‘Adan’ – A Confusing Lustful Mess with a Dash of Questions

So, November 20 marks the official premiere date of Viva Films, Aliud Entertainment, and ImaginePerSecond’s lesbian drama thriller movie Adan. I took the day off from my piled-up work backlogs so that I’ll be able to watch this movie before anyone else did. I watched the film at our local cinema around 6:45pm. I expected a least a couple of people to watch it (the premiere date of Adan was also the same as Disney’s highly anticipated film Frozen II, so I already expected a lot of people to watch it first over this one.)

Believe it or not, I was the only one watching. There was one or two SM Cinema staff inside, but they were only merely there to see if there is anyone recording the film. More or less, I had the whole theater to myself.

I left the cinema confused with a minor headache afterward. I expected a lot. I thought it was something that would be forever etched in my memory in a good way. Sadly, it went a complete 180 from all of that. However, it’s not that 100% that super kind of bad of a film. More as you read along.

This review is obviously very spoiler-heavy so at least there’s a head’s up before you read further. The movie is rated by MTRCB as R-16.

So, the movie is centered on two women: Ellen and Marian. Ellen is a girl living in the mountains, while Marian is a city girl. The two met when they were kids when Ellen attempted to run away from the clutches of her overprotective father, Lucas.

It starts with a flashback of Ellen’s mother leaving her home, and only she and her dad remain. We then move forward to the present day when we see the innocent girl feeding the ducks and doing the household chores in their simple hut. This part was kind of slow. I had to check my watch from time to time. 10-15 minutes on, the film progress was slow.

Her dad was a farmer and was pressured because of debt that he owned from his friend (I forgot the dude’s name, sorry). It went to the point that he had to give out some of the stuff he owned, like his goat. Sooner or later, the guy wanted Ellen. As the movie moves forward, you would see that the father has kept important documents with him as well as huge amounts of money secretly kept in a tin box.

I am now going back to Ellen and Marian. Marian constantly visits the mountain giving her stuff like snacks and batteries for her old radio. The two share a unique bond, which I liked at first. Everything went smoothly in the first part of the film.

The story then goes deeper to Ellen’s desires. She was curious about having sex–all the aspects of it. She even has her own stash of porn pictures that she keeps away from her father. She also wanted to leave rural life and just take a big leap in Manila.

Her ambition to just move out and explore the world is understandable. However, the way the film portrays about lesbian sex and women touching themselves weren’t really good. For the record, I have no problem with lesbian sex, especially if they are raw and lust. However, the angles and how THAT scene was filmed didn’t really click to me. I expected a lot. They were trying to make it feel “real” I guess. The cinematography of the scene could have been better.

If you’re a person who doesn’t like seeing blood and killing in movies—oh boy! You’re in for a treat on this one.

After finding out that she will be sold to her father’s friend, Ellen contacts Marian immediately, saying that they have to run away immediately. Ellen’s father caught her attempting to escape, and without any second of regret whatsoever, she stabbed him with a sharp sickle. Marian arrived at the scene and saw a shocked Ellen and a bloody Lucas. As they left the house, Lucas was still alive, grabbing one of the girls and stopping them from leaving the place. Seeing that this man has caused Ellen so much distress, Marian ended it all by stabbing him a lot with a pointy wooden pole. They covered his corpse, bathe it with gas, and burned his body. There was not even a second of regret from either of the two. Nada. Ellen just wanted to get the hell out of the place.

Now fast forward, both Ellen and Marian confessed their love and interest for each other. They were two curious women who longed for someone to love them. They found that love with each other. They had a lot of sex throughout the film. Remember that sex scene I shared earlier? It lasted like 5 minutes. Although it had awkward angles and cinematography, I give them points for having the scene in a waterfall. So that’s one good point shared.

However, some of the scenes were just a bit overboard. I understand that this movie had lust as one of its themes, but touching someone’s breasts while she’s sound asleep? Or letting her cum (in all places) in a tricycle? Really now.

We have to skip some parts as this review is getting pretty long. As I’m writing this, it just sunk into me that the film is an hour and 40 minutes long. I was at the edge of my seat hoping for something good or some light to come out from both Ellen and Marian’s predicaments, but I’m getting the opposite from all my hopes.

While both Ellen and Marian are enjoying their lives together “like a married couple,” Lucas’ friend and a chief police officer in the bayan were on a hunt for them for the murder of Lucas. Marian loved Ellen so much that she is willing to take all the risks to get them both out of their lives.

Her first target was Lucas’s friend. She found him in a bar all drunk. When everyone has left for the night, Marian sat beside him, choked him, and beat him to death. She then went back to Ellen and made a lie as to why she was late going home.

One day, Marian officially lost her job because the owner of the hardware store where she was working convict her of stealing a part of the sales. She secretly snugged in a hammer from one of the shop stocks to her bag. I honestly thought that she was going to kill the owner on the spot for being an asshole. You’ll be surprised later on what she did with it.

Chief passed by the hardware store after confirming both Ellen and Marian’s usual places. He asked the shop owner that he wanted to see Marian in order to ask a few questions. Knowing that she was stuck, Marian had no choice but to turn herself in for interrogation. Meanwhile, our innocent (okay no-longer-innocent) heroine Ellen was in the area (honestly to just buy some sanitary napkins) and saw Marian being taken away by the Chief. She thought Marian cheated on her and immediately went back to her place, crying and throwing away the cellphone Marian gave her.

In the interrogation room, the Chief asked her if she knew Lucas, if she knew Ellen, and if she knew the guy that was recently murdered in the bar. Marian immediately denies it but hoping under her breath that she would be off the hook.

I was expecting that the Chief would place her behind bars, but nope! He told Marian that the only way for her to get off the hook was to have sex with him. Knowing the situation and because she didn’t want Ellen to be caught, she did it with him. Meanwhile, as the sex scene went on with him and her, we see a scene of Ellen crying her heart out as she thought her lover was really cheating on her.

When the action was done between Chief and Marian, the girl asked if they can “do it again.” He then said he was tired and told her to make him feel good by giving him a blowjob. Marian did the deed then bit his wiener hard. She then took out the hammer from her back and immediately hit Chief’s head with a hammer.

At this point, I was like, “Am I really watching a lesbian film or what?”

We then go to the scene when Marian heads back to Ellen and tells her that they need to leave at dawn for everyone have them on their tracks. They took an early jeep going to the city.

And—the confusing part of this movie begins.

Ellen and Marian were at the back of the jeep, having a love quarrel of sorts. I was then slapped with a revelation (?) that Ellen just wanted to kill her father to be independent and just get away from rural life. She lied to Marian to hide the real intention.

We then see one angle that the father actually did not agree to his friend’s wishes of selling off his own daughter to him. Honestly, the father loved his daughter so much, and he is willing to starve or even sacrifice everything he owns just so that she will be safe.

So more or less, Ellen just had to make up an excuse so that she could be with Marian. Talk about manipulation. The scene in the jeep got intense when Marian asked Ellen what happened to the cellphone that she gave her. Ellen fired back with a question about why she was with the Chief assuming that they had and relationship. Marian truthfully told her that she sacrificed her own body just to keep her safe. However, Ellen never believed this as Marian promised her that there would be no one who stands between them.

As the intense conversation continued, we then see our two main characters stabbing each other in the jeepney. The other passengers left the vehicle, leaving them both stabbing each other until they were weak. The scene then ends with them dying in each other arms on a gloomy rainy day inside the abandoned jeepney.

The movie ends that way…what the fuck?

Conclusion

First off, I give props for this film to be daring with the scenes. It does have those bomba films kind of vibes, but honestly speaking, I expected more conflicts in their relationship. There wasn’t even a single scene when their relationship was questioned. It was only focused on each character’s desires. Sadly, the rest of the film was just all over the place. I am still left with some questions in my head.

As I said, I left the cinema with a minor headache. Not sure if it’s a good or bad thing. Well, I am probably leaning to the bad. However, if you’re really curious about this film, you can still catch it in a theater near you. It felt like an endless loop for a couple of times then just lead you to a dead end.

All in all, Ellen and Marian deserved better. I know that not all endings are happy endings, but the momentum of the movie had those hints that they are going somewhere to a fresh new start despite the things they’ve done. I am not sure if I would recommend this to all those who are interested in watching a Girl’s Love movie. If you’re curious, then you can still catch it in theaters. Even as I’m trying to sink in everything that I’ve watched today, it still feels like lustful mess and still left with many questions that I doubt if they will be answers.

So, Final Verdict

Story – 1/5

Characters – 4/5

Music – 3/5

GL Factor – 2/5

6 comments

  1. Hmmm. Ito, opinyon ko lang naman. I’m not forcing you guys to like the story of Adan especially, kahit ako naman, hindi ko pa napapanood yan. Pero mas maganda siguro kung instead na ibash yung movie, mas maganda siguro kung suportahan na lang? Hindi ko naman sinasabi na gustuhin nyo pero huwag na lang sigurong idiscourage na manood ung iba? Kasi bihira lang ang gumagawa ng mga lesbian movies sa pinas, so kahit ako, ndi rin naman nag eexpect na maganda agad ang kalalabasan. Since bihira lang at halos kung tutuusin, first or second time pa lang ata, hindi kataka-taka na hindi pa nila gamay. Isipin nyo na lang na kung walang susuporta sa adan, mas lalong wala nang chance na magkaroon ng lesbian film ulit sa Pinas. Hindi na sila mag aattempt na gumawa ulit kasi kahit mga les and bi pala, walang sumusuporta.

    Ang akin lang, wag na munang maging choosy o mag expect ng masyado kasi umpisa pa lang naman to. Malay nyo mag improve pa ung mga susunod na lesbian films kung magkakaroon pa. Nakasalalay yun sa mga susuporta ng mga local lesbian films.

    Walang namang nag uumpisa pa lang na perfect na agad pero kung hindi susuportahan, wala nang susunod. Wala na ring maiimprove na lesbian film kung wala ng gagawa. Just saying. Sana walang magalit sa sinabi ko. 🙂

    • Amusing, you posted the same comment as the Yuri/GL Philippines Group. So I will be posting the same comments as I said in your thread:

      There are going to be a lot of Lesbian films I can be sure of that. However, there are so many problems with this movie. It is all over the place. Samantha Lee nailed two PH lesbian films and a lot of us expected that the hype momentum to keep going. I expected A LOT for this movie. In the end, it is not worth praising. I feel bad for the actresses.
      If you read my review, I did say that “if you still want to watch it, okay fam. Feel free to do so if it is showing in theaters.”
      For someone who has watched a lot of GL / WLW films all her life, I am sorry but Adan ain’t one of those I would recommend. If you have watched the film, you would get what I mean.
      Even by just remembering the film, it still leaves a bad taste in my mind and in my memory.

      For the record, the movie was produced and filmed in the male gaze. That alone is a red flag to a lot of people here in this group [Yuri/GL PH]. Hence the warning.

    • “Since bihira lang at halos kung tutuusin, first or second time pa lang ata”… this line alone renders your argument invalid. Goodness, hindi ito ang “first o second time pa lang” for lesbian films here in PH. 1982 gave us “T-bird at Ako”, starring Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. Had you said that line to describe “T-bird at Ako”, then I would accept your argument na “wag maging choosy” (the film had problematic themes but was indeed one of the earliest lesbian films).

      But we have gone far enough, 2019 na, at marami nang nai-offer na QUALITY lesbian films sa PH cinema. So yes, we have every right to be “choosy”. We cannot settle for subpar representation kasi we’ve seen it done well in a lot of films.

  2. Base on your review i feel disappointed too because almost all lesbian movies ends in that kind of tragic end. Not a happily ever after movie.

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