. The fare costs 11 pesos. I wonder if he was running a 2 for 20 fare promo.

But I digress. I digress a lot. I’m supposed to give my own humble review of this film that has been the hype in the whole country for more than a week now, The Mistress. It is a movie that is a part of celebrating the tenth anniversary of this love team of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo and okay I must say they must be congratulated. Firstly because we expect love teams to expire in a few years or so. As the actors age, they begin to sell less especially when their parent network is constantly putting them in movies following an overused romantic plot. But they managed to last ten years. And secondly but more importantly, because the two of them were able to grow and take on a lot more substantial roles together. All that while living different lives off-cam without having to pretend they are into each other. Or maybe that’s one of the reasons why they still sell.

The movie, if not great, is something different and worth watching. I must say it was successful with giving the masses a movie that has substance and quality less the subtleties and therefore not boring them which is the key for a movie to sell nowadays. Let’s admit it. Most of the mainstream movies nowadays were made to sell, just to sell. Some may even say that gone are the days when movies were indeed works of art and not mere objects of entertainment. But The Mistress is different, it has depth. Maybe not the depth of a Brocka film or a Bernal and some other national artist’s (I’m not credible for this one, ’cause hell I’m only 22 and haven’t watched a lot of our old films) but definitely not shallow either.

The movie offers a view of a life of a mistress named Sari (Bea Alonzo) and tells the story from that angle. One of the notable lines she mentioned was “Hindi ako puta” (I’m not a whore) and indeed the movie showed the viewers that a mistress can be a lot more human than a whore that we like to call them. But still everybody has to own up to their mistakes and choosing to be a mistress even for a good cause definitely has consequences, and situations can get more out of hand than how we expect them.

There were a number of cringeworthy moments for me as a viewer. I would love to think that it was just because I wasn’t expecting a typical Pinoy love team to engage in some of the scenes in the movie, but I felt they were just plain awkward. But the acting in most of the scenes were superb and that more than makes up for the awkwardness. Okay, that really appears as an understatement. They were f*cking awesome.

About the soundtrack, well Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars may be overplayed and could be more disturbing than moving to some but I actually believe it fits the love story pretty well. Right now I could not think of any better substitute. As you can see we got a girl who has already sunken so deep and has an awful lot of things in her head, and goings on with her life. And you are asking her that if things are not what they are, if they have been a lot more better, is she going to stay? Or if there’s no more you can do for the world to change, can both of you choose to forget and just be the couple you dream to be?

The movie immerses the viewers to the complications of the main character’s life. It has the substance that critics look for, the drama that the Filipino masses love, and of course the love team they love to see on screen. I don’t know of international screenings but I must say it’s an accomplishment for the movie industry and deserves a critic’s A rating. -aB

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