BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
This movie steps in your face. First scene: sex scene. Next scene: Chemistry. And the next. And the next. You want to lift a hand and ask: Aunty Shirley, are we having a Chemistry lesson? But you decide against it. You want to see the endpoint of the titration first. And at the thought, you keep shaking the conical flask, hoping for a reaction. Ha-ha. Talking in Chemistry, are we?
6 hours to Christmas was shot in Accra Ghana, written and directed by Shirley Frimpong-Manso and released in 2010. It all happens within twenty-four hours –the entire movie– but is mostly centered on 6pm on the 24th to 12am on the 25th of December.
A suave Regy (Chris Attoh), who lives with a girlfriend he loves, Akos, leaves for work that morning with plans for dinner later in the evening to celebrate Christmas. He gets to work and goes flirty-flirty with a female co-worker, Pebbles (Damilola Adegbite) who seems to also have the hots for him. She asks for her Christmas present, and in an attempt to turn tables, he asks for his which she offers to give him if he drives her home after work. Note that she says this with a lot of innuendo. They even kiss for a millisecond on the mischievous demand of their co-workers.
Fast forward to a few hours and he is at her house. Flirty is up, working her stuff. Dude is sweaty. Everything intense. She goes in and returns in lingerie and heels, teases and teases while he argues with his head whether or not to yield. Then he glances at the clock, it’s 6pm, asks himself ‘what is the worst that can happen?’ and rushes after her into the bedroom. This is the beginning of raunchy, then ugly, then complicated and then downright ridiculous happenings. It’s a good thing it all ends up being a hunch; an answer to his question ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’
Oh, I love it. Fresh. Different. Aunty Shirley does bring it. The chemistry between the duo is palpable; little wonder they’re married in real life. (Okay, I really should stop saying chemistry. This is about the hundredth time!) The characters are quite believable too. Yes, events are a little too dramatic, I mean how many bad things can happen to one in a lifetime to happen all on the same night? But it works. Yes, it does. They make you believe it does, and shove it down your throat, while you smile. Such audacity.
I must also commend how most of the movie takes place inside one house. That could really be boring, but it isn’t. It is fast-paced, the conversations are engaging, the body-language true to life. At some point you begin to feel really bad for the Regy dude. Good work.
The audible mind conversation could get distracting at times, but it does help the movie. It adds to the humor and relatability. Especially at the end when he calls himself a cow. Had me in stiches.
So, who, in the middle of a crisis that could mean jail-term for the rest of your life, thinks about sex? Or kissing the woman who puts you in such a mess? I don’t know, really. The girl talks about ‘continuing from where we left off’ and immediately you want to kiss her when you’re staring death in the face. Is she plated in gold down there? True, certain things are a little over the top, but like I always say, good acting covers a multitude of transgressions.
I think this movie does a good job at being a movie. While I don’t think a few minor characters are great actors, I think it doesn’t bear any consequence on the overall delivery. I also think that a great job was done to introduce the sponsors; hey, this is how it’s done. Just because your movie is sponsored by a brand does not mean you have to go on an endless ramble about its disadvantages and advantages in the movie. We are not a dumb audience. We heard it the first time you said it, or as the case may be, saw it as soon as the camera moved its way.
Good job, Shirley. The end point of this titration was worth the shaking. Erm.., worth the chemical reaction. (Hehe… I said that again.)