“Let’s go to the cinema,” I told my boyfriend. I was bored and wanted to watch someone’s work. Of course, it also helped that going to the cinema in Uyo here was quite cheap compared to that of Lagos. That meant we could watch movies as much as we wanted and even if we watched a crappy movie we wouldn’t complain because at N100, you’d hardly had any need to, at least not the way you would complain if you were in Port Harcourt or Lagos. Before anyone screams at the rate, I’d say this in Akwa Ibom’s defence, our Governor wanted a place like that so bad that he agreed to subsidize the rate to that ridiculous amount, even though it has eventually gone up to N250 – at least to reduce the activities of those ‘bush girls’ who steal tissue from the toilets, never flush and scribble their names on the toilet’s door – that hasn’t stopped the crowd especially those from Calabar, who cannot stay away from fun places.
This Easter was our free time from work and the rest, so we went with the aim of watching two movies. I saw TRUE CITIZENS and I’LL TAKE MY CHANCES our indigenous movies amongst the foreign ones on the catalogue and after pleading, coercing, sulking and finally pleading again, my boyfriend – who is no fan of our local movies – agreed to let us watch our indigenous movies. My aim was to see what they allowed to go up on the big screen and as I pointed out to my boyfriend, I wanted to watch and learn, so in essence I wanted to critique those movies. I had heard a lot about I’LL TAKE MY CHANCES especially since it was premiered in Uyo and all that.
I have this to say for the movies, one was pure crap and the other was a little above crap, which leads me to the aim of this article, who is to blame when a movie is crap, the Writer, Director or Editor?
I have been made to understand that the role of a Director isn’t that easy since he has to visualize the vision of the Writer, I guess that’s why some Writers become Directors for some of their works and yet it still isn’t enough, a Director is like a Referee on the field of play, his word just like the referee’s whistle is final.
The Editor whose job it is to cut out unwanted footage is like a Surgeon that has to perform a delicate surgery like a boob job, nose or lip suction; cut out too much and leave behind a job not well done and that cannot be reversed or cut out too little and leave a mess behind.
My grouse with TRUE CITIZENS was that the genre of the movie was not well defined. Yes, it was aimed at motivating the youths to stay true to their consciences but the moral was lost because everyone was trying to hard to speak well instead of acting. The humour was lost in most of the scene that were meant to be humourous but that is not even my grouse, it is the fact that post production team did a crappy job, continuity was zero, imagine watching a scene and then the next scene just lands at you ‘wham!’
As I sat there, a trifle annoyed, I couldn’t help remembering a fun conversation, I had with my sister and her boyfriend, I had said that if the rates were N1,500 and I happened to pick the wrong – as in dry - movie, I would so cause a disruption in the hall that everyone would be forced to donate my money back to me just to have peace.
I’LL TAKE MY CHANCES had good editing, one or two great actors but a crappy storyline…pray tell, why write a story with many loose ends? Subplots have to tie in nicely to the larger plot at least that is what I keep hearing from established writers.
Does that mean there is no hope? I had thought that with the presence of the Cinema would ensure that producers, actors and writers put more efforts into producing a movie but I guess I have been proven wrong. Again, does this mean there is no hope? There are good movies that were shown last year, I hear the FIGURINE is quite a good movie but having never had the opportunity to watch, I cannot quite make a comment. There are many good movies out there, I know, but then again; the crowd at the cinemas is attracted to beautiful posters, a good tantalizing synopsis and a beautiful storyline. I don’t want to watch fake accents and ‘polished grammarians’ speak. I want acting, a sweet interpretation of the script by the actors and directors and an excellent post production that all combines into a wonderful story….or am I asking for too much?