Is Love Truly War?
I am one of those people who maintain that until New Nollywood makers decide to put in a little more thought into their movies and spend more time on in depth research, rather than on the social media hype and buzz, we (Nollywood lovers and well wishers), will continue to be saddened by the poorly finished works our beloved super stars churn out every once in a while(read almost every time). At the earlier stage, I believed that Omoni Oboli was on the right track to being one of Africa’s best digital filmmakers. Her “Being Mrs. Elliot” remains one of my favourite Nollywood movies till date. Unfortunately, I have had to struggle with her most recent releases being either unbelievable or boring, with either an unclear theme, poor dialogue, amateur cinematography or videography, amongst others.
Love is War; a movie directed by Omoni Oboli and written by Chinaza Onuzo, is described as a comedy-drama which centres around the battle between a husband and a wife for the seat of the Governor of Ondo State. The couple find themselves in a precarious situation when the husband (Richard Mofe-Damijo) who was initially supportive of his wife’s (Omoni Oboli’s) ambition to be Governor, is by a twist of events, coerced into running for the same office under an opposition party. The movie is built around themes of family, politics and ambition but its most unifying theme is love. Other members of cast include; Jide Kosoko, Akin Lewis, Bimbo Manuel, Shaffy Bello, Yemi Blaq, Femi Branch, Toke Makinwa and Uzo Osimkpa.
As the plot unravels, it stops being classified as a good movie because of the obviously shallow work put into a proper and thorough study of the Nigerian political scene. Unless this movie was intended as a satire and somewhere along the line, someone believed it could pass for a “comedy-drama”, it was a poor and underwhelming reflection of the Nigerian politics. Our politics may not be as refined as we may like but it certainly has more depth, fanfare and sophistication than what was portrayed in the movie.
Is it even remotely possible that a loving happy couple in Nigeria would contemplate running against each other for a political seat? I honestly do not think so. Our political culture would not even permit it and no opposition party would go ahead to endorse the spouse of a political candidate unless such spouse is either a divorced one or an estranged one. It is unrealistic for any Nigerian politically inclined couple to believe that they can successfully contest against each other under whatever guise, and still maintain a happy marriage. At best, Hankuri Phillips should have been made to be the ex-wife of Dimeji Phillips and in the course of the battle for the seat, they realise they are still very much in love and somehow find their way back together. I know I am digressing but don’t you agree that this would have made for a better realistic story?
I honestly think that Omoni Oboli needs to start getting comfortable with not playing the lead role in her movies. Her carriage and persona in the movie, did not fit that of a Nigerian female politician who can be considered qualified to run as Governor of a State, especially one who was a previous political appointee. The lack of adequate research and appreciation of the unique Nigerian political scene was apparent in most of Omoni’s dialogues throughout the movie. How is it possible that someone who intends to be Governor has no idea of the key players within her own political zone? During the PPM campaign, I could hear chants of “Bring Back Control” and I was wondering why an incumbent party would choose such slogan for its campaign…the irony!
The entire rape and adultery story told by Hankuri Phillips during the Governorship debate was too cheesy, unnecessary and over-played. You were raped and chose to make your husband believe for years that you cheated on him…for what purpose? Such drama would not play out during a Nigerian political debate, at least not between two ‘distinguished’ contestants.
For a movie dubbed as a ‘”comedy-drama”, this one was boring as hell. The movie lacks the capacity to keep a sharp mind entertained the whole of its 107 minutes of play. However, I do think that the movie boasts of a great cast except that it ended up being a waste of such talent.