SEVEN MOVIE REVIEW
By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Tosin Igho
Starring: Efa Iwara, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Bimbo Manuel, Daddy Showkey, Patrick Diabuah, Uche Nwaefuna. 113mins
So, Tosin Igho didn’t surprise me much as he took on the reins of writing, directing and also manning the Director of Photography’s chair for this LaViva Studios and Remote Production piece. If doing all that was too much is now the bone of contention for me, at least.
‘Seven’ is actually supposed to be Kolade’s story and it is but then let’s tell it as the distributors told it – Tayo, a wealthy man from humble beginnings in Ajegunle, Lagos, discovers his incurable brain tumor is going to lead to his demise faster than he thought. He now needs to hand is empire to his very immature son. This is a huge deal for him and in a deal to force a change in his son’s life, he puts in a challenging but life-changing task for his son, which if not adhered to could place his empire in the hands of a tyrant.
A lot works for this film. It has a good story which is told in an interesting way. The acting wasn’t bad. The actors were good and fresh. No, not the freshest they could have been but it was good enough for our eyes. Transitions between scenes were epic too. Not many films work the art of transition as this film did. It made most of the film fun to watch and that’s especially for those enthralled by such kinds of art. The landscape of Ajegunle was also very well used. At least, the ‘Ikoyi link bridge’ deserves the holiday.
As nice as the story idea was, there were a couple of glaring misplaced executions. One is of the villain named Bassey (Parick Diabuah). The character’s set up was faulty. I saw no reason why Bassey is the one taking over a company as huge as the one Tayo (Bimbo Manuel) left behind if his son, Kolade (Efa Iwara) fails in carrying out his father’s last wish.
While alive, Bassey didn’t even look like a son figure or understudy to the man. He was just a mere diligent employee. They didn’t even look like they were, or were seen as, close.
There is a certain disconnect in the scenario created around Kolade, Tayo and Bassey and based on what was shown, in a million story sequence lifetimes, it never looked like there was going to be a Bassey option as a successor. I can’t even figure where this disconnect came from – whether it was in the acting, directing or writing. I just know that there was a disconnect that made Bassey being the person mandated to handle the company if anything goes wrong, a bit out of sorts. Tayo’s driver, Ejiro (Richard Mofe-Damijo) looked like a worthy candidate though. He looked like one that could handle the affairs. Yes, we can argue the technicalities involved but the rationale behind the Bassey takeover was faulty.
Apart from the above mentioned; the sort of believability and empathy one would attach to the plight of the villain was also not there. We didn’t want him to sniff a win for any reason at all. We didn’t even see the rationale behind him wanting the business. He didn’t look right or sounded right even though it was glaring why Kolade didn’t look a good candidate. This villain wasn’t smooth. I guess it was all in the building of the villain. It didn’t mature well.
Another issue encountered was with Patrick Diabuah’s acting. It simply wasn’t the best in this one. I put part of the blame on the Director. At least, his job is to get his actors to deliver incredible stuff. Not ordinary, subpar or the usual stuff. Incredible stuff!
I don’t know how, but the driving scenes were bad. At some points in various drive scenes through the film, it looked like there was no driving going on but just people behind the wheels simulating driving. It was nice to see Kolade’s driving skills set up earlier in the film though as it paid off later on. The car chase scene seems to be the best car sequence in the movie but even that ended weirdly.
Croaker (Daddy Showkey) was just the Daddy Showkey we know in the flesh when he is acting. Frankly, though, it wasn’t that bad. The real reason is that we haven’t seen him in many films as a bad guy anyway.
There were quite a few laughs in this film. For instance, Mama Alice’s scene, the little girl laughing at Kolade, etc. and it helped ease the visible suffering of the characters on the audience.
The Cinematography was great and so was sound. Editing was a bit shaky at some point but generally, it was good. The friendship between Ejiro and Tayo was palpable considering the tale of their friendship from the past. The veteran actors playing these roles came through, though RMD seemed to struggle with his Pidgin English at some point.
One truth about this movie is that it begged that one question that was supposed to have been asked Croaker concerning his fees to capture Kolade. Nobody asked him how much he was going to be paid so they could double or triple it. Kolade was going to have the money. If that had happened, who knows? It probably would have been it. Film sorted.
The rivalry between Croaker and Ejiro didn’t really come through enough to serve as the ultimate base for a do or die affair. And that’s that in this story world where the Police are irrelevant except for when they go after those that smoke whatever. At least we didn’t see the Police anywhere near the movie when gunshots were ringing out on the streets.
By the way, the fight sequences in the movie were good, but ‘Seven’ still managed to suffer from its own flat ending. The intent was evident but the execution left a lot to be desired and the truth is that it really took away the edge that had been built for so long in one fell swoop.