Desmond (James Gardiner) and Susan (Juliet Ibrahim) are about to get married, but Desmond is also having an affair with Peggy (Sonia Ibrahim) who happens to be Jerry’s (Bryan Okwara’s) girlfriend. Incidentally, Jerry used to be Susan’s boyfriend and a chance meeting in a hotel rekindles old flames.
Shattered Romance opens on a picture frame with the inscription, “When you are truly in love, being faithful is not a sacrifice, it is a joy.” Ironically, everyone in the movie seems to lead a life that contradicts that expression. That is a good premise if the producers had explored the quote to make an interesting film, but they (the producers) must believe that engaging the services of glamorous actors equals making a film since there is no attempt at telling a fascinating story or even a logical one at that. The characters are poorly developed and their development arcs take unrealistic turns. Their decisions, actions and reactions are crafted by the writer to portray so much decadence and awkwardness, culminating in a film that is full of contrivance, persuading the viewer to imagine how he or she is expected to suspend disbelief!
The film’s dialogue is unexciting with the cast rambling endlessly. Many film-makers in these parts forget that well-written dialogue enhances the acceptability of a movie. One struggles not to doze off for the 96 minutes that Shattered Romance screens because the film is full of platitudes and stereotypes. The movie lends credence to the increasing practice of creating security guards with senseless antics.
Jerry and Susan’s indignation at their respective lovers is manipulative and unfounded, raising questions on logic and believability. Does a woman who goes kissing a former lover have the moral authority to confront a fiancé who sleeps around? The admission that she had not seen Jerry in donkey years, to a mature audience, sounds childish, insensitive and bereft of any sense of decency-cum-responsibility.
Worse still, Susan compares men with dogs, saying that women have resigned; but she lacks the right to do so since both of them are trapped in the same vice. The director believes that the only way to grant them access to the room is to leave the door unlocked. How possible is that owing to the confrontation a few minutes earlier? Susan’s father’s hospitalization and subplot are quite diversionary because they do nothing to advance the plot. The doctor uses ‘temporal’ for ‘temporary’.
In all, Shattered Romance is below average and very easy to forget.