Sola Daniels is a happily married man living and working in the English countryside. We know he is happy because early scenes of Desecration set up the Thompsons as a regular, middle class immigrant family and Shola as a doting father to their daughter.
We know Shola Daniels is a doctor also because he is shown at work going through hospital engagements like ward rounds but Joseph Benjamin who plays him, capably, we must add, isn’t quite convincing as a medical practitioner. His recites the lines by rote and fails to confidently project the aura and carriage of a specialist at work.
Doctor Daniels and his wife Adesua (Nicola Alexis), are attending a dinner party when he runs into a beautiful stranger and they both strike up a connection. Another chance (is it?) encounter with her,- her name is Linda,- this time when his family is away on a weekend trip, and the good doctor wastes no time falling into bed with her.
They begin an affair that should be torrid were it handled properly but the script by Bode Odetoye zips through some PG scenes that only serve to highlight the unpreparedness of his movie to play in the big leagues.
Shola isn’t the only member of his family going through a midlife crisis. Adesua has some work challenges, made all the more complicated by the reappearance into her life, of an old flame and she is also tempted to stray from her vows.
Linda is revealed to be psychotic (surprise! surprise! considering she is played by Rita Dominic) and proceeds to blackmail Shola with any means that is available to her. Yes, that includes pregnancy too. Nothing new to see here, it’s all been done before.
There are almost no stakes involved in Desecration. The film concerns itself with exploring issues of faithlessness in marriages, forgiveness and retribution but none of these is handled with any form of genuine introspection or even proper context. The mental health subplot also goes nowhere fast just as soon as it is introduced and the result is that Desecration is memorable only for its judicious length and passable acting.
The screenplay has nowhere to go and circles the drain, with no narrative agency or urgency. The ending is a bad joke and the film plays just like a collection of scenes cobbled together just for the sake. The picture is dark for most of the film’s running time and sound issues crop up constantly, making it a struggle to catch what the characters are on about.
Not that anyone needs to hear the words the characters speak to know what is going on, or what happens next. The entire film is predictable and its minuscule budget shows in every single picture frame. Rita Dominic’s Linda is erratic. Joseph Benjamin is a bore. Everyone else is terrible and a useless subplot with one of Sola’s patients will leave you scratching your head.
Niyi Towolawi’s 2013 feature, Turning Point had similar limitations with budget and technical skill, but at least, boasted a story that had some spark to it. This one doesn’t. He really should save us all the trouble.