Tango With Me
NR ReviewGenre: Drama
POSITIVES:The Color. The Cast. The Crew. The Content.
It is about time!!! I can honestly say that I have fasted, prayed, and tithed for this movie to come out. I have bribed, begged and grovelled to get this movie and finally, after seeing the movie, I am elated that my efforts were not in vain. This is one of the few over-hyped Nigerian movies that was worth all the hype and then some. It doesn’t reach-for and miss like most others, it hits the bulls eye in every aspect.
It is about time!!! I can honestly say that I have fasted, prayed, and tithed for this movie to come out. I have bribed, begged and grovelled to get this movie (and some of you can testify lol) and finally, after seeing the movie, I am elated that my efforts were not in vain. This is one of the few over-hyped Nigerian movies that was worth all the hype and then some. It doesn’t reach-for and miss like most others, it hits the bulls eye in every aspect.
Tango with me is a well tailored storyline about a newly married couple faced with the most outlandish yet most inconceivable horror on their wedding night. The couple, played by Joseph Benjamin and Genevieve Nnaji, are now forced to live this life post marriage that is nothing like they ever imagined it would be.
Their household which they assumed would be filled with love is filled with silence. Their interactions become awkward and heedful. Their lives are thrown off balance and Mahmood Ali-Balogun shows you every second of it. Where the music is necessary it is present but he does not relent to withhold it in order to depict the silence that has become the lives of these two individuals.
As a viewer, I am most struck initially by what I deem the 3 C’s of film – color, cast and crew. That is to say the visuals have to stun me, the cast have to make you forget that this is actually a movie you’re watching and the crew make their presence felt in the little details. Considering all that, it is not far fetched to say that Tango with Me was pure art in motion.
For that hour and 30 minutes or so of film time, I was stuck on my seat paying more attention to this movie than I remember paying to any movie this entire year or since ‘Barfi‘ – Bollywood, Hollywood, Nollywood and Ghollywood alike. The movie throws out many questions about our morality, our character and our sense of the world and by the end it answers none. Believe it or not, for me, this was one of the most distinguishing aspects of the entire thing. Unlike most other movies it doesn’t seek to promote any lofty ideals backed by some Greek philosopher or a Bible passage. Instead it presents the facts in a normal human way and shows us how other normal humans were forced to deal with it.
The performances by Genevieve and Joseph Benjamin were in one word, beautiful. Genevieve, as the broken Christian girl who knows not where to go from here is not just convincing she is also able to pull you in and make you question yourself: “what would you do in that situation”? She presents the emotions with skills and deals with them bit by bit.
Joseph Benjamin, on the other hand, was the highlight of the movie for me. Kudos to Mahmood again because it goes without saying that it takes a great director to bring out the best in any actor and for me this was Joseph’s best till date. I went in with some questions about whether the pairing between Genevieve and Joseph would look awkward? About whether Joseph would be able to pull this off? About whether he would look natural in the role? In the end, Joseph gave 101%.
Similarities have been drawn between this movie and the 2011/2 Ini Edo starrer “Bride’s War“. Even I considered it for a minute, but having seen both movies I have to say that the approach is very different for this movie. Whilst Bride’s War concentrated mainly on a husband who blamed his wife and took it out on life, Tango with Me presents a more understanding and compassionate husband. Tango with me also deals with the issue from three angles: the bride, the groom, and the society.
The cameras, the colors, the locations, the colors, the sets, the costumes, the colors, the soundtrack, the colors…*phew*. In the end I’m not sure what message Mahmood intended for the viewer to take away from this movie but rest assured that I took all of them away. And I have just one question, Mr. Ali-Balogun abeg when is your next movie coming out?
Tango With Me,