Adaku (Omoni Oboli) is haunted in her home, but all hell is let loose when her husband, Emeka (Mike Ezuruonye), becomes the victim of the same problem.
It is worrisome that many film-makers in Nollywood do not seem to realize that they serve their audience the same story film after film, only changing a few events to differentiate one narrative from the next.
Ikechukwu Onyeka is the director of both The Duplex and The Grave Dust, two films which tell the story of people who are haunted by their misdeeds and/or those of family members.
Expectedly, both films are half-hearted tales that are not only unexciting, but really do not also have anything new to offer movie-goers. Instead, they are mired in mediocrity, raising questions on the competence of the director and even the cast. How else do you describe the fact that grammatical errors are rife in the dialogue?
The estate agent and the lawyer say ‘furnitures’! The lawyer remarks “All you need to do is pay and bring your furnitures in” Adaku says, “I will induce labour, have the baby ‘prematuredly …’ Prematurely is the right word. Emeka states, ‘What I don’t also understand or ‘phantom is …’” Fathom was what he meant to say. Akpan says ‘too ashame of myself.” Someone says” I was concern about … (instead of concerned). Then, Chukwuma Ume-Ezeoke tells his mum, it is up to you Mama. I have no say to this. The correct preposition is in.
There is really nothing the best cast in the world can do to a film, whose story and screening lack depth as we see in The Duplex. Rather, the half-baked work will drag them down to its level. Actions and reactions hardly gel in such movies. For instance, one thought Adaku would scream and express shock when the monster appears fully for the first time; rather she screams when she embraces her husband. In fact, her reactions are childish.
How come Emeka raises more alarm than his wife when he starts to see the ghost? Naturally, one thought the reverse would have been the case. When Emeka says, we had to dig up the skeleton” one wonders why an educated actor of Ezuruonye’s standing could not use exhume in place of dig up.
There is something fundamentally wrong with a film where a character, in five to ten minutes towards the end of the film, is mandated to make a speech and fill in the gaps created throughout the whole film; so as to aid understandability. In order words, instead of dramatizing the story, very significant parts of the movie are related to the audience by a member of cast; making one wonder why one did not buy a novel, play or collection of short stories instead. Show, don’t tell: it’s an audio-visual medium.
Some film-makers should make a conscious effort to entertain rather than punish their viewers with trivial-round movies.