I try not to watch Ghanaian films. It has a way of changing me from the kind person I try to be, into an irritated, loud and unkind person who will not shut up throughout the film. And I never remember anything from these films, not the actors, not the plot, not the storylines and not the dialogue.
I politely refuse all invitations to any of those premiers and I have never bought a DVD or paid to watch one. (one refers to movies made in West Africa) And when I’m flipping channels, and I get to Africa Magic, I try not to shout. The plot is usually implausible, the dialogue is almost always cheesy, the acting, amateurish at best and the cinematography, basic. So I am still questioning why my friends who feel the same way I do, went along to watch Leila Djansi’s latest film, ‘Ties That Bind.’
First, let’s applaud Ms Djansi for the effort! The film had flashes of brilliance. She tried making her characters witty, and it worked a few times. The cinematography was excellent, as one of my friends said afterwards; “we have seen some poor shooting-shadows of cameras with a mic in some films.” Everyone had a mic, and each scene flowed fluidly into another.
That aside, watching the film to the end was a painful exercise; there were moments I was embarrassed for Miss Elise. She was great and so were the other actors, but the script was all over the place. It took almost an hour of needless, cheesy dialogue before we could make some sense of the story. The plot though conceivable, was not convincing. How were we supposed to believe that Adobea’s(played by Omotola Ekeinde) seven babies had died within seven years with such fresh graves? They looked like someone had watered them the night before.
Why did anyone give her character the name ‘Adobea’ when she couldn’t pronounce it correctly. The last I checked they were in ‘Kroboland’ and people have easier names. Emelia wouldn’t have taken anything from her character as much as making her speak Ga did. And since when did a blood condition, and two miscarriages stop any woman from marrying a man willing to marry them. I could go on and on about the ridiculous things in the film.
I’m still reeling from the jabs of the film’s no-depth and poorly written dialogue. That writer will think “change is the only thing that keeps changing” appropriate for a conversation in a film makes me wonder if we are ever going to have quotes from Ghanaian films worthy of putting up on Facebook or repeating to one’s kids.
They say a conceivable storyline with good acting makes the audience empathize and entertains. Sometimes an ending that appeals to the viewer on an emotional or intellectual level makes a good film.
I don’t think my friends and I came away from the film feeling any of these things.
And until someone tops Bob Cole’s ‘I Told You So,’ I’m not paying to sit through another forgettable film. No amount of glossy billboard ads will move me.