A stylized drama with an occasional dash of humor

Movie Review: Adarna Gang

The character of the feisty and spunky Adriana in director Jon Red’s Adarna Gang is an ideal comeback vehicle for actress Coleen Garcia, who is stepping into an action-drama film for the first time.

You thought Coleen could only be dramatic or sexy? She can also wield a gun. She proved that in Adarna Gang, which marks her first time using a gun in an action drama, something new and different for her.

As the daughter of Jose (played by Soliman Cruz), killed in a bloody encounter, Adriana exacts revenge on the wealthy and powerful Don Fernando Castillo (Ronnie Lazaro), the syndicate’s big boss and his adopted sons, Pedro, Juan and Diego. . , respectively played by Mark Anthony Fernandez, JC Santos and Diego Loyzaga.

The latest iteration of the Ibong Adarna classic was written and directed by multi-award winning and internationally acclaimed visionary Jon, who was inspired by his favorite director Akira Kurosawa in Ran (1985), a Shakespearean tragedy. The Godfather (1972) by Francis Ford Coppola became another source of inspiration.

Two minutes into the action drama, the characters repeatedly curse in their dialogue. The wealthy Castillo couple have just left the church, with Don Fernando even from the confessional. But a simple mistake caused Valeriana, the wife of Don Fernando, brilliantly played by Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, to easily pronounce bad words. For a change, the ever-good girl Shamaine plays badly in Adarna Gang.

“Pu…ina, nakalimutan ko ang sober,” Valeriana shouted willingly as she left the church. Obviously, the Castillo family lives a life of endless mortification. Going to church and confessing your sins is a good cover for your life of embarrassment and shame.

Pulang Lupa’s musical vocals, used in the background of Adarna Gang, were beautifully woven into the scenes from start to finish.

Adriana used to lead a simple life singing in a church choir, teaching voice lessons and living quietly with her parents – Jose and Maria (Mickey Ferriols) – or so she thought. Adriana’s dream of living a life in the province with her parents was shattered when her father was killed.

Thereafter, Adriana became vengeful and with the help of Jay Manalo, one of her father’s trusted men. Jay hardly used any dialogue, but his character became an important factor for Adriana, whom he aided in every aspect of her vengeful wrath.

She found out and walked into a life of money, drugs, politicians, guns, women, goons as she planned revenge on the Castillo family, barely listening to even the wily Valeriana .

Adriana learned target shooting and she became proficient in no time. Eventually, she carefully plotted her moves for revenge. In the end, however, she sadly realized that there was no fulfillment in revenge because it was simply an endless cycle. What stands out for her is that it is always better to choose the narrow path, the better path.

Working with a mainstream film crew like Viva with a major cast is rare for direk Jon, who previously worked for most independent productions. He spent his own money on most of the films he released. “Very personal works,” he said.

Direk Jon made a point of toning down the action of Adarna Gang, which also stars Rob Guinto, Archie Adamos, Raul Morit and even director Roman Perez Jr., this time as a supporting actor.

“When we watch the action, the violence is used as entertainment,” Jon explained. “Musical number para siyang. Doon na desensitize the natin public. Parang ball wala na. Sinadya namin ‘yun.

“In real life, makarinig ka lang ng putok ng barrel, takot ka na,” he added. “Gusto namin ibalik ‘yun kaya hindi siya bugbog in action. I realized that when we were doing pre-production, I was checking when we would need gun effects.

Direk Jon delivered stylized drama in Ibong Adarna’s new presentation. More of a drama with an occasional dash of humor. In a way, Adarna Gang also had a touch of satire.