by Wilfred Okiche
‘Dark side’ is a suspense thriller starring Bayo Alawiye, Nobert Young, Joseph Benjamin and Uru Eke. It begins with a supernatural twist as a young man (Bayo Alawiye) driving in his automoblie accidentally knocks down a blind man attempting to cross the road. After helping the stranger to his feet, the young man attempts to make a beeline but the blind man (Nobert Young) is in a chatty mood and wants to talk, maybe even give our hero a peep into his future.
But our man has to dash and we move along with him to his ridiculously large mansion that hints of fabulous excesses. We learn that he is heir to a multi-million Naira company although apart from the baroque mansion and hot to trot skanky wife, you’d never guess. Not from the dull work place surroundings and dour workers, and not from the scrappy appearance of the lead (Alawiye). While he makes a serviceable leading man, he does not possess the palpable screen presence to portray convincingly a scion of a stupendously wealthy family.
But that is not all we learn from the opening scenes. We also discern that his wife (Sylvia Udeogu) is having a torrid affair with his handsome best friend played by Joseph Benjamin. It becomes clearly apparent in their first scene together, an amusing attempt at a sizzling sex scene that has Ms Udeogu working extra hard and inspite of the production’s limitations to vamp things up as the cheating wife.
Her performance will not win any awards for quality but she is the hardest working performer here, doing her best to sizzle in her numerous scenes with Mr Benjamin. Where he is restrained and unwilling to push farther, she pushes both of them towards over the top theatricality. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes she comes across as Tonto Dikeh with only slightly improved acting talent.
A bizzare work accident leaves our hero mysteriously blind and his wife and her lover double up their shagging sessions, grabbing each other’s bodies whenever they meet and in full presence of the blind husband, confident in his vision impaired affliction. He signs on for a high risk surgery without his wife’s knowledge (don’t ask which, the film doesn’t specify) and watches perversely as wifey carries on with her lover and expresses her loathing for him every chance she gets.
Some other plot twists come up to keep audiences mildly engaged. Nobert Young’s character reappears, Uru Eke struts by with a vengeance and the director’s motto seems to be this; when all fails, revert to Sylvia Udeogu and Joseph Benjamin making out. It works for some time but there are only so many similar scenes one can take in. The film builds up to a suspense filled climax leading to a twisty end but the entire experience leaves an after taste that isnt quite sweet. The script may have been brought to life faithfully but it seems that production ability and experience would have added layers to the film, enabling a more seamless finished product.
– The writer tweets from @drwill20