Movie review: Lovi Poe shines in sexy thriller 'The Other Wife'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jul 18 2021 07:43 AM

Movie review: Lovi Poe shines in sexy thriller 'The Other Wife' 1
Lovi Poe and Joem Bascon in 'The Other Wife'

It was the pandemic, so Ronnie (Joem Bascon) requested his doctor wife Janis (Lovi Poe) to take a break from her job and go on a vacation with him in his old beach house. They were having a rocky time in their marriage with suspicions of Ronnie having an affair, so Janis decided this was a good opportunity to work things out between them. However, unexpectedly, Ronnie also invited his childhood friend Luisa (Rhen Escaño) to join them.

At first, Janis kept on telling herself that she was okay with the arrangement. However, as the days passed on, Luisa became more and more overt in her intrusive behavior. From cooking Ronnie's favorite food or giving Ronnie a massage, Luisa also used the shower in the master bedroom and borrowed her clothes to wear. These things heightened Janis's suspicions that her husband was having an affair happening right under her very nose. 

In the challenging central role, Lovi Poe portrayed the insecure Janis with increasing internal torment and distress with every her subsequent scene. Through her, we also experience the gamut of conflicting emotions and hallucinations that haunted the poor woman. During the conversations with her brutally-frank friend Anna and in those crazy climactic confrontation scenes, Poe had to dig deep through her entire acting arsenal as Janis went from self-denial, self-deprecation to self-destruction. 

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As Ronnie, Joem Bascon basically just needed to play it suspicious the whole time, and he had no trouble with this mission to keep us guessing whether his character was faithful or not. 

From her last film "Adan," we know that Rhen Escano was not shy to show skin, but this time as the titular "other wife" Luisa, she also got to show off her acting skills. Escano had to look innocent yet be a seductress at the same time, playing the same scene two ways to confuse viewers about her intentions. 

Director Prime Cruz told this familiar story of a marriage on the brink of a breakdown as a sexy psychological thriller, with elements of horror in the editing, musical score and sound design. 

Cruz kept us piqued the whole time about what was real and what was only in Janis's paranoid mind. With small household items like soap, hairbrush, ribbon, scissors, Cruz provoked our sensibilities with the weirdness of the whole situation by putting us into Janis' fragile point of view. 

The whole final sequence could have been shorter though.

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."