Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lihim ni Adonis - Ill-Conceived Sexual Rigodon with Jeremy Ian

The pulchritude of a young man in Jeremy Ian is highlighted in Noli Salvador's "Lihim ni Adonis" - a little seen Pink Film from the makers of "Haliparot (Mana sa Ina)" which hybrids straight erotica and the pervasive pink flicks.

The story follows Adonis (Jeremy Ian), young, fair, good looking barrio boy who lives with an ailing father and a younger brother Gian (Gian Santos) in dire need of help for his studies. But Adonis' good looks has caught the attention of rural lass Vina (Thea Alvarez). When Vina's father (Dan Alvaro) learns of Vina's affection for Adonis, he plots a plan to snag the strapping young lad right down his daughter's lap. After all, Adonis' father has unpaid loans that's long overdue. The old man balks, but Vina's dad sweetens the deal, promising to finance Gian's studies. Suddenly, getting married wasn't such an acrid predicament. So Adonis clinches the deal.

On their matrimonial night, the dissolute bride finds her carnal advances rejected, paving the way for clues about Adonis' secret - his sexual preference, a fact hitherto ambiguous. The plot thickens when Jomar (Diomar Dyangco), Adonis' best friend from his childhood days, rides back into town with his friends (Charles Delgado as the wheedling Jun). One day, while Adonis finds a drunk Jomar at the riverside, Adonis coerces his helpless buddy, giving him fellating pleasures, despite the latter's protest: "Ano'ng ginagawa mo? Huwag! Tama na!" Which is funnier than executed because how can an able bodied young man who's capable enough of walking on rough terrain over huge boulders, adept enough to take off his swimming trunks and jump into a heavy stream, but suddenly defenseless against the oral advances of his dear childhood friend? A conundrum indeed.

The succeeding days pass by as the story plateaus into narrative skepticism. Jomar meets Vina, and he's besotted. But this doesn't stop him from sleeping (again) with Adonis who was himself lured into Jun's (Charles Delgado) seductive bed. Hilariously, this trifling detail of attraction and rigodon has Jomar sleeping with the sexually frustrated Vina who suddenly finds the nirvana of pleasure in Jomar's voracious appetite.

The adulterous couple starts to plan their great escape. But not before reclaiming Vina's fortunes (a wad of money given to Adonis' younger brother for his studies). One fateful day, Adonis catches Jomar and Vina in flagrante delicto. He wails in deep sorrow: "Paano n'yo nagawa sa akin ito?" which all the more made me chuckle considering he's been shagging every other guy who waves their penises at him. These are cinematic moments of utter enlightenment. Common sense left the production when they filmed this.

When I present details of a story, it is with the objective that something out of a movie is worth a healthy discussion. But the nature of logical argumentation is so thin, I am hardly able to contain myself from just altogether abandoning this article. Why else would it take me almost a month to force myself to write this? That's why I know that there is a more powerful Being who dispenses people with enough resolve when the going gets tough. Let's consider the decision of Vina's father to marry off her daughter to someone who doesn't even have a job? Dan Alvaro's going away present for his daughter Vina (who admitted to having a crush on Adonis) was this young man whose father owes them a fortune. Dan, a soldier, was leaving his family because he was assigned to faraway Mindanao. His parting message: "O gusto ko pagbalik ko, marami na akong apo ha." Wait a minute, is he going to Tibet? Eritrea? Liberia? Turkmenistan? Or maybe Neptune perhaps?

Thea Alvarez and Diomar Dyangco share illicit moment as Adonis' wife Vina and best friend Jomar.

On a more positive note, Jeremy Ian is a star find. Though he was dull and robotic in his small part in Noli Salvador's "Haliparot (Mana Sa Ina)", Ian delineates his character's sense of perdition, of his loss of freedom, his probity regarding his sexual orientation or preference. We are not saying that Ian is already a thespian - far from it, actually. But his several scenes where he cries didn't end up amateurish, sappy, or floundering the way Jeff Luna usually delivers (by the way, where is he?) The coarse and reckless camera work sometimes pans his pimple ridden face which further renders empathy to his dilemma. And it doesn't hurt that Jeremy is so easy on the eyes, you may as well freeze a frame, and I wouldn't mind gazing at him. Oohlala indeed!

Thea Alvarez who has gained notoriety in Lucas Mercado's modern day soft porn flicks ("Darang", "Libido", "Bata Pa Si Rafael") doesn't do so badly herself, considering her character takes a back seat to the title role. I've never considered her pretty but I now understand why perving men constantly "search" for Thea's name in this blogsite and elsewhere. She has this allure of insidious naivete that makes men's motors running.

Diomar Dyangco, who has his start in legitimate indie films like the Cinemalaya flick, "Rekrut" tries his luck with this Pink Film. Though he doesn't come off awkward, his character is recklessly ill conceived, providing funny moments in scenes that should otherwise be austere. But this tack of piecing the characters together is deliberate and audacious - the objective is really to find them in sexual rigodon with each other. Do you wonder why?

Thea Alvarez gradually claiming her throne as the princess of B-flicks.

Diomar Dyangco will appear in an indie re-enactment of the Ampatuan massacre opposite Snooky Serna.


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