BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
One thing that instantly jumps at you when you begin to watch this film, apart from the very hilarious animations that precede it, is the director. You want to know him, and why he has decided on the camera angles he shoots from. It is interesting how he merges scenes, how he tells his story with pictures, how he goes about it like a pro. Then you realise it is Desmond Elliot, and you’re no longer surprised. Hire A Man is a director’s film all round, and I mean that in a good way.
Tishe is a twenty-nine-year-old accountant who lives in Lagos and has an unspoken hatred for her two-years-younger sister, Teni. They can barely stand each other, especially because Teni always gets away with everything, including Tishe’s one-time childhood crush/best friend. When Tishe gets the call from her mum telling her that her sister is engaged and bringing her fiancé to their family retreat, she responds on the spur of the moment that she also is bringing hers. Then, with the help of her friend, she goes all out to find a man to pose as him. She settles for Jeff, a man she misjudged, but nothing prepares her for what she finds about him.
The storyline almost already explains itself with its telling title. A man would be hired, and would most likely be used to pose as something he is not. But of course, the ‘hirer’ and ‘hired’ would eventually fall in love and live happily ever after. All that is expected; there are just about a thousand and one stories like that in the world. What works for Hire A Man, however, is the acting. As Tishe, Zynnell Zuh kills it. Nancy Isime doing remarkably as Teni goes without saying; since she let out her fangs in Gidi Blues in 2016, we have recognised her as a tiger before the camera, shredding her roles to tiny pieces. And then there’s Enyinna Nwigwe as Jeff. Enyinna makes it hard to believe anyone else could have filled his shoes in this film. The calmness with which Enyinna delivers with class is one thing you’d hardly find with many. In Hire A Man, he steals the show.
Alongside other brilliant actors like BayRay McNwizu (whoever did her makeup should be given a knock in the centre of the head), Shaffy Bello, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Daniel Lloyd and Desmond Elliot, these actors presented this ordinary story in a fascinating way that gives you a hell of a good time. Thankfully, IK Ogbonna wasn’t given enough responsibility as to ruin the show. His limited scenes in this movie saved us his mediocre acting.
There were a few camera inconsistencies that take away from the excellence that the production quality of this film could have been. “The difference between us is just two years” could have been “The difference between our ages…”. ‘Hire A Man’ is a horrible title; it makes you want to roll your eyes and scream “Next!”
The screenplay is different, devoid of the regular cliché-ridden sentences we almost expect. The locations are exotic (decent publicity for The Whispering Palms if I may say so) and the sound is top notch. There was an obvious attention to detail that showed in the way prospective holes were sealed and explained away. Of course, we saw the twist at the end coming, but they still managed to surprise us a little, and that’s what we want; we are not asking for too much. Shaffy and Keppy are becoming another nice couple combination besides RMD and Ireti, seeing they have been cast as a couple in more than one film already (Hire A Man, When Love Happens, When Love Happens Again…).
If you’re looking for one movie that would spice up your hectic day, give you a few laughs and make you have a good time without sighing or hissing every twenty seconds, Hire A Man is one. Produced by Chineyelove Eze, this romantic comedy is very likely to make your day.