by Ifreke Inyang
WARNING: The next 400 words that you’ll be reading were penned by a self-confessed die-hard Genevieve Nnaji groupie. So please refrain from raising eyebrows at his impassioned and excessive use of superlatives for the Nollywood beauty. Thank you!
Finally, a select few of which I was part, have seen bits of the much anticipated Tango With Me. The movie, shot on 35mm, was directed by Mahmood Ali-Balogun and executed with the help of a big budget. The BrickWall production features prominent Nigerian actors such as Genevieve Nnaji, Joseph Benjamin, Joke Silva, Ahmed Yerima, Tina Mba, Bimbo Manuel, Bimbo Akintola amongst others.
Ali-Balogun cuts to the chase and starts the movie with the pressing issue – Lola (Genevieve Nnaji) and Uzo’s (Joseph Benjamin) crumbling marriage. The young, upwardly mobile couple are having to deal with the psychological after-effects of Lola’s rape on the night of their wedding. Lola, who got wedded as a virgin is completely distraught, as is her husband. There is little or no communication between them, and the tension in their home takes sex off the couple’s menu.
The casting was executed beautifully, with Genevieve Nnaji delivering her lines as if she wrote the screenplay herself, matching her delivery with fantastic body language and facial expressions. In Tango With Me she reinforced her position as a Nollywood heavyweight, showing that in bigger budget movies, with better structures, she is incredible. Joseph Benjamin didn’t disappoint either. He seized his rare moment in the spotlight and stood up to Genevieve who was on top of her game. Bimbo Manuel revelled in his role as a marriage counsellor and Tina Mba was on point too. Even the extras didn’t let us down.
The story is well-researched, thought-provoking and relevant. It harps on serious and sensitive societal issues which families often neglect and treat with levity. Segun Kayode (the screen writer) meticulously created and heightened the movie’s suspense, and most times the intrigue was palpable.
The movie didn’t score high marks for me on cinematography. Although Ali-Balogun took the pains to explain that he had brought in expatriates to handle it, there was a lot to be desired from the picture quality, which wasn’t too sharp. However the sound was bearable.
All in all, I’m looking forward to the full premiere of the film this weekend. I can’t wait to see how it all unravels. (We didn’t watch the full film. We were only treated to about one hour of it).
Sneak preview HERE!