By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Asurf Oluseyi
Starring: Wale Ojo, Iretiola Doyle, Bhaira Mcwizu, Toyin Abraham, Odunlade Adekola, Ayo Mogaji, Ruby Akabueze, Abayomi Alvin, Chimezie Imo, Tomiwa Tegbe, Ayo Makun, Helen Paul. 110mins
Nollywood filmmakers need to do more. The Producers, Writers, Directors, Actors, etc. This is a romantic comedy and an essential portion of the comedy, not the romance shone through so much that we almost thought the movie was about her. Not so much of a bad thing considering other indices relating to the movie in question. Toyin Abraham in her role as Bisola (Nanny and cook) was stellar in ‘Kasanova’ and this is because she was in her comfort zone. Woman was the star of this show and this is not only because she was funny and got us all laughing, but also because she was a real believable character. The director found her the right balance of speaking her comfortable language whilst sprinkling it with the English language. This is something I’ve always clamored for as regards some of the actors we put on display in our movies and it worked. However, the problem with this is that it shows that a lot of actors are still not working at becoming better than what we already know they can deliver. Cue in, Odunlade Adekola as Driver.
Let’s take on the story now… Femi (Wale Ojo) is a widower and father to Jason (Abayomi Alvin), a bully in school. Femi finds it difficult to get over his late wife who died of cancer and becomes a Casanova chasing after women. His son takes to music and gets close to Ini (Ruby Akabueze) in school in order to spite her for all her show of brilliance but finds himself (via a scholarship) under the tutelage of ini’s mother, Jessica (Ireti Doyle), who Ini is constantly at loggerheads with. Despite Femi’s previous clash with Jessica at a bar, their coming together again courtesy Jason’s classes with her brings love their way and same brings Jason unexpectedly close to Ini. The interplay between these four is the fulcrum of this movie.
In general, the acting in ‘Kasanova’ was not the worst you’ll ever see. Infact, there were moments. I believe Ruby Akabueze would get more into it as long as she’s level headed and work hard. She has talent. The boys (Chimezie Imo and Tomiwa Tegbe) who played Jason’s friends were more in their comfort zones, thanks to having more features than she has in features. The confidence level was more obvious on them and Alvin.
The plot of ‘Kasanova’ was quite predictable and unoriginal. We’ve seen this kind severally with foreign RomComs and I guess this version could have been somewhat different in approach and uniqueness in the hands of better writers. Yes, there is nothing new under the sun but the thought that we could easily predict where the movie was going wasn’t the only problem. It was the fact that we could guess the super unconvincing pattern it would use in getting there and that was practically one of the worst things ever.
‘Kasanova’ was confused and managed to focus on the wrong things a lot of the time. Whose story was it? That wasn’t really clear as the screen was shared by so many people making the plot quite yoyo-ish. The character arcs were mighty weak. Femi’s story was quite flat if you pay closer attention. Nothing spectacular happened to cause a change in their characters and even elicit any real emotion from the audience other than anger from me anyway. There was no build up to the romance, hence no romance and consequently, no fallout. Certainly, no Arcs.
The level of hurt the older couple displayed during their separation could only have been felt if they had something strong and time tested between them, but they had nothing. The movie didn’t give us anything to make us believe they had something tangible going on before it was taken away. So we can’t really understand why they were that hurt. This is supposed to be Storytelling 101. It really felt like something written and directed by rookie writers and a rookie director respectively.
The Ayo Makun bit (as a lecturer) added nothing but a few laughs (for those that laughed) to the movie. The same goes for the Helen Paul’s scene (which was arguably funnier). Probably would have made more impact if these characters (as lecturers) really were part of the story though. Well… pardon me. I apologize as I think I’m asking for too much from these filmmakers.
The pictures were great to watch. Kagho delivered a great picture. Sound was fine too. It fluctuated in certain scenes but was fine generally. I can’t say the same for some of the directing at some points.
Editing was pretty bad. A number of scenes were misplaced. I counted at least two that were screwed and placed wrongly. You would think any normal person who watched this movie before putting it out would see this but… here we are. It’s in the cinema.
If there is something that further irked me about this movie, then it has to be the fact that the subplot which featured the younger actors was totally wasted. There was no reason why their stories weren’t seen to the most logical conclusion. The movie just ended on that cliché note we all expected and were pretty dissatisfied with. How sad.