Society has put mistresses in a box labeled "hot, hot hot! Do not touch." They're the evil ones who break up homes and send wives and children a-packing and a-weeping till kingdom come.
And now that Star Cinema has come up with an Olivia Lamasan film capitalizing on this so-called dregs of society, you are forced to take a second, even third look at mistresses. "The Mistress" forces you to hold your judgment before looking the other way.
At first, Sari (Bea Alonzo) doesn't look like your typical kept woman. She resists JD Torres' (John Lloyd Cruz) advances at the bookstore. She is a doting granddaughter (to Anita Linda) and an older sister. She works in a tailoring shop. In other words, Sari doesn't have the haughty, expensive ways typical of mistresses.
But she keeps a dark secret. She disappears, even from her family, every Thursday, in the tailoring shop owned by Tony Mabesa's character. Sari goes to a well-appointed house where she morphs into a bejeweled woman of the world in the arms of her very much senior benefactor (played by Ronaldo Valdez).
How can a seemingly good girl go wrong? Sari may not look like your catty, devil-may-care mistress, but she is, like them, driven by debt — to a loved one she can't turn her back on at her moment of greatest need.
And so she has this weekly ritual that drives Mrs. Torres (Hilda Koronel) up the wall. It is the same ritual that forces her to check emotions that send red flag signals in her mind.
Ladies torn between responsibility and emotion know the agony Sari is going through. Her tears, no-you-don't look and outright rejection of JD's advances turn her into a mistress you can feel for. She's a thinking, sympathetic kept woman who knows she has to pay the price of a long-standing debt, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness.
But even the hardest of rocks melt under constant pressure. Sari's turning point comes in the middle of the film. The proverbial dam breaks as white lanterns released in the sky somewhere in the middle of film illumine the screen.