by Wilfred Okiche
“What good can come out of Rukky Sanda?” Not a few have queried.
The actress known as Rukky Sanda has been making the rounds for quite some time now. Landing her first gig in 2004, she has been around for as long as Mercy Johnson and Tonto Dikeh but up until recently has been unable to break out as convincingly as her comrades. Cast mostly in bit part roles and famous for every other reason apart from her acting, hers has been a chequered road to stardom. When the infrequent acting gigs dried up altogether, she took the plunge and started her journey into film production. After some time in film purgatory, she seems set to take her place as a leading lady cum production powerhouse.
“Keeping my man” , a romantic comedy is her first attempt at sparking the interest of the cinema audience. It stars Ramsey Nouah, Alexx Ekubo and Kenneth Okolie as a trio of handsome, money-making, billiard-playing, club-going, liquor-drinking handsome fast friends who live on the swanky part of Lagos Island. They are all married to wives (Rukky Sanda, Ini Edo and Monalisa Chinda); women with pseudo-exotic names like Zion, Maya and Tamar (seriously?) who spend their days shopping, drinking, lunching and generally not lifting a finger to support their husbands’ income.
Perfectly coiffed, tailored and prettily pedicured, these women suffer from first world problems that threaten to burst their self made, million Naira supported cocoons. Maya (Ini Edo) is drowning, fighting hard to bring the spark back into her marriage even when her husband (Ekubo) thinks things are just peachy. Tamar has had enough of her much younger husband’s overactive libido and Zion (Sanda) and Nouah embody the perfect couple about to be put to the test.
The leads are all cast for their sunny good looks and manage to look pretty even at the most trying of times. Ramsey Nouah seems genuinely bothered as to why he is here in the first place and acts accordingly. Ini Edo is well Ini Edo playing another uninteresting person and Mona Lisa Chinda and Okolie’s pairing is not the brightest of casting choices.
The screen play written by Sanda is basic relationship melodrama with little action and plenty talk. Some jokes hit, some miss but Ms Sanda keeps swinging away. Picture quality is very good, with the screen adaptation employing plenty of colours to give off a more palatable outlook. Most of the film is set in the 1004 luxury flats in Victoria Island and while they are colourful and easy on the eye,they also give the screen a claustrophobic presence and everything appears reined in.
Like most rom coms, you can smell the resolution a mile away so that even at 98 minutes “Keeping my man” seems to go on forever. It is not a particularly good film and her directing skills could do with some extra lessons. She could have come up with more engaging scenes in the middle and final parts and cut most of the reductive scenes. It is quite watchable, enjoyable even for some and is definitely better than films put out this year by Uche Jombo and Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha (seemingly more accomplished actresses) but it’s a film you’d want to see at home. The biggest surprise of the whole experience for some may be that it is Rukky Sanda calling the shots.
And they said no good could come out of Rukky Sanda.
The writer tweets from @drwill20