There is a comment on a review of one of the many Uche Jombo movies on NR and it states – and I paraphrase – that the great thing about watching Uche Jombo movies is the security. Going in, you don’t have to worry about a rehashed storyline, a wishy-washy cast or a purposeless film. There is always a moral, always a purpose and it’s almost always presented with at least the most basic degree of
After the proposal is a story that starts off with a concept that most young spinsters in Nigeria are more than familiar with, the age old “when will you get married” question. The movie starts off with a bang with a comical scene involving Uche’s character and her mother played by Patience Ozokwor. Now, when Patience Ozokwor plays your mother two things are certain, your life will be a living hell but at least it will be a ‘funny’ living hell.
After the initial scene, I popped my popcorn, cracked open the – well, whatever you’d like to think I cracked open is fine – and got ready for a great ride. However, a couple minutes into the movie, Uche’s suitor popped the question and it got real. Thus began the “after the proposal” portion of the movie. For me, in that part it was simply a cyclical redundant mess that I could neither relate to nor did I wish to relate to.
It presented a young suitor who was ready and willing to marry his bride except for the impediment of a long list of items – the brideprice – which he is to present before the marriage. My initial thoughts were “screw it. Get a court wedding. Get her pregnant and then bring her back home and let her folks know. Watch that list come apart faster than the Titanic”. Those were my initial thoughts. 30 minutes into the whole fiasco, those were still my thoughts. I didn’t see the point and as I couldn’t sympathize the movie became a bit tedious for me.
And then halfway through comes the added drama of ‘the boss’ played by Keira Hewatch – who might I add has never looked as good behind the camera as she did in this movie; seeing her alone is reason enough to watch this movie . This new addition was just another extension to my far stretched frustration at the entire thing.
Be that as it may, I think the purpose of the movie is to convey the frustration brought about by this whole ‘bride price’ phenomenon. But if you are like me then the tediousness of the entire thing would serve as a deterrent.
Having said that, after the proposal does raise a valid societal issue with the backing of a strong cast. Patience and Uche were simply magnificent. I might also suffer a harsh fate if I didn’t mention Theresa Edem who played the middle sister so fantastically well. Her role didn’t require much exertion but I’m really looking forward to seeing her in a more substantial role. Anthony Monjaro soared as the fiance in a dilemma, but for me Belinda Effah was not believable at all.