When One Door Closes
Tunde Oye (Van Vicker) marries a Caucasian, Rose (Sarah Spicer), in order to elongate his stay in the US and become a US citizen. There are problems along the way, culminating in their divorce and Tunde’s second marriage to Elechi (Clarice Kulah), who divorces her abusive husband, Emeka Atuma (Chet Anekwe).
The screenplay by Clarice Kulah and Anita Bryant can be best described as a happy-clappy script full of convenient turn of events. The conflicts are weak, having predictable outcomes.
The recourse to church and the pastor is characteristic of Nollywood films where conflict resolution becomes too simplified by the clergyman, who seems to have a magic wand for solving all problems. In real life and even in biblical stories, people endure hardship, wriggling out of crises or succumbing to them through the decisions they take. However, in many of these films, decision-making is given little attention. Instead, an individual who fixes all problems at an instant always comes to the rescue.
Another shocking revelation by the end credits is that Robert Peters is both the Director and the Director-of-Photography of the project! How can one individual simultaneously handle two critical aspects of the same project that require two different professionals?
In When One Door Closes, both Tunde and Rose deserve punishment for breaking the law – entering into an arranged marriage for the purpose of becoming a US citizen in the case of the man and collecting money to marry a Nigerian immigrant plus aiding the man, in the process, to become a US citizen, in the case of the woman.
In all, When One Door Closes is a diaspora film, which tells a rose garden kind-of-story, preferring the triumph of its lead male character at all costs rather than exploring the pitfalls of cupboard love and marriage of convenience.