I have been waiting on Imoh Umoren to release the trailer for Lagos: Sex, Lies and Traffic, merely because of the construction of the title. Besides, Umoren has been teasing the movie on Twitter and I had a few theories about what the story would be based on. Now that the trailer has been released, none of what I had in mind was depicted in the one-minute-plus footage. But there are familiar themes, and that indie Umoren style, weaved into a political plot which is continually making political movies hot right now.
The opener of the trailer is so plugged into the zeitgeist that it possibly couldn’t have been unintentional: ”Have you ever assaulted or raped a woman before?” William Benson‘s Dejo is interrogated by a panel in a dark room. That question, and the entire set up, feels like a fleeting satire of the harrowing Ford and Kavanaugh hearings. The conversation around sexual assault and rape is still ongoing and although it comes across as a little gimmicky in the trailer, I have to say that it worked in piquing my interest.
Dejo happens to be a political aspirant running for governor, and whose affair with another woman threatens to derail his campaign and marriage. His wife Tolu, played by Keira Hewatch, can be heard in a scene asking Dejo if he loves his mistress and in another, conspiratorially telling him that they have to kill her after they discover his mistress is pregnant. I’m amused that Tolu isn’t filing for divorce but instead, she’s helping her husband take care of the mess of his infidelity, even if it’s committing murder. The message here: women also aid and abet the selfish behaviours of trash men and shield them from accountability.
The scene with a man being mobbed and harassed by police/SARS was quite uncomfortable and triggering to watch, even though it was meant to be funny. The #EndSARS campaign on social media recently received fresh fire over the fatal shooting of Kolade Johnson, and there have massive calls to disband SARS, a toxic, murderous unit of the police. Also starring in Lagos: Sex, Lies and Traffic are Duke Elvis, Sunday Afolabi, Kiitan Faroun, Taiwo Gasper, MaryJane Ogu and Kelechi Udegbe. The scene between Ogu and Udegbe scooped out some laughs from me, a pre-sex moment where Udegbe’s character says he doesn’t want to live in Lekki because he doesn’t want his children to be carried away by floods.
Aside Lagos: Sex, Lies and Traffic, which a release date hasn’t been announced for, Umoren has Dear Bayo out this year. And there might be even more film and television content coming from the director, and hopefully they turn out good.