BY ANDREW OKE
Suru L’ere is by far one of the most anticipated Nollywood movies of the year. It premiered February 12, 2016 and every Nollywood movie buff has been clamoring to see it, especially after the success of Mildred Okwo’s most recent film, The Meeting.
This movie buff saw it recently, and I must say, I am incredibly disappointed.
Suru L’ere supposedly tells the story of Arinze (Seun Ajayi), a down on his luck young man trying to survive in Lagos who, by a chance encounter, meets an ambitious young woman, Omosigho (Beverly Naya) and sets out on a ‘get rich quick’ scheme to turn his fortunes around. Did you notice how I said “supposedly” in my description of the film? That’s because the film DOES NOT tell that story. To be honest, Suru L’ere doesn’t tell any story whatsoever. It is a jumbled up mix of equal parts confusion and incompetence.
Arinze is your average serial debtor and pushover who works for a horrible boss that doesn’t appreciate him even though nothing Arinze does in the film shows us that he deserves to be appreciated. Arinze is not a very good employee. Anyway, while running an errand for his boss, he meets Omosigho, who mistakes him for someone else and offers him the chance to make N250,000 by helping her write a proposal to get her a big promotion. No, you didn’t read that wrong. The plot of this film is propelled by the opportunity of the protagonist to get two hundred and fifty thousand naira.
Christ! What a way to lower your expectations.
The film lacks fundamental direction and an identity in general. It’s almost as if the film isn’t quite sure what it is: When we see Arinze running from a first person point of view, it is a slapstick comedy. When we see Omosigho at her office’s Christmas party with all the shaky-cam, it is a gritty independent film. When Arinze and Omosigho are having dinner together, it is a Gary Marshall romantic comedy. Add this to the unintelligent story and dialogue and what you have is nothing more than a steaming hot bucket of feces.
The score of the film was at times pretty good, but most of the time it was like every other score you hear in many Nollywood movies; limp. The acting in the film is nothing special except for Rita Dominic’s great, but pointless cameo (if you’re going to see this movie for Rita Dominic, don’t waste your time. She’s in it for about 30 seconds) and the performance of Seun Ajayi as Arinze. He was a breath of fresh air amidst this pungent mess of a film. He deserves a heavy pat on the back. Also, Tope Tedela’s effeminate character, as well acted as it is, was completely pointless. The film would have probably worked better without him. Kemi Lala Akindoju as landlady was funny in the two scenes she appeared in, except that one of course knew that that was Kemi Lala made up as an old woman, which can be distracting.
Another one of my qualms with the film is its lack of attention to detail. I mean, in one of the first scenes we see Arinze sleeping on the floor of his office surrounded by pages of the film’s script. PAGES OF THE FREAKING SCRIPT!!! Christ! Would it have been difficult to get actual fake documents instead? It’s those little things that put off an audience.
At the end of it all, Suru L’ere is a poorly paced, poorly structured, poorly written, poorly directed film and this has nothing to do with it being shot in 10 days, as I have heard. It would still have been bad if this same script was shot in a hundred days with same poor attention to details in many areas.
I never saw Mildred Okwo’s The Meeting, but I rushed to see Suru L’ere on the strength of all the good things I heard about The Meeting. If The Meeting is anything like Suru L’ere, then the director is living on false glory. If it isn’t, then let that remain her referenced work; Suru L’ere will do her reputation no good, I assure you.
I wish I could say I’m overreacting, but I am not, trust me. This was one of the most anticipated Nollywood films of 2016 and the fact that it is this bad is unfair not only to the Nigerian film industry, but also to the cinema patrons who will pay to see it.
P.S. Nollywood, please can we stop trying to make Beverly Naya happen? Her acting is extremely difficult to watch, what with the mismatch of accents flying all over the place and improper, unbelievable characterization?