By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Wale Ojo
Starring: Femi Jacobs, Nancy Isime, Toyin Abraham, Yemi Solade, Saheed Balogun, Ayo Adesanya, Deyemi Okanlawon, Kenneth Okolie, Afeez Oyetoro, Jide Kosoko.
The relationship between two brothers (Jaiye and Juwon Kuti) becomes estranged because the younger one, Juwon is unserious and drops out of school to pursue a music career.
Juwon becomes more successful and believes he is God’s gift to women while now Professor Jaiye is left by his wife and gets kicked out of his house for owing his rent.
Things are about to take a different turn as Jaiye has to reconcile with his brother (Juwon) in other to get somewhere to stay while Juwon meets his match in Ada (Nancy Isime).
‘Don’t get mad, get even’ is an RGD Media production packed with veteran actors, if I might say, but falls short on some premises which is worrisome, considering the fact that we would expect that lots of experience matter. The inconsistencies in this film can be rested on the fact that this is Wale Ojo’s directorial debut but that doesn’t mean we will forgive the many inconsistencies though.
So, story. The story is good enough. Not something we haven’t seen before but what I like is the attempt to tell it from another angle which should be commendable but for execution. The drama with Jaiye Kuti’s family didn’t reach its full potential in this film. There was some disconnect between Jaiye’s wife (Ayo Adesanya) and her mum (Patience Ozokwor). They looked sort of awkward as daughter and mother.
The reason why Ada Jacobs (Nancy Isime) came into the story world was at the twilight of the movie found to be wanting. I mean, who is this Gloria girl that Juwon ditched to warrant all these false retributions? No deep relationship was ever built into the story? Ada Jacobs as a character also came into the story too late.
Then there is Toyin Abraham who played an Igbo girl. Filmmakers will not listen to profound advice. Put Toyin in her element so that she gives her best. She’s not the most malleable actress out there. Trying to force this square peg into a round hole is causing chaos in many movies she features in. When she’s in her zone, she’s untouchable but this one wasn’t it.
In this regard also I would say that Yemi Solade as Prof. Jaiye Kuti is like the Male Toyin Abraham AT-TIMES. He’s a tad better anyway. Again, it might be because the filmmakers succeeded in putting the English language in his mouth all through. Also, his story in this entire thing is as warped as Toyin’s character’s story. It was nothing to derive any joy watching.
Saheed Balogun started out overacting and calmed as he grew into the role it seems. A lot of these acting gaffes could have been avoided with proper attention to acting details.
At some point, I couldn’t actually tell if the movie was a comedy, comedy-drama or just drama. Genre kept fluctuating right before my eyes. The film also dragged. It could have been shorter if the story was tighter in telling.
There were cringe-worthy moments as well as sights to see in this movie. Cringe-worthy moments like where Jaiye Kuti acts like a toddler when he is in-fact a learned Professor with words in his mouth, like when he had food in his mouth and was playing at the same time, like the awfully rubbish sex scene, etc. Then there were the nice sights like the golf course as well as the boating bit.
Now let’s look at technicalities – The sound was horrible. There were grating sounds of shoes on the floor, unsynchronized noises, fluctuating sounds, etc.
The light was tricky… like when the light was playing tricks on us during the semi proposal scene. The dialogue was sometimes awful. The conversation in the car between Juwon and Ada at the start of their “romance” was baseless considering the fact that no relationship had actually started between them. It’s was never that deep.
Editing and cutting sharply from scene to scene has its place but without allowing the scenes to settle properly, there is a problem and we had this kind of problem a time too many.
The cinematography was fair but there were some unnecessary dark pictures at some points. So we could easily cut it down to be average at delivery. Juwon’s friends played by Kenneth and Deyemi were great but weren’t used to full effect as far as I’m concerned.
In the long run, the end bit was annoying because the motivation was somewhat useless. This is only because the film didn’t help us build it. But then again, we somehow strive not to tell stories properly.