Tana Adelana, Ramsey Nouah, Ken Erics, Emem Ufot, Patrick Nnamani, Lawretta Richards,
A popular stripper is perturbed when a mysterious man continuously turns up to the club requesting that she dance for him, however they soon become close, but little does she know that he has an ulterior motive.
Body Language is a film on the cusp of greatness. However, like many nollywood movies before it, there’s too much trying and too much settling going on. What do I mean? The movie tries to be suspenseful. In many scenes you can see the actual ‘effort’ to be a certain kind of movie – especially all the scenes with the TV and the bird watcher analogies, alongside the shoddy attempt to tie that in in the final scene – but it doesn’t actually ever ‘become’ that movie.
In ‘body language’ we have a stripper who lives a double life between her stripping gig and her job as a marketer. She lives in a Lagos that is on high alert due to recent killings by some serial killer dubbed “the Lagos Reaper”. As the movie progresses, we get the air that our lead female, Tola – played by Tana Adelana, might be in danger sometime soon. And this fear is heightened by the arrival of Ramsey Nouah’s character into the scene.
There are many things to give this movie props for right off the bat – so let’s start with that. First of all, the movie attempts to tell a different storyline and if you unassumingly stumbled on this movie then you might actually not see the end coming. Another point is Tana Adelana. Say what you may about her performance, it was very brave of her to take on this role and go the lengths that she did for this character (especially considering that this is Nigeria afterall).
However, the performance was still an issue. It is not so much her acting performance that was an issue, even though that was not perfect either, the biggest issue was the dancing. The movie starts with shots of Anita performing on stage and Anita’s performance is fire. So you assume that the film is well researched and well choreographed – the standard has been set! Then Anita’s character leaves and then Tana begins to dance and things gradually fall apart. Scene by scene you slowly realize that here also the Nigerian filmmaker has decided to settle for good enough. The pole dances aren’t convincing and neither are the dances done without the pole. And this is not me being picky. I simply believe that if you are making a movie about a stripper and you have a scene where the stripper dances and the viewers get to experience the entire performance, then it should move the viewer as much as it would the stripper’s live audience but none of the dances did that.
Regardless, we still give Tana props for the brazenness involved in doing the amount that she did – because again, this is nollywood. As far as the rest of her performance goes, there were scenes where she was natural and effortless but peppered in between those were too many scenes that were forced and difficult to believe.
Then there is the production of the film. This is another part of the film where you see that nollywood syndrome of ‘settling for good enough’. It’s hard to conceive that Ramsey Nouah’s character goes around following different people in this film in a white range rover but no one ever notices – please which part of that car is covert? Is it the ‘white’ part or the ‘Range Rover’ part? Then there is the camera action in some scenes where the frame is literally shaking – especially in the final kitchen scene – and there is no justification for this whatsoever.
At the end of this movie, the characters aren’t developed enough to sell you on anything. When the twist arrives, you are shocked because you didn’t see that coming but that’s about it. There’s no lasting effect. It’s a fairly impressive film if you think “oh this is nollywood – the land of Aki and PawPaw”, but as a movie in its own merit it falls short many times. This is not a ‘Prisoners‘ type movie, it just tries really hard to create that type of feel.