Somewhere in Africa
Majid Michel, Martha Ankomah, Eddie Nartey, Amanobia Boakyi, David Dontoh, Roselyn Ngissah, Kofi Adjorlolo, Ebi Bright, Eddie Watson
In a town where blood thirsty Militants subject the government to coup d'tat, life is unpredictable. It's difficult to know when you will wake up to a brilliant morning sun which promises a day of solemnity, or a shimmering moon in which echoes the shouts of death. In the wake of the seemingly normalcy of a capricious life, a new regime is established in Kimbala town; the superlative Military regime of Yusuf Mumbasa! Thirstier and fiercer than his predecessors, the people of Kimbala are dumb by his extreme ruthlessness. The strongest of men are hit down to nothing more that murmur; the influentials are coiled in their shells in total stillness and the civilians hide behind the hypocritical facet of patriotism! Who will dare stop Mumbasa?!
The movie, Somewhere in Africa, is divided into two parts. Somewhere in Africa and End of Somewhere in Africa.
Frank Rajah Arase
"There is a thin line between bravery and stupidity" "None of the two, however, is worse than cowardice" "They need to know that our generation failed them because men like you are cowards" "There are moments when begging and pleading is utterly useless" "Nothing is hidden except it is a secret. Nothing is found except it is a treasure" "Peace is more importance than all justice. And peace was made for the sake of justice. Not justice for the sake of peace" "Tomorrow, they say, will be better than today but they forget that today was yesterday's tomorrow"
-Story: [4 out of 5] It’s really unarguable that this is an interestingly different story line. I started this movie thinking… well a lot of things don’t make sense but they were eventually explained (and sadly at the end one still didn’t make any sense but it can be rationalized) like how Mumbasa was able to go from soldier to president and how he got so much following? (this was later explained by Bibi Bright’s character) and why did Frank look so much like Mumbasa? (I thought about it and decided to stop worrying my head besides it is said that for each person there is a look-a-like somewhere in the world… as a side note, I like to psych myself that mine is Rani Mukherjee lol). I also thought that the ending had to have been the most anti-climactic ending in the history of film making (well.. to be less severe, in the history of Frank Rajah filmmaking)… it was just like cut cut… black screen… text! I’m thinking o hell no…. so I watch Mumbasa cut everyone up into pieces but I don’t get to see everyone else cut him into pieces? What injustice!
-Originality: [0 out of 5] So… Yes! The rumors were there. At first I didn’t believe it but after re-watching, it is obvious now that in true Frank Rajah fashion, this movie is a rip of the 1992 movie, Sarafina!, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo.
-Predictability: [1 out of 5] Indeed the ending was a given. In actuality many things were a given. You can’t fault it though because it comes with the genre. What would have been unpredictable would have been the end credits saying “…and Mumbasa lives on” but no! Mumbasa dies… so.. predictable (come to think of it… that ending would have also solved the problem of an anti-climactic ending, but we all love our happy endings… o well)
-Directing/Editing: [2 out of 5] Hmm… the villain in this movie was Mumbasa played by Majid Michel. Now, the thing about this villain is that he is heartless, cold blooded and driven (oops did i just describe every villain?). His standout feature however is his occasional cruel humor. In most movies (most well executed and developed movies that is), whenever the villain does something that is humorous to him and painful to others (think the Joker in Batman – The Dark Knight, scene where he tells Batman to pick which ship to blow up), the viewer becomes really angered and irritated and feels like jumping through the screen to choke the villain. Why? Character development… however in this movie, whenever Mumbasa said something funny whilst people were dying I actually caught myself laughing at their pain. Was it only me? Does that make me heartless? I think not… I just think the characters were not appropriately developed enough for me to be like “stab him, shoot him, kill him… die. Die. DIE!”. Granted, many-a-scene I did feel pity and sorrow for the citizens of Kimbala… but… that was simply due to the awesome music by Bernie Anti. I do commend Frank for amazing cinematography… a job beyond well done. I honestly commend Pascal Amanfo for the dialogues (none of that Shakespearean bull) and mostly for the speeches in the movie.. well done. There are however many Anachronisms as pointed out by a reader in the comment section of this post (like the fact that they reference Obama’s “Yes I can” and the movie is set in 2000-2004ish)
-Acting quality: [4 out of 5] See me see transformation. O Majid took this role to the cross. He nailed it and baby that ish is not resurrecting any time soon…. What!!!! (don’t ask me what anything I just said means… because me sef no know… it just sounded right in my head). Everytime Mumbasa came on screen I kept wondering to myself “shebi this is the same Majid that was kissing Yvonne Okoro in Why Marry?” See his stance. See his posture. His vocal coordination. BABY! Choi… AMAA best actor 2012… well deserved I tell you. The next signature performance was by Amanobia Boakyi, I thought she performed her role to the tee. After this movie, I officially fear Roselyn Ngissah… that is all. Cameo by Kofi Adjorlolo. Eddie Watson did his usual thing (i.e. “I am making a desperate attempt to act”) too much effort… too much see-through effort. Ebi Bright. All day. Every day. Eddie Nartey had the worst most annoying impression of that fake accent… argh! ***PULLING OUT MY HAIR*** sometimes it was bearable… other times, I’m thinking: stone me now. David Dontoh as Gabiza was not in the least bit convincing. Martha Ankomah… sending kisses… Oh my dayz, I have finally found a movie where this girl doesn’t make me want to give her a tight slap and send her to speech therapy (or alternatively to the tailor to find clothes her size). Job amazingly well done… especially in the scene where the crowd goes to Mumbasa’s residence to demand the release of Mrs. Archibong and Mumbasa comes out… takes the gun and shoots her and Martha just stands there and stares. blankly. Sometimes, the dry eyes speak more volume than a river of tears ever could. Needless to say, some of the student extras sucked and most general extras sucked as well.
-Setting: [4 out of 5] On point
-Costume/Make-Up: [5 out of 5] Nicely done
-Props and Graphics: [4 out of 5] I don’t think the crowds were large enough. I mean I felt if they had bigger crowds the impact would have been easier felt/more felt/more impactful (whatever the proper grammar is)… it’s just hard to empathize when all you see are crowds of 30 students. I’m like “o how cute… you against the soldiers… who have guns!? This should be quite amusing”. I’m just saying… anything worth doing is worth doing what? Well
-Video Quality: [4 out of 5] Good although I couldn’t see in the dark in some scenes
-Audio Quality [5 out of 5] On point
-Soundtrack: [5 out of 5] O dear Bernie Anti, Lord knows if not for your o-so amazing music my tear ducts would not have even attempted to get wet!!! Lovely work from the one and only.
-Musical Score: [5 out of 5] Nicely done