iWant review: Jessy is the ideal damsel in distress in 'Mga Mata sa Dilim'

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Sep 21 2019 06:26 AM | Updated as of Sep 21 2019 06:27 AM

Jessy Mendiola in a scene from 'Mga Mata sa Dilim'

MANILA -- Since its launch in November 2018, iWant has produced nearly two dozen original movies and series, setting itself apart from other streaming platforms offering digital content.

The most recent title in iWant’s original movie catalog is “Mga Mata sa Dilim,” an action-drama thriller that topbills Derek Ramsay, Jessy Mendiola and Joko Diaz, in a story that revolves around a kept woman of a rich and powerful drug lord with a slew of bodyguards, led by an undercover cop.

Mendiola plays Sui, young, sexy, yet also idealistic. She fell for Juancho (Diaz) not because he is moneyed and powerful but because she thought that Juancho will one day leave his wife and they will be together for real. 

However, Sui realized that would never happen. Apparently, she will merely be his mistress for as long as he wants. She became his kept woman, literally, when he brought her to a remote island he purchased a long time ago. It was in a location she could not even tell where. There was no signal for mobile phones, but there was Internet, Sui was assured.

In that place, Juancho holds meetings and monitors his drug operations through state-of-the-art cameras. In that place, too, Sui was perfectly the damsel in distress with half a dozen bodyguards watching her every move. One of them was Borgy (Ramsay).

Little did Sui know that Borgy is an undercover cop secretly monitoring the unscrupulous activities of Juancho and his men. The rich Juancho has guns, goons and gold at his beck and call. 

Sui is a battered partner in “Mga Mata sa Dilim” – physically and psychologically. She must escape the hands of the ruthless Juancho in order to survive.

While in that island house, Sui often had nightmares that her mom and her sister were brutally gunned down by Juancho’s men. In her dream, Sui heard her mother telling her, “I want nothing in this world but your happiness. Walang bagay na hindi mo kayang gawin as long as you put your mind into it.”

In her other dream, Sui also heard her mom warning her, “Beware of the big bad wolf. When you get lost in the forest, run the other way. Run for your life.”

Juancho told Sui she no choice but to follow him. In the four years that they were together, he had to remind her that he sent her sister to school and kept her mother alive. 

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One night, two unidentified men of the Chinese drug lord Fay, Juancho’s syndicate enemy, invaded the island house in a futile attempt to kill the latter. However, Borgy was quick to the draw and killed the intruders. Juancho vowed to retaliate and kill Fay soon.

Borgy’s heroic action did not go unrewarded with Juancho, who handed his bodyguard a thick wad of bills. Sui saw Borgy’s moves and prompted him to teach her self-defense, which proved to be really useful to her.

She complained that she is like a “prisoner” in that house where she needed to be constantly told what to do. In a visit to the waterfalls in the island, Sui sprained her ankle and had to be carried back to the house by Borgy.

While working on the greenhouse fixing the plants, Sui and Borgy felt the sparks and they subsequently made love. Borgy confessed his real intentions on being on the island and disclosed his plan to Sui.

“Mga Mata sa Dilim” is a dark action opus that will probably remind viewers of the Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergin romantic-psychological thriller, “Sleeping With the Enemy.” Or perhaps even Jennifer Lopez’s “Enough,” a page-to-screen story based on Anna Quindlen’s novel, “Black and Blue.”

Not a horror-suspense, “Mga Mata sa Dilim” is an action-thriller based on the “Precious Hearts” novel of the same title. Enzo Williams worked at the helm of the movie and he undoubtedly delivered a smooth story from start to finish, with each character defined.

Diaz is the anti-hero you’ll remember long after the movie is finished. Even when he was merely uttering cuss words, he was utterly good at being a bad boy. It was easy to sense his power and dominance with the people around him.

Ramsay probably delivered everything that was asked for his role, including his intimate scene with Mendiola. He was a tough bodyguard, reliable, trained to fight and defend, definitely not with his heart on his sleeve even when a girl proved to be a tease.

Mendiola is the ideal female lead for the story – young, sexy and pretty. She was thrust into action and she was admittedly challenged in this project.