I have met this fella twice in my life. First at Chivita and the second time during one of the classy Events hosted by my very good friend, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of Mode Magazine. His good looks and almost flawless skin caught my attention. At Abu’s Event, he emerged the best dressed easily beating a strong field which included his very good friend Uti Nwachukwu.
So when I stumbled on the poster of the new movie Lagos Cougar, my interest was captured. I never knew him as an actor, all I heard or read about him were on his activities on the modelling scene.
As the movie opened, his initial shaky performance quickly morphed into a mature and confident interpretation of the role. His looks and sharp dress sense also added to the luster of his performance. He perfectly captured the ‘igbo guy feeling funky accent’ that he needed to put on. His positioning, delivery of his lines, facial expressions all added up to making that performance a memorable one.
However, same cannot be said of the other cast. They really acted like cougars. The three ‘veterans’ , Uche Jumbo, Mona Lisa Chinda and the third one I can’t even remember her name – the performance was so terrible, it erased her name from my head. From the confusion of the accents, not knowing which accent to use in which scene. From fake Ameican, to igbotic, to pure pidgin. This was all the more irritating during the scene shot in America. When you juxtapose the fluent and smooth flowing accents of the real American babes (although they did not look really neat, like they were just picked from the streets and begged to just do this small job) and the funny twangs our ‘great’ actresses where throwing at us, you will begin to see what I am saying.
The most irritating actor, was the mullato who was having an affair with Monalisa’s character. He looked and sounded like an eel. Yes had a fine face but was so lean that the Head looked screwed on his body. He could not carry the lines nor the role and came out like a tadpole. In real life, no cougar the status of Mona Lisa’s character would look at him twice talk less of sleeping with him. Many times I felt like slapping him on her behalf.
I will not sleep well if I did not say anything about the third cougar. I no know her name and couldn’t be bothered. All she had going for her were her legs. I liked the part where she opened them just a little bit when she was screaming after speaking to her runaway boyfriend who happened to be in Calabar on her birthday. After that, na just joke be the rest. The tailor who seduced her was just dictating his lines, like a primary school child. Good looks but no charisma, colorless and was totally overwhelmed with the fact that he was even in this production.
To Emem, good locations, exquisite props and big names don’t make a movie. Apart from Alex, this was a poor showing. Emem used to be my favorite story teller but this outing just shows what you get when you lose the hunger to succeed as a result of mild success. Emem threw this production at us with the arrogance of success and over confidence that the audience would lap it up. Sorry. na only 4 of us watch am ,by the end of the show, three of us don waka. To Alex, I look forward to more of your outings even as I sincerely hope that this performance is not just a flash in the pan.