BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Written and produced by Uru Eke and directed by Izu Ojukwu, Remember Me is a 2016 movie that stars some of Nollywood’s big guns. It tells the story of love, of power, of corruption and crime.
Harida Cole (Uru Eke) is something of a seer; she experiences astral projections and sees people who are about to die, communicates with them and helps their loved ones prepare for their loss. Her husband, David Cole (Femi Jacobs) is one of the leading men of an influential organization called Corporation X, who have been involved in a project involving illegal land leases and mysterious disappearances of entire villages on the boarders of Cameroon. When Michael (OC Ukeje), an investigative journalist comes on to the organization and gets a chance to discuss with David, he convinces David to seek answers in his company’s records. He is immediately silenced by the powers that be. Harida is left to deal with the mystery that ensues.
The originality of this storyline is applaudable, and so is its action. The gunshots are as real as they get, and proper research is seen to have been carried out, seeing the storyline seems to check out for the most part. Another highpoint is its language; the script-writing is very impressive, devoid of clichés and flowery jabbers that do very little to enhance the plot. Even the side attraction, where Sissy, David’s sister (portrayed by Chigul) incessantly whines and complains and places blame on her sister-in-law still finds a way to fit into the entire story in some innovative way. Remember Me can be described as whole.
The audio, however, is a cause for major concern. While we barely hear what Femi Jacobs is saying and have to strain or maintain perfect silence or wish there was some rewind button in the cinema despite the fact that it’s a Nigerian speaking, Uru Eke seems to project her voice a little too loudly it begins to sound like a recital, taking away from the beauty of the flow. We would never fully understand why anyone would want to keep showing a screen that has ‘ACSESS DENIED’ on it again and again, or how they’d even let that out in the first place with the horrible spelling. And when a reporter keeps saying ‘CORPORATION S’ instead of ‘X’ with an accent that dances between the South and East, you know that there are issues.
I think the poor photography bug is on virtually every Nigerian movie shown in the cinemas, which makes one wonder if it’s the fault of the cinemas or if we just haven’t caught up to the best filming technologies yet. Coupled with that, the lighting of Remember Me is poor, and leaves the scenes appearing a tad too dark. And for a movie that isn’t that long, one would expect it to get moving rather than beat about the bush at the beginning till it almost becomes a bore. The first twenty minutes are yawn-inducing, and can easily turn off the impatient audience. When it does pick up, however, it is a delight to watch, suspense-filled and exciting. Until you reach its end and hiss at the disappointing resolution.
The downers notwithstanding, Remember Me turns out a fine movie. It brims with great acting and brilliant deliveries from its stars. Victor Olaotan is the power drunk CEO known as Mr Ovede, who orders the killings. Enyinna Nwigwe is Martin; a close friend of Harida’s hated by David because he feels threatened by him. The witty exchange of words between the duo at the hospital scene makes for one of the best scenes in the movie. Chigul gets us laughing with her performance, and it’s relieving to know she wasn’t cast as a comic character, but still manages to infuse comedy into her character.
I’m not sure how the title bears any relevance to the movie itself, and honestly, I think a better title would have sufficed.
All in all, I think Remember Me is remarkable for Uru’s debut attempt, a deviation from the norm and a product of good research and hard work. A little rough around the edges and with a rather anticlimactic end, but a good one nonetheless.