Unexpected glints and prisms
“The Millionaire’s Wife” recently ended its long run on GMA 7, and we were on hand to see how it would tie up all or most of its storytelling strings at the final fade.
We noted with regret that Robert Arevalo’s central character was no longer around, so it was up to resident heroine Andrea Torres and villain Sid Lucero to keep the finale on a melodramatic high. Unfortunately, they failed to rise to the thespic occasion.
Sid is reputed to be a good actor, but he was foiled by his assigned character’s need to be as bad as baaaad could be, to fill viewers’ hearts with empathetic fear and dread.
To do so, he opted to take the obvious and easy way out, by being as nasty and evil as possible.
There were many good characters and cops around to foil his evil scheme of ransom and escape, but they politely “waited” for their time to pounce—which of course was minutes too late, enabling Sid to avoid capture and still be a deadly threat all the way up to finale’s end.
Yes, we know that this had to happen to keep viewers watching, but threat and danger are decidedly diminished when the staging is improbable, and the villain is so incredibly adept at avoiding the long arm of the law.
As for Andrea, the series was supposed to be a big boost for her career and reputation, because she “shared” the show’s title with Robert. However, her stellar portrayal was too consistently on “victim” mode to generate the heat and bite required for authentic thespic verve.
This is unfortunate because she has the looks, expressive eyes and aura of sensitivity to make her mark.
We hoped that Andrea could make up for lost edge and clout in the long finale, where she was able to fight back, grab Sid’s gun and (temporarily) escape his evil clutches. But she did it so perfunctorily that it fell short of intense expectations.
Cannes Best Actress winner Jaclyn Jose also figured in the finale as the show’s “more mature” villain, but the unfocused way that the ending was set up prevented her from making thespic points of her own.
In fact, at the final confrontation’s fade, as Andrea was about to fall off a cliff and Sid was fatally shot in his evil heart of hearts, Jaclyn’s character wasn’t made to participate in the main action, and was given just a cutaway reaction shot.
Not the way to treat an international prizewinner.
A final note: Robert’s character may no longer have been present and accounted for at the show’s big climax and conclusion, but his focused and charged portrayal throughout the series’ run remains one of the production’s best suits.
What made it stand out was the veteran actor’s refusal to play his role “as expected.” Instead, he took the trouble to find “contradictory” impulses in the old guy, and these unexpected glints and prisms gifted viewers with instructive insights into his heart of hearts.