FOR OLD TIME’S SAKE MOVIE REVIEW
By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Moses Inwang
Starring: Uru Eke, Chris Okagbue, Anthony Monjaro, Eucheria Anunobi, Femi Branch, Comedian Xtreme.
Catherine Doyle (Uru Eke) needs to leave her marriage to Richard Doyle (Anthony Monjaro) due to his constant abuse and while the wrangling between both of them persists, she seeks her passion (dancing) for succor. This is where she meets the struggling dance instructor, Andrew (Chris Okagbue) who is going to get emotionally and morally challenged by this couple, against his better judgment.
‘For Old time’s sake’ is a pretty simple story. One we have seen before, no doubt, but still something we won’t mind seeing again. When you look at these kinds of movies that have romance and dance in them, you want to see what makes each one different from the others you have encountered. That’s if you have the patience. I can’t categorically I found that much difference in this one but some gems were in there.
A lot of what happened in this film shows some lack of creativity in putting it together. At some points, it felt like ideas were short and the writer or director didn’t know how to move on with the story. A good example is when Catherine and Andrew met at the Suya spot. That was too convenient and unreal. We knew it was going to happen but to spot some guy walking around aimlessly at night and meeting, none other than, the lady that walked into his dance studio earlier in the day? Come on, guys. Be more creatively deliberate.
Another one was where Richard Doyle and co. tried forcing Andrew to collect the money he had returned. Though shot in the dark, it wasn’t convincing still. Man was even still fresh after the debacle. Wow!
The cinematography was fair enough, Sound, horrible while the dialogue continuously left a cringe expression on my face. The acting was alright, although I’m sort of in-between with that. Uru Eke and Chris Okagbue seemed to build their chemistry as they followed through the movie which is kind of fine but then it wasn’t as strong as we would have wanted it. Let’s just say, the chemistry never reached maturity. Monjaro as Richard Doyle was everywhere with his acting. Hard to pin him as a boss that he was supposed to be. Anthony’s best piece of acting was at the intervention later on in the movie where he was just staring at Uru as her lawyer spat fury. That says it all about his acting in the movie.
Andrew’s friend, Uche (Comedian Xtreme) was a tad overboard with his acting. He seemed a theatre actor for most of the time. Eucharia Anunobi playing Uru Eke’s mum was intense. I liked.
The dance bits at the beginning were plastic but matured greatly and that ‘rooftop dance’ was beautiful. It was pretty convincing and a well-choreographed dance. Kudos to the dance instructor there. I suspect that was Chris.
There are a few empty and weak parts to this movie. A lot was about the filmmakers wasting the two main characters. There was supposed to be a proper build-up to whatever romance was being touted. How two grown adults will just suddenly spring up and want to go have dinner without some chemistry or something between them is baffling. Also the leap to them doing a proper dance when they had not so much as done “anything” together was too massive. The thought is that there was so much that could have been made out of this film with more attention to detail. It made some of it come off as empty.
Uru Eke’s character didn’t seem the driver of this story and I know her character was supposed to be. There were just not enough actions from her. The character was quite passive. If dance was really that much of a passion for Catherine, it should have been shown more. But this didn’t work as a distraction for her at the beginning. It only looked more like a chore as against a passion. The filmmakers should have played it up since that’s what the story is about in the first place – the dance, the passion, the romance and the sense of loss.
I like how the movie ended. It was simple, nice and unexpected to the average fan and this is how this film gets me. Fair.
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