Nse Ikpe-Etim, Bayray McNwizu, Femi Jacobs, Blossom Chukwujekwu
Two couples living together in the same building, but with completely different lifestyles, find themselves bearing secrets and shocking revelations which sets them on course for something they never bargained for.
Biodun Stephen, Kehinde Joseph
"I don't need an erection in our relationship. My wife is stiff enough for the both of us"
The cast and the writer (God bless you)
Just like peeling an onion, this movie had so many different layers: in content and in impact. Every layer deeper than the next and without ever loosing that reality aspect.
The Visit tells the story of two couples that are neighbors in one building. The downstairs couple, The Nebos, consist of Chidi and Eugenia (played by Femi Jacobs and Bayray McNwizu). They are a couple out of a prim and proper magazine and their home is the true model for “there’s a place for everything and everything in its place”. Meanwhile the upstairs couple is the complete antecedent, The Shagayas (note that word play though lol). The Shagayas, Lanre and Ajiri (played by Blossom Chukwujekwu and Nse Ikpe-Etim) are a disorderly bunch. Their home is less like a home and more like a parking garage to filth. They are noisy and unkempt to the n-th degree and this bugs Eugenia completely. One day, they have a sit down and secrets begin to unravel.
The first 20 to 30 minutes of this movie is wasted time. If I was not aware of the greatness that was coming in this movie (based on fate in the actors, fore knowledge of the movie and word of mouth from other viewers), I would have given up in those minutes. It took too long for the characters to be set up and it was dragging and point blank boring.
But then the visit happens and it really blows your mind. The intense and fabulous chemistry between all the actors in this movie is unparalleled. While watching the making video for this movie, one of the actors mention that they all helped each other. They all helped to build their fellow actors up when they needed that push in a scene and you see that. One does not rise in spite of the other, each of them elevate each other.
On the one side we have the waffi blowing Ajiri. Nse pulls out all stops and flows effortlessly from the queen’s English to gutter slinging waffi in seconds without missing a beat. Yet her mannerisms still manage to be to die for regardless of what face she’s putting on. Next, Femi just owns every version of Chidi there is. From when he is the innocent and tamed shrew of a husband to when he transforms and tries to hide his deepest darkest secrets from his wife.
Then we have Blossom whose character we really truly watch crumble in stature from a macho man to just another man, and he embodies that from stage to stage. Finally there is Bayray who manages to evoke something that the script never truly says explicitly: which is that Bayray’s character is cray-cray and might actually need a shrink.
From female mutilation to drug trafficking and cultism to alcoholism and deep psychological disorders (I mean what else do you call a spirit that causes you to redesign your life and live a completely false one). The movie even touches on marital support and marital partnership, the importance of openness and the realities of openness. It delves into individual psyches and the concept of building up a false life to build ones own image: for self? Or for society? (or I might just be a nerd overthinking things). I even see some underlying tones of marital roles when Lanre sends his wife places and she is bargaining with him. It’s interesting. Is this a psychologically abusive relationship or are wife and husband just on cue as to when one needs to step back for the other.
The movie is funny yet enlightening. Simple yet with overwhelming depth. Light but so heavy and I dare you to forget this movie tomorrow morning.
Regardless of all that, it’s not without its flaws (lol… I know you saw this one coming). If there’s one aspect of this movie that I would really love to resurrect it would be the audio. And ‘yes’, it is clear that the makers caught on to this early and therefore decided to subtitle this entire movie with extreme detail (for which we are grateful). Another not so great quality of the movie is the video quality. It is clear that the movie could have been much clearer, a bit more vivid and used better lighting.
But the flaws, asides from the overstretched beginning, are not deterrents enough. I can say this now, I will probably be watching this movie again sooner than later.