Nse Ikpe-Etim, Fredrick Leonard, Nancy Isime,
A troubled woman who has recently released from prison flees to Lagos to stay with her married older sister who is having trouble conceiving. When she offers to becomes a surrogate for the couple tension rises in the marriage.
Sobe Charles Umeh and Akin Tijani Balogun
In “The Surrogate”, nollywood takes on a version of “When The Bough Breaks” by bringing in a third party – a surrogate – to help a couple who is having difficulty conceiving.
The couple, played by Nse Ikpe-Etim and Frederick Leonard, have no child and no hope for future children because the wife had a medical emergency which resulted in a hysterectomy (aka a removal of her womb). As a hail Mary, they reach out to the wife’s sister (with some reluctance from the husband) to be a surrogate for their baby. Said wife’s sister, played by Nancy Isime has a track record of recklessness so your guess is as good as mine on how the entire arrangement pans out.
One of the first things to strike me was the electric chemistry between Frederick and Nse. In the scene where she returns from the hospital and he has set out a romantic dinner for her, their lines seem magnetic and unrehearsed. We can attribute it to a strong performance from both parties – Frederick and Nse – and with Nse there is no surprises there. Nse brings in nuances that other nollywood actors might forget or deem unnecessary in little things like her manner of walking immediately after the surgery, to the nuances when she reacts to what others say or do. It’s amazing to watch.
Then there’s Nancy Isime. This is our second time of seeing her in a villain type role (The first was in “This Is It”). It is shocking the amount of control that she has over her performance especially at such a young age. She becomes the villain, and save for a shaky moment there in the confrontation scene, she pulls it off convincingly.
The Surrogate is a different storyline and it is well welcomed, however, it is not exactly unpredictable. Even though a blind man can see the end coming, it is still an entertaining watch especially to see how it unfolds.