The family serves as a microcosm or analogue of the household in the more instructive instances of Philippine melodrama. The realism of the plot does not make sense if severed from the moral agenda of an alternate or alternative reality, so that the characters for instance in Minsan, May Isang Ina (Regal Films, Inc.) become social types that enact the narratives of a family in pieces. The film's tendency to broaden the dimensions of this material needs to be encouraged, if only because it harnesses the potential of the practice of moviegoing as a collective act of reviewing society. In Minsan, May Isang Ina, the crest of a middle-class family is wracked by crisis and is ultimately materialized in Sarah (Charito Solis), a domineering martriarch fighting to keep her slowly decaying family business. The gesture of Ruth's (Nora Aunor) awakening from Edmund's (Ricky Davao) abuse is a moment that effectively synthesizes realism and allegory in a prefiguration of salvation in a milieu on the verge of a total breakdown. Noemi (Maricel Soriano) on the other hand is made to come to grips with the contentious contradictions raging within a driven and aggressive young woman while capitulating to the charms of Rene (William Martinez).
What is of substantial interest in Minsan, May Isang Ina is its task, and this need not to be thoroughly fruitful or even a a satisfying one to work out an allegory in cinematic terms and within the domain of melodrama. In this modality, the film is able to address the desires of melodrama, here the family suffer and share the intimate relations that dispose them to oblige each other to reciprocate the acts of kinship, succor, sustenance and sympathy. The casting is near perfect. Charito Solis and Nora Aunor are excellent as the sanguine Sarah and the phlegmatic Ruth. Both actresses fill their roles to the hilt and it is to the director's credit that he was able to orchestrate their two styles of acting. Aunor shows her strength early in the movie when she is confronted by Sarah about her husband Alan's (Bembol Roco) unruly behavior. At this dramatic exchange, we feel the pain that she feels. In the same scene, we see Solis, defining her authority with one fiery gaze. Aunor's most dramatic moment comes when she finally realizes the failure of her own married life and tearfully breaks down by her bedside. Maricel Soriano plays her most challenging role so far. This time she was able to wrest the attention from the two dramatic heavyweights and managed to reveal a strength that comes from an understanding of a character's background. Bembol Roco is ambiguos playing a golden boy who is a total zero as a family man. It is within this perspective that the characters in Minsan, May Isang Ina are not only dramatis personaem but also discursive subjects who inscribe in human action of a particular condition.
Directed By: Maryo J. delos Reyes
Screenplay: Jake Tordesillas
Cinematography By: Joe Batac, Jr., Sergio Lobo And Gener Buenaseda
Music By: George Canseco
Edited By : Edgrado Vinarao
Prodcution Design By: Butch Garcia
Produced By: Regal Films, Inc.
Release Date: December 2, 1983