LOVE IS WAR MOVIE REVIEW
By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Omoni Oboli
Starring: Omoni Oboli, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Shaffy Bello, Jide Kosoko, Akin Lewis, Bimbo Manuel, Damilola Kuku, Toke Makinwa, Femi Branch, Yemi Blaq.
This Political drama right here is a good example of half takes on what Nigeria brings culturally to its own political landscape. We all know how politics work in Nigeria and some of it in this movie is simply not how it works. The local government people, market women, youths, party faithful didn’t really have a voice in this movie, except when they were cheering or fighting and that’s not the way our politics play. The people have things to say and do not just rally alone. You must appease and appeal to the people of value and not just the transport workers and whoever else ‘Love is war’ chose to put out.
We all know Naz Onuzo is Nigerian, but I get so confused with his thoughts on the pages of his scripts some times. I don’t understand how he can comfortably sound non-Nigerian sometimes in his writings, but again I understand that we sometimes want to be Hollywood.
Hankuri Philips (Omoni Oboli) is a former minister but her naivety is deep. She is originally from Bauchi state but wants to run to become Governor of Ondo state where her husband is from. That’s pretty weird in itself but here’s what the film is made of. She soon and unexpectantly faces opposition from her doctor husband, Dimeji Philips, an indigene of the state and someone who had no prior political affiliation or acumen.
Dimeji Philips (Richard Mofe-Damijo) had no background in politics and wasn’t even a card-carrying member of the WDP and suddenly he is the party’s gubernatorial candidate? Because he agrees that his wife was messing up? How does that just happen?
PPM’s Hankuri Philips as a former minister of women’s affairs should be easily winning this because the experience is important. Right? No. Because why should anyone vote for a woman from Niger state woman as Governor of Ondo State in the first place? No reason. Why is it a do or die affair? Film done.
If there were other real parties though – Ones vying sensibly for the same position and quite visible other than during that charade of a debate – then we probably would have gotten a better film. Then the intensity between the couple would have been heightened. Then maybe they won’t just have a jobless daughter who is just there lamenting. This movie really could have served as a fabulous political drama where the grassroots are explored properly.
The Cinematography of this film was great and so was sound and lighting. The dialogue went alright for the most part and acting was good for most of the actors. Not all of course. Omoni and Richard pulled their weight enough to give us some good wife and husband vibes. Uzor Osimkpa on the other hand, who was supposed to be Omoni’s campaign manager, was just a figurehead all through the movie. She did nothing. As a matter of fact, Yemi Blaq who joined her campaign team, later on, did everything Uzor was supposed to do and more. What a waste of talent by the filmmakers. All of Toke Makinwa’s bits were boring and shabbily done. I blame production mostly for this. They simply didn’t get the settings right and the feelings of deficiency and drabness followed suit.
I have my reservations about Bimbo Manuel’s character as the Bishop type. His portrayal wasn’t stellar but I guess that came from the script and director.
For the life of me, I still don’t understand how Chudi (Femi Branch) suddenly became Dimeji’s campaign manager overnight. I mean, this was a man with no political know-how being brought to vie for the Gubernatorial position of his state as representative of a big political party. That’s a rookie move in itself by the Political party. To now allow a rookie campaign manager as well is the height of it. How can the blind lead the blind? There are too many assumptions here. This is Politics and worse still, politics in a film for goodness sake. Things don’t just happen.
The plot of ‘Love is war’ is quite hollow to the trained eye, so it affects the film greatly. The story for some reason doesn’t register fully on a political or dramatic front. It’s half baked.
At the end of the day, the movie’s true lack of realness showed.