BEING ANNABEL MOVIE REVIEW
By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Okey Zubelu Okoh
Starring: Oma Nnadi, Alex Ekubo, Desmond Elliot, Ken Erics, Yvonne Jegede, Padita Agu, Chelsea Eze.
Aha! It had a “Nollywood” soundtrack. Come let us laugh together. Many things were billed not to work for this one. Have you seen the posters, the trailer, the beginning of the movie? A lot of things make a movie work but then… those things I just mentioned were about to be the bane of this one.
Annabel (Oma Nnadi) is the twin sister to Ema (Oma Nnadi) and they’ve been separated for a long time for whatever reason. On this fateful day, Ema is with Joro (Alex Ekubo) who is her friend – soon to be boyfriend, in his jalopy that gets grounded on 3rd mainland bridge. A vehicle stops in front of them and out of it exits Annabel who jumps to her death in an apparent suicide. Stunned and not knowing what to do, Ema and her friend, Joro hatch a plan after discovering how rich Annabel is. Ema should assume her identity… unknowingly inheriting all her twin sister’s demons.
Not a bad story, that. Doesn’t exactly sound new but then, how this was going to be executed was all that was left to see and so we begin.
Oma Nnadi did a great job with this movie. She played the role of the twins well enough I must say. Yes, she does look older than the character she was portraying but by God, she did as well as any ‘top’ actress would have done. She is one of the bright sparks of this movie except for when she was kissing. I have no words.
Alex Ekubo has never really convinced me as an actor but I noticed clearly that the chap could perhaps be built for comedy and I don’t mean slapstick. I mean really good, well-produced comedy. The face and the reactions were on point in the comical parts of this movie. Ken Erics (Nosa) and Desmond Elliot (Maro), play the usual bad boy and good boy respectively. The acting, in general, wasn’t bad. Better than most is the way I’ll like to put it.
The start of the movie was not great by any standard. First off, there was one of those Lagos State emergency rescue points clearly behind them that could have immediately sprung into action as in the case of Annabel’s jump into the water but this movie wanted us to believe whatever they have put before us. I’m sorry, seeing that Emergency rescue point ruined the entire first scene and almost the entire story as it were. We really need to understand that movies must be believable all round for us to be emotionally vested in it. Is that not what we paid our money for? Everything works together to make a movie what it is (supposed to be). If I was angry enough, I probably would have forfeited my money right there after that annoying scene and walked out without seeing the rest.
It was also sort of contrived that Ema suddenly met her twin sister that she hasn’t been in constant communication with for a long time at that very point of her suicide. It was also quite jarring that she and Joro didn’t possess the decency or conscientiousness to report the case immediately. Instead, they drove her car from the spot and assumed her life. It’s almost unreal, especially with the circumstances surrounding the filming of the suicide itself. Also, whatever happened with Joro’s car? The holes were just too glaring.
However, from then on, the sailing was quite good and that was what was surprising eventually. Barring the poor cinematography, the weak sound, something was in the offing as the story panned out. It flowed for some reasons and the fresh-faced Oma did the rest a lot of justice. She had a few failings here and there but came out pretty fair enough.
‘Being Annabel’ was shot like a low budget movie in some respect as it seems not much attention was paid to the glam like a lot of other movies offer but was still a showcase. Being Annabel passed off as being fair in the long run and again, Alex Ekubo should be in a very good comedy flick.