Saturday, February 17, 2018

Review of SIN ISLAND: Temptation, Tryst, Terror

February 16, 2018

There is really a fascination about mistresses in Filipino films. Usually, filmmakers use this topic for titillating sexy dramas. I guess that is what mistresses are for, aren't they? "No Other Woman" (2011), "My Neighbor's Wife" (2011), "A Secret Affair" (2012), "The Mistress" (2012), the list goes on and on, and so is the unfortunate impression that this is already an accepted practice (especially when even public figures are not shy about their mistresses anymore). Here is another one to add to that list.

David Santiago is a hotshot photographer for fashion and weddings. His beautiful bride Kanika (where did that name come from?) is an airline stewardess. A business misfortune sidelines David for two years when he did nothing but wallow in his misery while his wife brought home the bacon. When David noticed Kanika enjoying the flirting moves of her macho pilot Stephen, he took off on a solo getaway to the island resort of Sinilaban, or "Sin Island" for short. He would not stay solo for long.

Xian Lim totally shed off his wholesome image for this project as his character David engaged in steamy sex scenes with two sexy women. While he shows off his torso, he remained shyer than his co-stars as he would keep himself covered under the sheets. The acting is adequate, though there could still room for further emotional breakdown. David really does some pretty stupid things, and we see the cluelessness in Lim's face. He has broken off his long-time love team with the ever-virginal Kim Chiu just in time to do this "mature" role, so let's see where this move will take his career from now on. 

Coleen Garcia already shed her sweet image a while back when she did the sexy telenovela "Pasion de Amor" (2015-16). She also starred in sexy dramas like "#Y"(2014), "Friends with Benefits" (2015) and "Love Me Tomorrow" (2016) -- all under the direction of Gino M. Santos, also the director of "Sin Island". Here, she get romanced (separately) by both her husband and her pilot, including a scene where she got naked while making out in a dark hallway in a hotel. Her acting was also just right, but a more mature actress could have limned something more out of those heated confrontation scenes. 

Nathalie Hart is Tasha, an uninhibited woman whom we first see doing her yoga poses on the beach -- in the nude. Hart's career took off only two years ago when she began doing daring roles in indie films like "Siphayo" (with Luis Alandy and Joem Bascon) and "Tisay" (with JC de Vera). My first time to see her was in Cinema One Originals 2017 entry, "Historiographika Errata" (MY REVIEW) where she again engaged in torrid sex scenes with Jess Mendoza and Rafa Siguion-Reyna. She is bold alright, no qualms in showing her breasts and her buttocks in broad daylight. Her Tasha is loud, florid, fearless, tactless and crazy -- red flags from the get-go. 

As was obvious from the trailer, the best part of this film is its lush cinematography by Mycko David, with those creative camera angles and effective use of lighting to showcase the beautiful houses, offices, beaches, faces and bodies in order to enhance the sexy mood. 

I do not really know what to make about the odd decision to use KZ Tandingan's sultry version of Imelda Papin's "Isang Linggong Pag-ibig" to accompany the main sex scene. I thought it was more distractingly funny. The song was too campy to be sexy at all.

***** Spoiler Alert

The script (interestingly credited to be written by Jancy E. Nicolas, based on the original screenplay by Keiko A. Aquino) started promisingly as it tackled the roots of adultery. However, towards the third act, it makes a sudden unexpected turn into "Fatal Attraction" territory. This reference was all too obvious for those who knew that 1987 classic film about the horrific consequences of infidelity, it can't be missed -- down to that final knife battle and killer who refused to die. 5/10. 

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