What Makes You Tick
Kiki Omeili, Seun Akindele, Toyin Abraham, Wole Ojo, Chinonso Young, Mary Lazarus, Bolaji Ogunmola, Adanne Chiazor, Voke Ogboriaphrien, Edo John, Simi Hassan, Betty Abang, Ibrahim Akanbi, Ben Okegwale, Florence Iyamu, Osagie Elegbe, Jide Siwoku
A radio host who has the veneer of toughness, narrates how witnessing her parent’s volatile marriage as a child has troubling consequences for her as an adult.
One thing “what makes you tick” does right is to set it in a time period where it is a bit more believable. It would be believable if it happened today because it does happen today. But it is even more believable that it happened in the 90s, it is believable that a woman who marries while getting ready for her master’s is still getting ready for her master’s even when her child is a teenager, it is believable that sisters will move into the home one day without warning and never move back out to where they came from. It is especially the most believable because the mother doesn’t just sit in a corner and cry a river Nkiru Sylvanus style.
What makes you tick is a simple story focused on simple people’s lives. It tells the story of how a woman’s marriage begins to deteriorate when her sister-in-laws decide to move in and make the place their home. It brings into question our regular way of life, they say “you don’t just marry a man, you marry his family” and vice-versa. And while this is true, and if practiced in moderation could yield great results for everyone, the movie follows the extreme end. We say ‘extreme’ here but we know that even though the movie is set in the 90s it is still a reality today.
So if there’s one thing the movie does in a manner that stands out, it is the storyline. It is the thought put into setting it in a believable and the thought put into giving us a relatable protagonist. The story still falls short in some areas. Such as in explaining why the husband is such a “weak-lo” (weak lover) and why his lack of courage continues to degenerate from moment to moment. It also falls short in determining exactly where it wants to stand on the movie spectrum. We say this because it trudges along consistently on that “serious movie path” and then there was that random scene of sister-in-law #2 calling Mary’s character to report their ‘wife’ while taking a dump in the restroom. We get that this set-up was supposed to be funny, but why was it necessary. If it was comic relief, it was ill timed and poorly executed.
Beyond these points though, this movie is just alright. The performances are just alright. Even though I will mention that Mary Lazarus owns this role of an evil sister-in-law. The directing is just alright. The random inclusion of a Yoruba movie star (Toyin Abraham), in a random non-titular side role, is just alright. The sets, the video and everything in between manage to just be alright from start to finish.
Make of that what you will but if there’s one thing I am thinking after seeing this movie, it is on why the writer chose to use THIS title for the movie. Not that it is unrelated, but out of all your options, why was it “what makes you tick”?