BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The movie begins with a captivating yada-yada on how things don’t happen for a reason. I hear a panicky ‘Jesus! Jesus!’ in the background, and a man taking too long to die. I want to scream at the movie to get to the point, but alas, it has no ears; just eyes. Well, yes, eyes. Or something.
The scenes progress and like a smelly piece of clothing; I begin to shed my foul mood. I begin to smile. Heck, I begin to cackle like a hen. There are moments when I shake my head in disgust, and there are moments when I fold my hands in agitation. Confusion Na Wa is engaging like that.
Confusion Na Wa is a 2013 production of Cinema Kpatakpata, written and directed by Kenneth Gyang. It is a story of how the lives of a group of strangers are complicated yet interconnected. Emeka (Ramsey Noah) is on his way to see his mistress when he gets stuck in traffic caused by a dead body. While he tries to investigate what the matter is, his phone is stolen by a Charles Duka (OC Ukeje) and his friend Chichi. When he discovers it missing and tries to locate it, the duo messes with him, telling him about the cycle of life, something culled from the movie Lion King. They go on to mess with his mistress who is married to an extremely upright man named Bello (Ali Nuhu). Bello finds a raunchy text message sent by them on his wife’s phone and gets suspicious. While they continually blackmail and impersonate Emeka, Charles rapes a young girl at a party and gets her father infuriated. He doesn’t know his name, but he learns from his daughter’s friend who danced with Chichi, that the rapist has a friend called Emeka Nwosu. In his fury, he finds the address of the real Emeka, discovers that he was impersonated but collects the money in his hands, which Emeka was on his way to give the duo to keep them from telling his wife about his affair.
Phew! A synopsis is even almost impossible with Confusion Na Wa’s twists and turns. But you know what? It works. Perfectly, if I may say so. The writer ties several knots, and very patiently unties them, string after string, till they all come undone. From the boy who is suspected to be homosexual, to a man who is honest to a fault, to a drug-peddler who is over-protective of his sister, and a man who seeks vengeance for his daughter, every single person in CNW is there for a reason. I’m particularly in love with the way indigenous music intercepts the scenes every now and again. The chemistry between OC Ukeje’s character and Gold Ikponmwosa’s is so palpable; you’d think they have been friends for years. The language is fluid, and the lines are solid; not many clichéd clauses are used, and this adds its own flavor to the entire package.
Even the Lion King conversation at the bar between Charles and Chichi, which should naturally get us yawning and seeking duvets, doesn’t. Yes, the scene goes on and on and makes it obvious that the writer is trying to get a point across, but great acting covers a multitude of sins, no?
Alas, in the midst of great acting is some shabby acting. Some persons in the movie just reel off the scripts as though it was some recital, their faces saying nothing. Also, we’d never know why Emeka’s wife keeps looking like she’s sick, neither is any reason given as to why he would cheat. Some scenes seem too coincidental, like the one where Bello treks and Emeka almost hits him with his car. I suspect the desired effect is for the audience to scream: Hello! This dude is screwing your wife. This is your chance to kill him. Sadly, we mostly go: Hian! Why did it have to be Emeka’s car? Is there only one area in that town? Well, I understand the temptation to want to over-connect things, but sometimes, less is usually more.
On the whole, CNW turns out a good film. A sharp contrast to Fifty, CNW shows the not-very-presentable sides of Africa. It points a flashlight to the ills of society, the depth of corruption and disloyalty, and how, by one single bad association, a man’s life can come falling like a pack of cards. It tells you to not judge a book by its cover and teaches you there’s more to every man than meets the eye. It’s brilliant how the movie ends where it starts, and very original too, a result of deep thinking. Lessons-laden with good directing and superb performances, Confusion Na Wa rates highly. It’s the kind of movie we’d love to see from Nollywood, except, without its obvious flaws.