LEVI MOVIE REVIEW
By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Okey Oku
Starring: Ramsey Nouah, Nancy Isime, Deyemi Okanlawon, Bolaji Ogunmola, Lydia Forson, Bimbo Manuel.
Once in a while, there is that movie that comes with irregular, apt and beautiful locations. “Levi” is one of those. The titular character played by Ramsey Nouah is just as fine as the look and feel of the movie. The character also came up the same. In the heart of it, Levi is sort of a simple movie.
Levi (Ramsey Nouah) is a Geeky, reserved, but quite a knowledgeable tech giant who has loved a girl, Somi (Nancy Isime), since they were children but she is not his. As a matter of fact, unknown to him, she is married now. He went on to chase his dreams and become very successful before coming for her but before he can make his intention known, he’s hit with a crisis. The story is simple enough but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Deyemi Okanlawon is Israel, Somi’s husband, and his performance is worthy enough. Nancy Isime pulls off the good girl personae with some ease in this one. I thought not long, but hard, of any other lady that would do it and found some. Nevertheless, for me she did great.
I didn’t see any use for Jasper (Joseph Benjamin) in this one. He looked like one that was used just for the name and also sounded like he had a boil on his buttocks. I thought a friend established for Levi, could have been one that will be carried through the film with proper impact. Jasper was dropped at some point leaving us wondering what he was really for.
Levi’s Doctor (Bimbo Manuel) registered an above average performance but I really never knew what to make of his seductive Nurse. I mean, she wasn’t bad looking except in the seductive department and we never really knew what she was about until…well…later.
Lydia Forson as Somi’s boss and Bolaji Ogunmola as the journalist, Gina, carried out their roles with general grace and efficiency. I liked Bolaji in particular. At some point at the start of the film, Bolaji sounded so raspy for her type of journalist. If she was meant to be as seductive as she came on as she was raspy. At that point, it almost felt like a miscast, but as the film wore on; it turned out a sort she was probably a masterstroke. Gina’s obsession was classic but also sweet to watch. I can’t really tell what Levi saw that made him embark on that date with her in the first place but we never can say what men see sometimes. Levi unraveling his “bedding” strategy to her, later on, seemed a bit too awkward. These are those kinds of information or mysteries about your character that you allow the film unravels. Hollywood does this better but here they allowed Levi roll it all off his tongue.
The pictures in this film are lovely and the locations gave life. Levi’s house, office and even the supermarket Somi worked in were just apt. Sound works too. The issue of character expose suffers though. For instance, Israel is not quickly unraveled as a businessman which could have been established the first time we saw him. Funny how many filmmakers don’t know how important some of these things are in the context of the story you are telling. A lot had to do with his business eventually so why not let us know how important it is to the man and the story early enough? Hit the ground running.
The Social media application called Facebook works on phones so I don’t understand the obsession with laptops in this film. If you are going to use that especially in a public place, then why not make it a desktop and not a laptop. It just defied logic.
Levi’s character is ultimately unconvincing with where the movie ended up only because his moves towards his goal, Somi, or anyone else in the movie for that matter were too concealed from the viewers. His machinations would have registered clearly when they were brought to light later on if we could clearly see his obsession in the movie, but his obsession, unlike Gina’s was too tame. Everything just didn’t turn up as real as we’ll have loved it and that in itself was a problem. If we had seen tight traces of him being obsessive, the letter he sent at the end would have been more believable.
Ultimately, I don’t know what to make of the end of this film. Yes, the twists were something but then the nurse looked hideous when she was revealed at the end. What was with those contacts? On a good day, Ramsey is a great actor. One of the best we have and it showed but the film itself felt like it took the wrong turn as the third act was very rushed. Yes, I get the idea, but it wasn’t executed to taste and that tells on audience satisfaction.