Femi Jacobs, Matilda Obaseki Mozia, Kehinde Bankole,
A married couple move into their dream house, but very soon the wife begins seeing a ghost that her husband does not see, leading him to believe that his wife is losing her sanity and threatning their union.
After a while I had to start checking myself in order to contain my excitement. In more advanced industries, the things that wowed me in this movie would be taken for granted, but the fact that someone (in our very own industry) took the time to create this while retaining a standard of quality is breathtaking.
In Dream House, a couple moves into a grand five bedroom mansion and not too long after this move, the wife begins to hear things and see things.
So it’s no shock that this movie was written, produced, directed and edited by the same person, Muyiwa Aluko. You might remember the name from “North East” and “Love Regardless” but the beauty of this movie is in the details. We’ve all seen film tricks like cameras going underwater but I won’t lie, I was more impressed when the camera followed our female lead under the blankets. Why? Because most nollywood filmmakers would never think like that or deem it necessary to waste cuts going under the blanket.
When you watch the camera follow Femi Jacobs as he walks from the living room into the guest bedroom without missing a beat, and then you watch the ambulance drive off and we pan out on Femi’s character watching them take his wife away – it’s everything! It’s not just camera tricks without purpose, it actually served to add to the story.
And now that we are on the story, let’s discuss that. To be honest, that was probably the most underwhelming aspect of the entire movie. This was not because the story was bad but because it was basic in comparison to the performances, the direction, the music, the silence, the sets, the graphics, and all others. Any layman could have told you, within three guesses, exactly what this movie was going to be about. I mean, we’ve seen “The Duplex” and we’ve seen “Wandering Soul” and the storyline here is not too far removed from the aforementioned. The only iota of originality comes in the final scene with the child where you get a sense of conclusion and some sort of humor.
Now let’s talk about these performances. Come on with the come on… this Matilda Obaseki chic is FIRE! Some of us don’t watch tinsel but it only took 3-4 scenes for me to pause this movie to find out who she is. Her ease in front of the camera is something to write home about. We have mentioned “ease in front of the camera” for various actors in the past but this one is different. It’s one thing to be comfortable in front of the camera when doing a drama or romance versus when going from one scared scene to a crazy scene to a frightened scene and back and forth but she does it like it’s nothing and you might forget that she’s just acting.
We cannot underrate Kehinde Bankole or Femi Jacobs in this movie either because they both brought it. Kehinde in that scene where she gets angry at Matilda’s character for not following the man and being preoccupied with unnecessary emotions, was fire. She screamed and even I was afraid. Then there was that beautiful scene by Femi Jacobs right before the revelation. He sits at the dining with his wife, tries to converse with her, feels like he is making leeway and then she runs to the backyard still chasing figments. In that moment he says no words but he speaks volumes. You can almost feel the moment when he realizes that he might have lost his wife, where he grapples with it, where he picks himself up, when he decides to work to fix it and then he calls the doctor.
And then can we talk about these ghost graphics though.. I was so impressed with the simplicity of it yet the astuteness of it. Storytelling like this re-emphasizes that sometimes you need to be involved in every part of your movie in order to make sure that it doesn’t loose its essence from script to screen.
Needless to say, Muyiwa Aluko has a solid fan in me. I’m still trying to understand why this movie didn’t have a cinema release but I am grateful because that meant I got to see it on irokotv. The story in itself is just alright but the movie goes from ‘alright’ to ‘remarkable’ because of all the other little parts that were not taken for granted.