Dalaw Movie Review

Stella’s (Kris Aquino) husband dies in a car accident while the two of them are arguing. Feelings of guilt continues to haunt Stella specially when she meets and reunites with her old flame Anton (Diether Ocampo) four years after Danilo’s (her husband) death. Her husband’s possessive nature seems to haunt her when she accepts Anton’s marriage proposal. Her son and Anton get along well and her relationship with Anton’s mother turns good.

True to his word that he will start a new life with Stella, Anton splits up with all the women attached to him including the possessive Lorna (Karylle). Anton and Stella’s wedding could have been perfect except being interrupted by Stella’s son’s loud screams and finding out that Anton’s mother suffered a stroke. Prior to that, Anton’s mother (Susan Africa) sees a shadowy figure and checks on it.

Stella sells her house and moves to her mother-in-law’s house with Anton and her son. The couple struggles financially and Stella is sometimes doubtful of Anton’s fidelity. Stella learns that she is pregnant and Anton works harder to provide for her.

More ghostly apparitions both in her dreams and in reality attacks Stella and even her unsuspecting son. Olga’s (Gina Pareño) satirical attitude towards Stella is temporary as she becomes her ally in driving away the “dalaw.” Olga works in their household as Anton’s mother’s caregiver.

The relationship between Stella and Anton is put to test when Anton’s mother died on a freak wheelchair accident. Anton does not believe that the “dalaw” has something to do with it. Kylie’s (Ina Feleo) death adds up to Stella’s stress. Olga advises her to confront the “dalaw.” Olga tells her that the “dalaw” is not a male but a female and this confuses Stella even more. (Note: The “dalaw’s” gender is beyond recognition as it is covered with mud.)

Just as Olga is preparing for a ritual to get rid of the “dalaw,” it appeared and stuck her with a broken glass on her forehead. Then Olga sees her deceased young son for the first time and decides to go with him. She is the third casualty of the “dalaw.”

Anton admits to Stella that Lorna is dead while the “dalaw” is violently attacking Stella, her son and Olga’s niece (Empress Schuck) at their house. Anton brings a priest with him at the site where he buries Lorna who he accidentally stabbed in the chest while stopping her to commit suicide. Lorna’s ghost is unforgiving and he kills Anton. At the house, Kris is reminded of Olga’s instruction to destroy everything that the “dalaw” has a connection with. She burns Lorna’s picture and the “dalaw” is seen burning, too.

Anton knocks on the door and the couple embraces each other. Stella discovers Anton’s wound and realizes that Anton is already dead, too.

Kris Aquino is said to be the co-producer of this project and I must say, she’s wise in getting a row of talented supporting actors/actresses like:
1. Gina Pareño- her facial expression, her acting and even the scary contact lens in her left eye is something to watch for. She is comic in some of her scenes where she delivers lines from Vilma Santos’s old movies. You can feel her pain at the scene when she first saw her deceased young son. Despite being able to see ghosts and spirits, the first time that she is able to see her deceased young son is when she’s dying.
2. Susan Africa- Susan’s acting has always impressed me since her Mara Clara days. A real actress does not need to speak a word to act. Her facial expression as a woman who suffered stroke is enough to speak for her role.
3. Ina Feleo- Mom is Laurice Guillen and dad is the late Johnny Delgado, would you wonder where she got her acting talent?
4. Alessandra De Rossi- Is she even acting? She acts so natural you would think she’s mean in real life, too.
5. Karylle- Is that Karylle? Wow, she should get more movie/TV projects.
6. Diether Ocampo- This is the first time that I get to appreciate Diether Ocampo. He improved a LOT. He carried the right emotions the role required of him. He looked good on this movie, too.
7. Kris and Diether’s son on this movie is good, too.

Kris’s acting on this movie is entertaining for me. She portrays the role of a low-key yet sweet young widow and heck, we know that she’s just acting! In reality, Kris speaks her mind; I wonder what would she reply to Alessandra’s tirades had she used her real character in the movie!