The invisible women

Etiquette for Mistresses is a story of five women who are fully aware of what they are doing and the life they have chosen. It offers a compelling story with an honest social commentary about gender, politics and adultery.

Etiquette for Mistresses is based on 1990s best-selling book by journalist Jullie Yap-Daza. It is GRADED B by Cinema Evaluation Board, and Rated 13 by MTRCB. It was portrayed by Kris Aquino (Georgia, Iza Calzado(Stella Garcia), Claudine Barreto (Chloe Zamora), Cheena(Charley) Crab, and Kim Chiu (Ina del Prado)

The Characters                             

Kris Aquino who plays the most senior mistress, has her own restaurant and coterie of assistants. She is also the woman tasked to teach Ina (Kim Chiu) the rules of etiquette governing a mistress. She gives justice to her role as Georgia who makes her life filled with rules.

Iza Calzado, who plays the role of Stella Garcia , a lawyer and finds true love in the person of Ambet who is a reporter. Stella had proved that even you are a mistress, you can still be love by your partner. She is the person who let her heart lead her at the last breathe of her lover’s life.

Claudine Barreto plays the role of Chloe Zamora. The movie defines her as an impulsive, destructive and miserable woman who seeks for love and acceptance from a married man. She is the trouble-maker of the group who wanted to party all night and have fun with the older man. Chloe is the scandalous mistress who teases her lover played by Eddie Gutierrez while his wife sits dangerously close.  Claudine, who comes back to the big screen after five years, delivers a stunning and amazing performance. It is surprising to see an actress who can act and play her role intensely without any doubt. Well, what can I say? She is a Barreto.

Cheena Crab, plays the role of Charley Mariquit is the richest among them. Her partner is the owner of Lucky Moons, hotels and airlines. Charley is not as glamorous, stylish and youthful as most mistresses expected to be.

Kim Chiu, who plays the role of Ina Del Prado is the youngest among them. She left her life in Cebu hoping that she could be with Frank ( Zoren Legaspi). Unfortunately, Frank cannot give her his entire time and attention because of his wife that is happened to be a senator.

It is just depressing to see that Ina at a young age were able to experienced the life that is supposed to be not for her. Seeing her vulnerable side in the beginning of the story shows that she really is young and can’t handle her emotions properly especially in her situation. But she eventually develops her tough personality, especially when their friendship was put to test. Kim’s role being a mistress is far from her past roles but she was able to express and act it well.

The Story

Etiquette for Mistresses gives a new life to the Philippine movie. It is new to the eyes of the audiences. It is no more a common bida-kontrabida story. It is a man vs. man and man vs. society conflict. A battle between what is right and what you want. It gives different perspective of being a mistress. It tells the audience that when we say “mistress”, it is not all about being a whore. It is about a woman who is willing to do all the sacrifices to the man they love.

The script is able to deliver an engaging plot as it has a realistic approach to civil adultery. The consequences of the characters are handled properly with equal measures. Mistresses enjoy luxurious and comfortable lifestyle because of their hardwork and profession and with the help of their influential and powerful partners. But, it traps them in a world of obscurity. Also, the movie doesn’t need a third party in the story because they are themselves and the society is the conflict.

The 10 rules that is being shown in the movie gives an exciting plot to the viewers especially for the mistress.

Most of the viewers would really ask this, “Why would a successful man risk marriage, family, and reputation for a liaison with a woman that society sees as nothing more than a gold digger? Add to this, why would a successful woman want to stay in a relationship with a man legally tied up to someone else?”

Man doesn’t like a failed marriage that’s why they keep their marriage yet getting another woman at the same time. However, woman wants to be love even if they would consider themselves as the invisible people of society.

The big surprise in the story is that when Stella’s lover insist to be with her instead of being in his family. In a small perspective of a viewer, a mistress is a mistress and can no longer be a true love. This story shows that it doesn’t matter whether you are the legal wife or second wife. It only explains that love doesn’t measure your position in one’s life.

On the other hand, what Stella did to her lover is a crime. She kept him from his family as what her lover wanted to be. Keeping a person without knowledge of the family is considered as crime especially that her lover has a hepatic encephalopathy. For a political perspective, she kidnapped her lover.

In a conversation with Ina, she was asked if why she is doing that when she knows that at the end she is the loser. She just only said that what she is going through is the point in someone’s life when she has to let her heart lead her.

The ending is quite impossible but for a country like Philippines wherein you can do whatever you want as long as you have the connection, all things will follow.

In the end, Etiquette for Mistresses is all about an empowerment- how women are capable of making choices and how they could stand it no matter what.

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