BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The story is simple. A naive school-leaver dates a poor good guy, gets a job to work for a rich ‘badboy’ actor and falls for him, gets mistreated by him and realises she has made a grave mistake, then wakes up and realises it is one bad dream. The fact that it is a dream makes this cliché of a story even more horrible. We know dreams, we know movies, and we know lazy storytellers who use dreams to explain away everything to avoid any prospective holes. They’re the reason we are paranoid when we see ‘dream’ and ‘film’ in the same sentence.
2014 Daniella Okeke movie, I Think He Loves Me, stars Daniella Okeke (but of course) as Ivie, alongside Jim Iyke as Bob (who obviously is cast as the ‘badboy’ Nollywood actor), Brian Okwara (who, as you might have guessed is a rich bad boy as well, and friends with the lead ‘badboy’), and OC Ukeje as Paul (who is predictably the good boyfriend). The movie reeks of predictability on every side. You know the girl with the curves would eventually be pressured to succumb to her boss’ advances. You know she would see money and begin to act up towards her poor boyfriend. You know the ‘badboy’ actor is a player, and would eventually cheat on her and disrespect her. You can smell all of these from ten miles away and then you can only ask yourself what the point of the movie is if you already know its end from the beginning and you aren’t even God.
The acting is basically meh. Jim Iyke strolls into the scene as himself to be himself. There’s nothing new, and we almost begin to snore. Basically, everyone is cast to be themselves. Only May Owen may have surprised us a little with her role as ‘razz girl’. OC’s role seems too straightforward; we’ve seen him in it one too many times in this lifetime. The acting scenes in the movie, where the rich ‘badboy’ is said to be acting would make you almost tear up. I’ll never understand why a Nollywood movie would attempt to portray Nollywood so poorly in an acting scene in a movie.
In terms of its cinematography, the scenes are mostly dark –too dark, and as expected, there is the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge to make up for screen inadequacies. Half the time Daniella is shown, the camera manages to focus on her robust backside, just in case we don’t like her face enough. The soundtracks are songs that were not composed but ‘formed’, with the line ‘I think he loves me’ thrown into it every other minute. And as for the title, it is from a scene where her mother asks if the new ‘badboy’ actor loves her, and she responds with ‘I think he loves me.’ This is when you give up and begin to roll your eyes non-stop. The scene where Jim Iyke’s character says, ‘I am a bad guy, what do you think?’ makes you wonder if he was given a script or just told to state the obvious. Oh, and there’s Bob’s accent to also deal with. Sigh.
Directed by Moses Inwang, I Think He Loves Me is a poor film. It doesn’t slightly impress; story, acting and all. It isn’t the kind of movie you’d have patience enough for, but if you finally see it through, it is that one you’d easily forget because, well, it is all one predictable dream.