Movie Review: Alter Ego
By: Chinwe Ononuju
Alter Ego was a movie I characterized as actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s on screen come back because it had been awhile since I last saw her in action. I assumed she was taking her time to make the right project, given her status as a superstar.
And so, when the movie premiered, I was in a haste to get to the cinema to see it. Never mind that a snapshot of the actress in lawyerly character had created on a furore on Instagram over the wrongness of her attire as a Nigerian barrister’s garb.
Alter Ego tells the story of a high profile lawyer, Ada Igwe (played by Omotola) who talks and walks tough and fights for justice for the abused and downtrodden in the society, but whose classy suits and posh exterior cannot properly mask the fact that she is fighting through demons from her past – demons that are clearly driving her ambition and personal life in the present. By day, Ada is a lawyer possessed with the determination to ensure that perpetrators of sexual assault reap the ugly consequences of their actions, usually the molestation of young girls. And by night, she is a nymphomaniac, possessed with an insatiable need to have different men go through her bed, neither of the staying longer than it takes them to catch their breath after the sex.
It looks like Ada will either continue down this path until she self destructs or somehow be stuck with this balance of her multiple personalities for the rest of her life, neither of them very good options to go through life with – until she meets a wealthy philanthropist, Timothy Ighodaro (played by Wale Ojo), a man who quickly became a love interest and helped her both unravel her story of sexual abuse in her past and face up to the truth of confronting her past.
But before lift-off to happily-ever-after, Timothy unwittingly deals Ada with a crushing blow when he himself turns out to be a sexual abuser – and thus finds himself facing off against Ada’s familiar wrath against predatory men like him.
Directed by Moses Inwang and also starring Kunle Remi, Esther Eyibio, Jide Kosoko and Emem Inwang, Alter Ego had all the makings of a really powerful tool to challenge the construct of society. It boldly addresses the issue of sexual abuse and steers the conversation on how people deal with it, uncovering the after effects of sexual abuse, an oft untouched aspect of the conversation in the Nigerian society. Nigerians don’t like to dwell much on how victims of sexual abuse deal with their pain; this movie challenges that status quo.
Another notable boldness was the sex scenes: there is no way anyone can miss Kunle Remi’s bare ass when he slid his boxers down during a particularly steamy sex scene with Omotola, just before the camera panned away. It was a brief flash, but titillating. I liked this aspect of the film because of the message of the owning of female sexuality that it seemed to be passing to Nigerian women. Female sexuality is a very repressed issue in Nigeria;.
On the minus side, however, there was a problem with the direction of the film. Director Inwang was busy jumping from one incident to the other and managed to juggle them all until he got the end of the film and choked. The movie started with a bang but dragged and dragged and just dragged on. Inwang failed to get his vehicle to a good final destination, and suddenly, from nowhere, people whipped out guns and began pulling triggers – which was exactly what I wanted to do to myself at the end of the movie.
The locations of the movie were good, quite ingenious, and the lighting and sound also made for a comfortable watch.
Alter Ego is a baroque product of star baiting and good marketing. It should do well in the market. In all, out of generosity, I rate this movie 6/10.
READ ALSO: ISOKEN MOVIE REVIEW (The wardrobe was, however, appropriate, but the lighting was often poor)
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