Ramsey Nouah, Okawa Shaznay
A newly married man receives an unpleasant shock on his wedding night when his wife reveals religious obligations that prevent consummation of the marriage.
Frank Rajah Arase
Frank Rajah Arase
Wife: Darling, how do I look
Husband: You look like ABCDEFGHIJK
Wife: What does that mean?
Husband: A is for adorable, B for beautiful, C for cute, Delightful, Elegant, Fashionable, Gorgehous, Hot and Intelligent
Wife: Aww that is so sweet. And the J and the K?
Husband: Just kidding
THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
The movie starts with a disclaimer that reads “The dramedy you are about to watch is set in the 90s. The costumes, properties and language, used in this film is based on personal character. Therefore, this is not a period piece” and this immediately led me to raised eyebrows on my part. However, it doesn’t take too long into the movie to realize why the disclaimer was necessary.
The story of “Soul Tie” begins on the wedding night of our main couple. That night the husband is met with news from his wife that she is unable to consummate their marriage because she is on a 40 day fast in order to rid her soul/spirit of soul ties from prior relationships. The wedding night was only day 22 and she had 17 more days and nights to go. That was only the beginning of the torture and confusion for the husband… and wife. The movie follows their lives in those 17 days as they try to adjust to married life and the challenges it brings.
One great thing about this movie is that even though the fact that they were both still abstaining from each other was a major part of the storyline, it was not what each scene and each conflict was about. If that was the case, this two cast movie would have quickly lost its spark.
Instead, Soul Tie excels in places where “Strangers” failed. Even though there are only two people in the movie, the movie and the characters feel like they are progressing. For one even though the couple is always fighting and arguing, you can appreciate that they are actually listening to the words each other is saying. For instance, in one scene the husband hounds his wife about giving him beans and yam to eat in the name of breakfast on their first morning and she rebuts with, “but you are actually the one who failed because you did not bring me breakfast in bed”. The next day, he proceeds to bring her breakfast in bed. The breakfast turns out to be ‘swallow’ but in so doing you see that they are actually making progress in that they listen to each other, and problems don’t fix overnight in that the husband was still petty in bringing her swallow to eat early in the morning.
The chemistry between Ramsey and Okawa is very lightweight. Even though both actors do a good job of bringing their characters to life and giving them personality that’s believable, between both characters though there aren’t moments when you feel the love instead there’s moments where you see them doing ‘loving’ things.
After reading the disclaimer at the start of the movie you wonder why it was necessary. However, 2-3 scenes in, you hear the characters speak and notice that 21st century colloquialism that has been very unambiguously placed in this 20th century setting and then you understand why the disclaimer was necessary. In the beginning of this movie, I also wondered why the movie even needed to have been set in the 90s but later you figure out why. The many moments in this movie where the man and woman are forced to interact with each other would probably have been difficult to pull off in our time with the many distractions available. Like the scenes where they are playing whot amongst themselves as opposed to scrolling on facebook on their individual smart devices.
In the end, my favorite thing about this movie was probably the music. It had an amazing selection of Fela and other old Yoruba music alongside even music by Abba that made me want to pause the movie and just explore the music. It definitely achieved the desired effect of creating nostalgia in the audience.
Soul Tie is an adorable little movie that manages to avoid that two-cast pitfall of feeling dragged, and also avoid that newlywed movies pitfall of being repetitive. It sticks with you, not because it is so groundbreaking or original, but because it’s one of the few movies that has had a ‘better’ rendition of these ‘newlyweds’ type storyline, and it also sticks with you because of all the nostalgia it creates.