African Movie Reviews


Ties That Bind

Posted November 24, 2012 by in Drama








Total Score

79/ 100

NR Review

Producer: , ,
Synopsis: Three women from different backgrounds are bound together by a common tragedy; the loss of a child. In a destined meeting in a small West African village, the women journey together to redemption, love, life and forgiveness as they renovate a haunted, dilapidated clinic for the villagers
Parts/Divisions: The movie, Ties that Bind, has only one part: Ties that Bind part 1.
Memorable Lines/Scenes: "This is Africa, need I remind you. We don't adopt children. Society demands we make them" - Ama K. Abebrese "Look at this! This is my land. I inherited it from my father. It grows nothing. It's barren! It's... It's dead. It's dead! Just like me" - Omotola J. Ekehinde "You do not know my life. Don't judge me! Don't stand there in your tight clothes, in your makeup, in your white man's accent and judge me" - Ebbe Bassey
Cast: Kimberly Elise, Ama K. Abebrese, Omotola J Ekehinde, John Dumelo, Ebbe Bassey, Randall Batinkoff, David Dontoh


Amazing storyline. Amazing cast.


Not too many things

Any story… anyone can do it… once upon a time… and that is the end of my story. But it’s a whole other ball game to construct a story in which every little detail ties together.

by Nollywood REinvented
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-Story: [5 out of 5] Once upon a time, the ‘story’ criterion of critique on NR simply meant to me that the movie had a story. A story that I’d be interested in hearing if I was made to sit and forced to listen to it. However, I think the definition of the criterion has changed now. It is one thing to write a story. Any story… anyone can do it… once upon a time… and that is the end of my story. But it’s a whole other ball game to construct a story in which every little detail ties together. Where the tension rises from within. A story like this is a story in which the characters need not tell us what to feel, you feel it regardless. The story is really sad, and just when you think it can’t possibly get any sadder. It does! It’s an incredibly easy and quick watch… a job well done by Ms. Djansi.


-Originality: [5 out of 5] Towards the end of the movie, and probably because of Kimberly Elise’s presence in this movie, I got a “For Colored Girls” vibe from this movie. Do not get me wrong, both movies are poles apart. They both deal with very different issues and the only two things they share in common are colored girls and Kimberly Elise


-Predictability: [4 out of 5] I mean… what do you predict? A happy ending? But ‘a happy ending’ to what? I predicted (after reading the synopsis) that they’ll all find what they are looking for. What do you predict?


-Directing/Production: [5 out of 5] Amazing cinematography! Ah-may-zing. Attention to detail in everything but mostly I loved the casting. All in all, a great production


-Acting quality: [4 out of 5] People argue “Team Omotola” versus “Team Genevieve”. Each person has their points and reasons for choosing one side (or so it seems). Some say “Omotola doesn’t know how to select her roles.” Others say “Genevieve is always acting the same roles”. “Omotola hasn’t been in movies in a while; it’s only Genny we see”. “Genny is everywhere all of a sudden, no be like say na she act pass”. But when it comes down to it, who is the better actress? I think looking at their past work, there is definitely more versatility to be seen amongst both actresses. Both are equally great, the fact however is that most viewers have an unshakable lean towards one person or the other for whatever reason, and it’s wrong to assume that the other actress is worse because of personal preference. Regardless of what may be, Omosexy brought it in this movie. She literally became the character which makes it so much easier to go along with her on this emotional journey of hers.

Ama K. Abebrese. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. After Ama’s performance in “Sinking Sands” for some reason, I had unconsciously began to classify her as a sub par actress. In my head, pitting her against the greatness that is Omo J and internationally acclaimed Kimberly was suicidal. But fret not, because Ama brought it! One can not help but notice the new found energy in her performance in this movie. Maybe it was just the script for Sinking Sands, but in retrospect her acting dragged for that movie. The Ama K in this movie, however, was fire in comparison. 

Kimberly Elise. When I heard that there would be an American in this movie, I admit that I was confused. I kept wondering what kind of role she would be given. The only thing I could come up with, based on what is expected from African producers, is that she’d be cast as a Ghanaian. As in, Kimberly Elise with her Americana accent… a Ghanaian born in Ghana? You can see how that didn’t gel well in my head. However, one must learn to expect everything but the ‘status quo’ from Ms. Djansi. I can not imagine anybody else in Kimberly’s role. Amazing casting. 

And I can not but mention Maa Dede in this movie (played by Ebbe Bassey). Personally, I have never ever seen this woman in a movie before but from the moment she stepped into the scene she brought with her an intoxicating fire. Ah! The energy… At first, I thought she was simply an extra and I kept wondering to myself “Mehn where does Leila get these amazing extras from” but as the movie progressed I realized she was here to stay. The lady was phenomenal. Her performance was outrageous (in a very very positive way). All the extras in this movie were great. I am really tempted to input a 4.75 for acting but unfortunately it’s either perfection or not perfection.

Guest appearances (that I recognized) by Fiifi Coleman (aka “Chidi” from “The Adams Apples), Eddie Nartey, Khareema Aquiar and Kofi Adjorlolo. 


-Setting: [4 out of 5] A job well done


-Costume/Make-Up: [5 out of 5] On point


-Props and Graphics: [5 out of 5] Here’s a couple things I loved… 1) An actual pregnant woman was used for the scene in which a baby bump was required 2) Everything else (I think that about covers it all)


-Video Quality: [5 out of 5] Well done


-Audio Quality [5 out of 5] Good


-Soundtrack: [5 out of 5] See the beautiful thing about Ghanaian songs/soundtracks is that none of us (well except the Ghanaians) know what they are singing about yet we are all dancing and humming along. For all we know, they could be cursing our generation yet we are smiling and going along with it. That’s just how good it is


-Musical Score: [4 out of 5] Proves that music is not needed in every gap to create suspense. Some silences are tension enough.


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Ties That Bind, 7.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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