by Chioma Ezekobe
MOVIE TITLE: TIMELESS PASSION (PART 1) AND PASSIONATE HEART(SEQUEL)
DSTV CHANNEL: 128
Susan Peters: Allow me kidnap this woman, allow me kidnap her…
Monalisa Chinda : My mother-in-law is so kind and yet so weak.
Some of us were born Nigerian movie fans. It is rather painful that nobody thanks us for our large hearts, spacious enough to accommodate most of the low-budget, crappy storylines, and ill-directed movies that get produced in this country.
We are heroes, we are the ones who keep the video clubs running, we are the ones who don’t switch off our decoders when there’s no interesting foreign programmes, we just put DSTV Channel 114.
The truth is that high and frequent exposure to most of the movies aired on that station can lower your I.Q. However, I am an optimist. I believe in the ‘one day, e go betta’ slogan. Is my faithfulness paying off now? Yes!
In the lines above, these two great actresses speak of two different women. Susan Peters’ character wishes to help her friend Mildred (Monalisa Chinda) to kidnap her pain-in-the-butt sister-in-law, Ifeanyi. Mildred runs down the list of other characters. A mother-in-law who pities her son’s widow but does nothing, a son who looks like the ocean, calm on the surface, raging underneath. A rather wayward British brought up daughter who doesn’t send anyone. We see a frustrated and unmarried sister-in-law competing with the devil for the ‘meanest personality’ award. And the main character, a widow who is of the God-is-my-strength-and-solace disposition.
Mildred is accused of murdering her late husband Ebube, her sister-in-law. Ifeanyi takes it as her divine assignment to make Chinda go through all the widowhood rites, and even seizes her passport and that of her kids so that they can’t return to UK. It turns out that the seized passports are the central focus of the movie. That’s a bit of a giant plot hole: who would live in the UK for so long, return to bury her husband and take it that gently when her passport is seized? Besides, the kids are grown enough to all join hands and beat up the passport collector jare.
After a heart wrenching prayer by Mildred, Ramsey Nouah is introduced to the plot as her guardian angel. Monalisa insists to her friend that she wants to mourn her husband forever. Angels may just be cute, handsome, caring, always there, and then you are likely to… fall in love!
You have to love my best star of the flick – Uru Eke. After an impressive act as a wayward, I-don’t-send teenager, I spilled a drink on myself when I found out she was 33 years old in real life. See this from her.
Uru: I can forgive her anything, but to steal my man, that’s a cardinal sin.
Her friend: Who are you talking about?
Uru: My mum.
I chuckled to myself at this point. That called for what we call an African slap. Those lines were delivered in the most natural and effortless way I have come across.
Have I spoken about Aunty Ifeanyi? The role was played by Chisom Oz-Lee, who co-produced the movie with Emem Isong. It might have been loud to anyone else, but as I have a penchant for blond hair, I loved her an extra bit. I like her, and if she were on Twitter, I would shamelessly suck up to her until she likes me too or blocks me.
The reason for this love is a combo of many things. Apart from being a natural act, she has produced a movie that didn’t portray the usual nasty mother-in-laws. We see instead, a mother-in-law who is nice and a half, and the sister-in-law is the thorn in the flesh. Chisom has produced impressive movies in the past, just Google her. And finally, in real life, Chisom is the one whose husband is dead. She opined once in an interview, that she wasn’t free of the plights that came with widowhood. So was that her story, or pure fiction with bits of hers in it? Rising above widowhood, Chisom Oz-lee has plunged herself into lots of commitments, one of which is making realistically themed movies. I tell you again, Google this woman.
Is Desmond Elliot a better director than an actor? That thing we accused Ernest Obi of many years ago; acting in every movie he directed, Desmond Elliot don start am. I cannot even tell you people the one he did in this movie, but I can answer the question; Desmond is becoming quite an all-rounder!
The movie locations were beautiful; you can trip to pieces for the picture quality. The aroma of the puddings of a good director could not be ignored.
Anyone who sees the movie would know that everything was different from the norm. Nothing was spared; they had one impressive shoot on water sef. You could feel the touch of expertise.
However, there were loose ends like, of Monalisa’s three kids, only Uru Eke had a British accent, where were the others when she acquired the accent? Monalisa tells Ramsey to follow them back home to the United States, that was a quick swap from her UK base! Uru Eke’s voice was obviously dubbed in the first part of the movie- the echo was disgusting.
In all Chisom Oz-lee is determined, Emem Isong is daring, and Desmond is unafraid. I know there are behind the scene workers who did quite some work as well, those names you don’t bother with waiting for after you see the cast. They need to be commended as well, but it is quite a pity nobody takes note of their names. They are like me, like all the Nigerian movie fans, unsung heroes.