‘Adverse’ Summary & Analysis – Takes The Hollywood Route and Fails


Independent Films are harder to crack. Not because of the budget but because of the subject. In simpler terms, an indie project is a system where you portray the larger emotions without massive investment. As factually proved, narrative and actors are the pillars of emotions, most indie filmmakers are stuck with techniques and experiments, rather than raw emotions. In Adverse (film), until the director Brian Metcalf rode the film through emotions, it went well, but in the end, he incorporated a Hollywood Style Action Sequence, and it spoiled everything.

Penned by the director Brian A. Metcalf, Adverse is a crime thriller drama about a brother and sister, Ethan and Mia who live in a single apartment after their mother’s death. Ethan acts as a guardian to 16-year-old Mia who gets involved in a bad company filled with drugs and sex. Ethan is a night taxi driver who works for a rental taxi firm but constantly faces conflicts and obstacles from the passengers of the night. Ethan suffers from extreme anger issues and other mental traumas for which he is even consulting a psychiatrist, Dr. Cruz. In short, nothing is smooth in Ethan’s life.

Things go out of hand when Mia goes missing. Ethan traces her down and gets to know the debt she holds against the drug dealers. Ethan, though, pays off the debt. But due to a fake snitching by a drug dealer, the kingpin of the debt system, Frankie hunts Mia down and his men kill her. Ethan,  totally devastated kill the snitch but wasn’t aware that it was Frankie’s men who killed his sister. Unaware and out of work, Ethan joins Frankie’s gang but when he gets hold of the truth, he pursues a killing spree.

For most dramatic portions, Adverse (film) holds your attention. Even the minor fighting and chase sequences in the first half of the film are gripping and believable but once Ethan takes “L shaped socket wrench” to smash the heads of bad guys, the whole sequence looks off. The wrench in Ethan’s hand acted like “avengers Thor hammer” where a single blow knocked out the muscled guys, twice the size of Ethan. The film had a grip with its dramatic and emotional elements, but with action sequences, it totally screwed up.

Adverse (film) has too many influences from Taxi Driver and having influences isn’t bad. The problem is, it has nothing of its own. It looked like edits and pieces of films or narratives that you have already seen on screen and Adverse doesn’t showcase anything new. In an era, where people are saying that Hollywood is exhausted of stories, it is in fact proving to be true. We are mixing narratives in a mixer grinder but what we should be doing is writing films we want to see if there aren’t any. However, if it is the case that you don’t know what you want to see, then you are just a mere confused viewer, not a maker, and when such a person or studio makes one film, he will find up making everything else is making. Today is the time to make the most personal films. It is our only savior.

For better or for worse, Adverse (film) doesn’t work. If you are planning to watch, you can totally skip it and not miss anything substantial. It is just another dust in the storm that is piling up, thus preparing a dangerous storm for Quality Cinema.

Adverse (film) is running in theatres.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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