Movie Review: Confusion Na Wa

Hello, guys! So for the next couple of months, I’ll be watching a lot of Nigerian TV shows and movies, basically, everything I can lay my hands on Iroko TV and I’ll be sharing what I thought of the movies. Understandably, these movies are so old – some of them from 2013 but you can always buy VCDs or go to Iroko or Ibaka TV to watch.

 

Anyway, first on the list is Confusion Na Wa

1

 

 

Plot Summary

Set in a Nigerian city Confusion Na Wa is a dark comedy about a group of strangers whose fates become intertwined over the course of 24 hours. At the heart of everything is a phone found by two opportunist wasters Charles and Chichi who, having read through its contents, decide to blackmail the owner Emeka. Little do they realize that their misdemeanors have set in motion a chain of events that will lead to their own downfall. Confusion Na Wa was the winner of the ‘Best Picture’ category at the 2013 African Movie Academy Awards.

 

Cast

  • Ramsey Noah as Emeka Nwosu
  • OC Ukeje as Charles
  • Ali Nuhu as Bello
  • Tunde Aladese as Isabella
  • Gold Ikponmwosa as Chichi
  • Tony Goodman as Babajide
  • Nathaniel Deme as Kola
  • Yanchat Sankey as Doyin
  • Lisa Pam Tok as Fola
  • Toyin Alabi as Adekunle

What I Thought

The name caught my attention when I checked the “award winning section” of the website. I was also won over by the narration. I thought the narrator at first was really good at what he did.As the plot summary said, it’s a movie that connects a group of strangers. Two friends steal the phone of a man who turns out to be cheating on her husband. Now the said woman he’s cheating with is cheating on her husband too. So they try to blackmail the cheating husband and then it ends up bad for them. In the course of this, there’s also interaction with various people in the movie.

2

 

The movie highlighted one thing for me: the subject of masculinity. In the movie, a man thinks his son is gay because he missed football to help out in the kitchen and also some other factors he has concocted in his head. Now, to change this, he speaks to a weed seller who probably has a brothel of “nurses” to cure his son of being gay. Everybody has a story, a different way they behave. We aren’t the same, we have never been and we will never be. So we should create room for people to act the way they want to act. I should stop here.

 

1

 

One thing I liked also was the music. I felt there were times when they didn’t blend with the mood though but I’m a big fan of almost all the songs they played. The setting looked quite real for me too. There was this simplicity to it and I give them kudos for that. I wouldn’t forget the conspiracy theory that one of the friends had about the Lion King.

confusion-na-wa

It was absolutely hilarious to listen to, as do many parts of the movie.

 

My only problem with the movie was with the acting. I felt they could have done a lot better with the casting. The scenes with the not so popular actors really felt like a boredom fest. It was almost like we were watching a good movie, and then something from nowhere just came and hit us.

But in all, it’s a good movie.

 

Rating

7/10

 

 

Advertisements

May 2016

 

With every new month that passes, I come to the realization that I may be failing at this online diary thing. And it’s actually sad because I think I know what I want to say but the strength to type is just the problem. But see, whenever I remember, I have to update and try to hope that one day I would be better at it.

That being said, welcome to June! Heck, it’s been ten days actually. June hasn’t been the best of months but this is a May review so let’s stick to plans!

 

TV Shows/Movies

TV Shows and Movies

 

So a lot of shows I watch ended in May. Grey’s Anatomy ended and so did Jane the Virgin. The finales were good, I cannot remember what I thought about them really. But if you follow me on Twitter @FrankUgo_, I must have shared these at some point. Currently, I’m switching between Wayward Pines, Blackish, Billions and House of Cards. I watched Quantico too and it was good! I think there was a lot more that could have been done to give the show a premise for the next season but hay, I do not write for Quantico so it’s none of my business. Also, Ndani TV kicked off their shows in May. Not sure I’m hooked on the new one called ‘Rumour Has It’ but I’m here for ‘Skinny Girl in Transit’, when I remember to watch.

 

And Devious Maids is back. Adrian Powell is not dead.

Me when I found out:

yesss

 

 

Music/Music Videos

TV Shows and Movies (1)

 

 

I’m listening to a lot of Sia and Halsey. I also got to know of Yuna and I’m feeling her! And my jam on repeat is Soweto Baby by DJ Maphorisa.

 

 

Blogs, Tumblr and Instagram

TV Shows and Movies (3)

 

When I’m not working, I’m reading Scoop Whoop and Huffington Post. I’m addicted to these sites now. Like everyday!

 

 

Books

TV Shows and Movies (4)

 

 

I recently finished Maya Angelou’s autobiography. Such great books! I think my favorite was Mom & Me and Mom. I have great respect for her now! I’ve moved my focus to Helen Oyeyemi for this month. I’m reading her book ‘Mr Fox’

 

Going to try to make this more fun next month!

Until then,

Peace.

 

3 Things I Picked From How To Be Single

Yesterday, it hit me that the only 2016 movie I’ve seen was Captain America: Civil War and I saw it simply because I wanted to see what the Lagos scene looked like and then slightly for Emily Van Camp and Chadwick Boseman in the movie. (I watch Superhero movies, but I’m not the biggest fan.) Anyway, I attempted to look out for more 2016 movies on the internet and that was how I found ‘How To Be Single’.

Now, I remember some people on the timeline being excited about the book being made into a movie. Didn’t read the book before now, so I have no strain of judgment on whether the movie followed the book like I did when I saw Half of a Yellow Sun here. Anyway, I won’t be reviewing the movie. I didn’t think it was all that but I’ll be sharing a few things I picked up from the movie (because I feel there are some gems in it)

1. You won’t die if you’re single

1

In the words of Alice, “the thing about being single is, you should cherish it”. After Alice had a few experiences, she got to understand that relationships aren’t the only way to be happy and embrace the single life with bold hands. As easy as it does sound, it’s achievable. If it’s anything, I think the rush to jump into a relationship may end up with you trying to salvage what wasn’t there before and well, that has never helped anyone.

2. You won’t die if you take out time to find someone

Take your time

This is basically saying know what you’re looking for but don’t go overboard with it. Lucy in the movie had a list of a man she wanted. In a Nigerian setting, let’s say – rich, tall, light-skinned/dark- skinned, bearded, whatever tickles your fancy and well, she took a century to find him. And for some weird reason, she never stopped until she had a man that had all these things she wanted. Sometimes, we get so caught up thinking about relationships that we would accept anyone who came our way. Now this is a tad confusing because there’s room for likeability too (not sure that’s a word). You may decide to bend your rules or give a waiver as it pleases. But you won’t die if you take out time.

3. Shoot your shot

shoot

In the movie, there’s a character who shoots his shot at an older woman and well, he had to keep trying to meet his target. This one is more of a motivation thing – always be motivated to shoot it. Don’t waste any time. If you find it, reach for the bow and arrow and shoot it.

 

Anyway, that’s my two cents! If you’ve read the book or watched the movie, I’m interested in knowing what you think. And I’m sticking to these tips for today. Who knows tomorrow I may go back to wanting to be in a relationship so bad?

African Web Series/Short Movies

There are a lot of Africans doing great things with TV on the internet. These amazing people make movies and shows and place on either Vimeo and Youtube for people to download/view and enjoy. This post today will be spent honouring and celebrating a few of them and also a light kind of review on these shows/movies.

 

Gidi Up

Creator: Jadesola Osiberu

Actors: OC Ukeje, Somkhele Iyamah, Deyemi Okolanwon, Titilope Sonuga, Anthony Montano, Adesua Etomi, Iretiola Doyle, Ikechukwu

Overview: Gidi Up follows the lives of four friends (Obi, Yvonne, Tokunbo, and Eki) with different dreams and aspirations. They are faced with many challenges; they get into troubles, make bad and regretful decisions as they pursue their careers in the city of Lagos, Nigeria.

What I Liked: The music is so great and so is the acting. There is also the amazing choice of outfits and the location to add to this.

Should You Watch This: YES!! What are you waiting for?

 

Brave

Creator: Lowladee

Actors: Adesua Etomi, Wale Ojo

Overview: BRAVE is an inspirational short film inspired (but not based) on a true story on page 88 of T.D Jakes ‘The Lady, Her Lover & Her Lord’. It is a heartfelt story based on the lives of a young couple, Nathan (Wole Ojo) and Layo (Adesua Etomi) who seem to have happiness, love and comfort. Though married for two years, Layo is beginning to worry about her failure in getting pregnant. When eventually she does get pregnant, she hides the news from Nathan, preparing to break the good news on their anniversary dinner outing in two days. Unfortunately, that night will mark the beginning of a nightmare both may not wake from, and suddenly, love is not enough.

What I Liked: Everything. The movie is short and really beautiful. The music is also great – love Zuciya Daya by Bez

Should You Watch This: YES!

 

 

An African City

Creator: Nicole Amarteifio

Actors: Esosa E, Maame Adjei, MaameYaa Boafo, Nana Mensah, Marie Humbert.

Overview: The Ghanaian based production tells the story of five beautiful and successful women who confide in one another about their love lives (or lack thereof) and find new ways to deal with being a 21st-century woman in Africa. The five women are returnees.

What I Liked: Diction was excellent and so was the costume for the ladies! Brilliant stuff. Quite hilarious also.

Should You Watch This: YES

 

Hot Pepper

Creator: Bola Agbaje

Actors: New cast for every episode

Overview: “Hot Pepper”, a light-hearted revenge guide and shows how people get their own back on others using hot pepper!

What I Thought: It was painfully unfunny to watch after like the third episode. I was like “was that all they had?”

 

 

Lekki Wives

Creator: Blessing Egbe

Actors: Adaora Ukoh, Katherine Obiang, Chinonso Young, Kiki Omeili, Keira Hewatch, Joselyn Dumas

Overview: They move up the ladder in leaps and put the meal on the table…
They hop on and off countless beds and enjoy the upside of being trophy wives…
Now, they must together experience the price of change while finding ways to hold their own…

What I Liked: Entertaining show.

What I Didn’t Like: A little bad acting here and there. Was not impressed with the outfit too.

Should You Watch This: YES!

 

 

Assorted Meat

Creator: Oluseyi Olatujoye

Actors:  Dayo Ephraim, Toyosi Phillips, Laolu Senbanjo, Oludara Egerton-Shyngle

Overview: Assorted Meat is for Nigerians by Nigerians! Lolade, Chinedu, and Aminu live together in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. 

What I Thought: I wished it was an actual talk show setting. I have mixed feelings about this one.

 

Skinny Girl in Transit

Creator: Dami Elebe

Actors: Ngozi Nwosu, Kenneth Okolie, Abimbola Craig

Overview: Skinny Girl in Transit’ series tells the story of a plus-size young woman’s struggle with her weight and the pressure from her family and friends to not just lose weight but find the perfect partner. The comedic drama series takes a look at her life with a mother who never fails to remind her of her single status, a sister who never forgets to remind her of her size, an ex-boyfriend she doesn’t want to get over and a job that never seems to move forward.

What I Liked: Everything. Hilarious show this one.

Should You Bump This: YES!

 

Officer Titus

Actors: Kelechi Udegbe

Overview: A comedy skit about Titus, a traffic law enforcement officer and his hilarious adventures with Lagos traffic offenders.

Thoughts: Maybe someday I’ll get to like this. But right now, it’s just there.

 

Are there more short videos/web series by Africans you’ree watching? Leave a comment and let’s watch together!

 

 

Fifty

During the holidays, I got to see the highly talked about “Fifty” movie and I share my thoughts with you about the movie. Now, if you haven’t watched it, you can close the page right now but if like me, spoilers don’t do anything to you, proceed.

 

I saw the movie at Ozone Cinemas in Yaba and I was pretty excited to see it. Got to the cinema some minutes after 3, when the movie was supposed to have started, got popcorn and a bottle of coke to accompany me through the movie (Now, Ozone Cinemas has undergone a massive facelift. The cinema looks so good right now. In short, the E-Centre itself kinda looks better now really)

 

The Story

According to the plot summary on IMDB, Fifty captures a few pivotal days in the lives of four Nigerian women at the peak of their careers. Meet Tola, Elizabeth, Maria and Kate, four friends forced at midlife to take inventory of their personal lives, while juggling careers and family against the sprawling backdrops of the upper-middle-class neighborhoods of Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Lagos. They live and work in the resurgent, ever-bustling, 24-hour megacity of Lagos, the commercial capital of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant economy. Tola is a reality TV star whose marriage to lawyer Kunle never stood a chance thanks to an invidious family secret. Elizabeth is a celebrated obstetrician whose penchant for younger men has estranged her from her daughter. Forty-nine-year-old Maria has an affair with a married man that results in an unexpected pregnancy and Kate’s battle with a life-threatening illness has plunged her into a religious obsession. In this tender but unflinching exploration of love and lust, power and rivalry, life and loss in twenty-first century Africa’s most populous city, and to the pulsating beat of the compelling and entrancing grooves of African music, we see our four lead characters’ muster courage, put on their six inch heels, working hard and partying to, and strut confidently to tackle life’s curveballs head on.

 

 

Cast and Acting

  • Iretiola Doyle as Elizabeth
  • Dakore Akande as Tola
  • Nse Ikpe Etim as Kate
  • Omoni Oboli as Maria
  • Wale Ojo as Kunle
  • Kemi Lala Akindoju as Chichi
  • Kachi Nnochiri as Chike

Others include:

  • Timini Egbuson
  • Emmanuel Ikubese
  • Uzor Osimpa

The casting was done by Tope Oshin Ogun and Mo Abudu and I must really commend the duo for a job well done. Every character was well portrayed by the team of amazing actors they had on this project. The lead characters were all in character and the supporting cast did not fail. I must commend Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju – I really didn’t see her doing something like this, but she did it and nailed it perfectly. Then, I really loved seeing Timini Egbuson and his sister, Dakore together (was emotional towards the end when the big secret was revealed). I also got to see an amazing side of Kachi Nnochiri. I remember he won some acting show back then, but I hadn’t seen him in anything major but he was really good if you ask me.

 

Things I Liked

  • Kemi Akindoju playing the maid – I’m a fan of Kemi Akindoju and seeing her as a maid, at first, was somehow kinda but she nailed it! From subbing her boss lyrically to delivering great one-liners, Kemi did well with the role.
  • Diction – Lovely lovely pronunciations.
  • Timini and Dakore acting – I don’t know either of them but I really felt happy seeing them act together. Timini was good. It was my first time seeing him act and then Dakore had the perfect face to every situation she found herself in, which was good seeing as she had to switch through a lot.
  • The sex scene – The more reason you have to see this movie (if you haven’t). The sex scene was there and actually live for everyone who cared to see. #NoRestrictionsWhatsoever. Plus, the intense romance in the movie made me really happy!
  • “I don’t do little boys” – When Omoni Oboli said this, I started laughing for some weird reason. It was really hilarious to me!
  • Incorporation of the LFDW and the African shrine scene – I love how the movie sold Lagos to the world. There were bits from the Lagos Fashion and Design Week and, even more, scenes from the shrine with women in colorful outfits wriggling their waists.
  • The music – The music was great too. Loved the live performances also.

Things I Didn’t Like

 

  • The Storyline – When the movie ended, I was actually quite surprised. I think the story was average. I lack the right words right now, so I’ll say it was average.
  • The Lekki/Ikoyi bridge – Now I love the bridge so much that I refer to it as the highway to heaven, but I noticed the constant repetition and I think there are a lot of beautiful locations in Lagos
  • Nse Ikpe Etim’s prayers at the beginning – Now I have thought this over and the only thing that comes to mind is that Nse who is the overly religious woman was switching churches. Because who goes to a Pentecostal church and returns back to a Catholic altar? And ven if that is true, then it’s only fair to do your research properly as Catholics say “in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit” just before and after the prayers. Not in between the prayers.

 

Favorite Lines

  • “Happy twentieth anniversary of your thirtieth birthday” (Loved this)

 

To cap it up, I’ll say the beauty of Fifty is in the acting and not anywhere close to the storyline. I haven’t seen the Desperate Housewives of Africa but somehow, I think this would have made a very good TV show if the plot was thickened more.

 

Rating: 5.8

Beasts of No Nation

“Frank, there’s one movie I saw yesterday that was so good and I want you to see it”

“Okay sure”

This was the conversation that led to me watching ‘Beasts of No Nation’ yesterday. Now, I don’t agree with this person on a lot of subject matters, but we haven’t argued over a movie, just music so I was willing to watch.

When I found out it was ‘Beast of No Nation’, I was a little excited. The people at Leopard People had spoken about it earlier – about the book by Uzodinma Iweala (which I’m currently reading) and the movie which features Elba. We were going to have some members read the book and the others watch the movie to compare and contrast.

Anyway, here’s my few cents on the movie

The Story

I haven’t finished with the book, so I cannot really say something about how the movie tells everything about the book or how it misses out a lot of things like most movies based on a book (Case Study: Half of a Yellow Sun). But I liked what the story had planned as executed in the movie.  According to this synopsis on Reddit, it is a drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country

 

Cast and Acting

  • Abraham Attah as Agu
  • Idris Elba as Commandant
  • Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye as Strika
  • Emmanuel Affadzi as Dike
  • Ricky Adelayitor as Village Constable
  • Andrew Adote as Ecomod 2nd Lieutenant
  • Vera Nyarkoah Antwi as Little Sister
  • Ama K. Abebrese as Mother
  • Kobina Amissah-Sam as Father

 

I must commend whoever did the casting. I thought it was really good! The cast looked like who they were depicted to be. Agu, the main character was so good. I found it hard to believe it was his first movie (He won his first award for the movie at the Venice Film Festival early this year). I really don’t know how he did it but he conveyed everything the way it was supposed to be. You could see it – from weak hearted to strong-hearted and to emotional. There was no reason for you not to believe him. I must also commend Strika for his role in the movie. His performance was incredibly amazing that he didn’t need to say a word for you to know that he was good. I was thrilled by his actions when Agu was first captured. I liked Commandant’s acting (I kept on imagining Wale Ojo acting) and in as much as his character isn’t your favorite by default, I loved him and silently prayed Agu didn’t kill Commandant.

Speaking about the rest of the cast, I liked Agu’s mother and father. We didn’t get to see them for a long time, but I was really impressed by their acting.

 

Things I Liked

  • Imagination TV – I totally laughed my ass off at the beginning where Agu and his friends went about town with their imagination TV. The 3D scene had me get up from my seat and laugh for like four minutes straight. And did they say Nigerians always buying things and so easy to be selling to?
  • Location and Cinematography – There was a war with regular bloodsheds, but in all of these, there were random scenes where we got to celebrate the scenery.
  • When Commandant motivated the boys and led them to the bridge – According to a user on Reddit, he probably would have joined them at that point
  • The church scene – The whole turn up was so real!
  • The scene where it transitioned from night to day while they were waiting for the grand commandant – We saw all this through the eyes of Idris
  • Innocent Agu – The bit where Agu asks himself how a girl will sleep with him when all he does is dance and make noise
  • The faces – The faces Agu and his brother make while their parents discuss moving away
  • When Commandant called Agu and Strika his squad – I loved it! #SquadGoals
  • The diction – As funny as it may sound, I liked hearing the present continuous tense being used “I asking you question, you are not answering”
  • The music – Mostly soul, and chattering of people. But I was there for that
  • The way they toned down on the rape scene – That is, the one between Commandant and Agu. That, for some people would have been the high point of the movie.

Painful Scenes to Watch

  • The initiation scene
  • The scene where Agu kills the man on the head.
  • The scene where he kills the woman who has a daughter
  • Strika’s death

 

Unanswered Questions

  • Is it weird that just Agu and Strika have the same kind of head warmer thing? (And when Agu comes out, Strika gives him the “I understand look”) – Also, remember when Agu was first initiated and commandant calls in Strika? (Is this why they’re on his team?)
  • Why doesn’t the grand commander go after the commandant?
  • What happens to commandant afterward?

 

Great Lines

  • “A child has an eye to see, hands to struggle, a finger to pull a trigger. How can you say this child is nothing?” – Commandant
  • “Sun, why do you shine on the world” – Agu

 

 

Rating– 8/10 for me. Massive shoutout to Cary Joji Fukunga who wrote the drama for the screen directed it and was also the cinematographer. I’ll be rooting for you and your actors at the Oscars!

 

PS- Did you know “Tuwasi” who Commandant killed was actual “2IC” meaning “second in command”

My Favorite OSTs

Hey guys, today, I’ll be writing about my favorite official soundtracks (OSTs) from movies. I’m such a music enthusiast, and I listen to practically anything that comes my way. I’m not so much of a movie buff, so there’s probability I haven’t come across that movie you like with great soundtracks. Anyway, in no particular order and based on what I can remember right now, here they are!

Rio 2 (What is Love by Janelle Monae)

Rio is such a happy movie, and almost all the songs from the movie are great. There are some tracks with Spanish tunes on the OST that just make you want to be on a beach relaxing with fresh air and having a chilled drink. The album features great artistes like X-Factor’s Rachel Crow, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway and Janelle Monae, whose track ‘What is Love’ is undoubtedly my favorite.

The Lion King (We are One)

Apart from the fact that Angelique Kidjo was being truthful with all the words in this song (even the ones in her language), there’s this serenity that comes with listening to the song

Sound of Music (The Hills Are Alive)

When Julie Andrews sang it, the hills were surely alive and when Lady Gaga did a remake at the Grammys, the evergreen hills were still alive years after the original song was performed. Just like other movies, I can’t deny the fact that Sound of Music has a lot of great soundtracks like ‘Edelweiss, How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria and a host of others.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Love Me Like You Do)

I still don’t agree that the movie was entirely bullshit but well, you surely will agree with me that the soundtracks were great. With Ellie Goulding on ‘Love Me Like You Do’, The Weeknd on ‘Earned It’, Sia on ‘Salted Wound’ and Beyonce re-making ‘Crazy in Love’ and ‘Haunted’.

Phone Swap (Fate)

Yes, Phone Swap, the Nigerian Phone Swap movie. The soundtracks were done by a guy called ‘Truth’ (who is literally the truth). He came up with two songs ‘Life is Beautiful’ and ‘Fate’ and they’re both beautiful in every sense of it. I’d pay for his album any day, anytime if this is a consistent development.

Annie (You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile)

I need to watch the first version of Annie (I think I’ve seen it but now, I’m not even sure).  But if there’s anything the 2014 version came with, definitely better soundtracks. With Sia on ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile’ to ‘Tomorrow’ to ‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, you’re sure to enjoy yourself with the soundtracks alone, let to talk about how nice the movie itself is.

The Great Gatsby (Young and Beautiful)

All I think of when listening to this song is love, and how I’ll probably ask someone someday to love me when I’m young and beautiful. All jokes though, song is so beautiful. What did you expect from Lana Del Ray?

Gladiator (Now We Are Free)

Hans Zimmer is such a great guy and when you listen to this song, you’ll see it very clearly. There’s also the bit where it makes you contemplate and think. I think it’s quite a dramatic song.

Despicable Me 2 (Happy)

If I told you how many times this song by Pharrell Williams has changed my mood, you’ll probably think I was making it up. But really, this song is everything. When I walk home sometimes from work, I play it and actually dance to it. I know it’s late and all, but I still have to make my own ‘Happy’ video.

I know I’m missing out a lot of great movies with amazing soundtracks, so please remind me of some, and give me feedback on the ones I should probably listen to.

Love,

Frank