Viva Entertainment just released their new film trailer for Just a Stranger, starring Anne Curtis and Marco Gumabao, on July 19, 2019.
Philippine cinema is indeed evolving when it comes to artistic vision and cinematography, and it can all be seen in this trailer. The HD, the graphics, the whole theme and feel of it all was very promising and was receiving good feedback in terms of the quality—even comparing it to Hollywood film standards.
But there’s just one thing that gave the trailer quite a few head shakes: the adultery plot.
Anne Curtis portrays a married woman who starts an affair with a man half her age, and is played by Marco Gumabao. Hmmm, now where have we seen that before?
The local film scene has been spewing these types of movies for years. No Other Woman, The Mistress, Two Wives, A Secret Affair, My Neighbor’s Wife—the list goes on. It is also safe to say that these infidelity plots are fairly common on local television as well. The recent primetime ABS-CBN teleserye Halik, was a massive hit, and also centered on adultery, with actress Yam Concepcion’s character cheating on her husband played by Jericho Rosales, with another man portrayed by Sam Milby.
With the number of movies and television shows containing the cheating plot, it means audiences are into it, ratings are high, and it’s making a whole lot of money. I, myself, admit that I’ve seen some of these movies, especially the primetime teleseryes, and they’re actually very interesting, keeps you on the edge of your seats and screaming at the television when the kabit (mistress/paramour) gets annoying and infuriating.
But is this really all that local TV and cinema can offer? Especially with the frequency of such plots on the big screen, the danger of normalizing the concept is apparent.
It can be argued that local cinema is merely bringing truth to the big screen, how adultery is very palpable in Philippine culture. But this could also reflect in vice versa, especially with locals seeing this on the big and small screen all the damn time.
Movies always have a big impact on the local societal mindset. Not that people don’t possess a moral agency of their own, but more of moviegoers are being implanted these subtle adulterous thoughts and ideas through these shows, which they are capable of reflecting in their own communities, families, and relationships.
Our western colonial roots can deem us more liberal than most Asian countries, which is probably why we are bold and brave enough to produce these kinds of movies that depict society’s bitter truths. But how many times do we have to recycle the same plot? We have countless ‘bitter truths’ about Filipino culture. Are these adultery storylines ever going to get a break?
A movie can look like a Wes Anderson film, but the ‘cheating plot’ is dull and monotonous.
In other words, gasgas na po ang storyline niyo (your storyline has worn out).
But maybe that’s just me.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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