BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The title “Glass slippers” brings to mind the famous Cinderella story and the mystical single leg of glass slippers that would fit no one else. If you thought this 2015 film had anything to do with it, then you thought right. Originality therefore is not a question, and this should not be strange. The number of remakes the Cinderella story has had all over the world would run into hundreds, and that’s just being modest. Still, it is commendable that with most remakes, a twist in context or outcome gives each episode its own peculiarity.
Glass Slippers, an example of one of such remakes produced by Emem Isong and directed by IK Onyeka, is set in the home of a bachelor in Lagos Nigeria. He is a typical playboy who would say anything a woman needs to hear on the sheets and deny it when the moans are over. His mother would whine time and again about his unmarried status, and attempt to matchmake him with spinsters she considers eligible, but he would sleep with them and then ditch them, and this gets her very worried. When he collapses one night on his kitchen floor from too much stress at work, his mother gets him a house help who is a village girl with a magnetic brain. Idong, the help, picks up everything she sees on television; mannerisms and intonations with astounding ease.
Lola (Tana Egbo Adelana) is Olakunle Kardozo’s friend-with-benefits who claims she never wants to commit to any man. Because of her seeming independence, Olakunle is not repulsed by her and their affair is able to sustain its longevity. When he is given an assignment to make a pitch to a top gun client over dinner, and to bring a date along because the client considers unmarried men above thirty irresponsible, he offers to take Lola but she declines on the basis of having a history with the client, Mr. Daniel (Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey). Olakunle calls up fifteen of his past girlfriends, but they all decline. He eventually decides on his house help, asking Lola to help dress her up. They both go to the dinner which turns out successful, and even earns him a promotion, but his perception of Idong changes and feelings creep in.
One thing that strikes you about Glass Slippers is how it gets moving. Five minutes into the movie, you’re already immersed in its story because the director manages to cut down on idle talk that doesn’t move the plot forward. There is also OC Ukeje’s impeccable interpretation of his playboy role to sustain your attention and make every scene he appears in a delight to watch. The production quality is good and the sounds are fitting for every setting.
It is easy to excuse Idong’s awful pronunciations as the local accents at play. What isn’t clear is why the personal life of an employee would become such an issue as to raise sanctions at work. It is not impossible depending on the circumstance, but the case in this film is highly unconvincing. The chemistry between OC and Nsikan Isaac as Olakunle and Idong is forced on the audience and doesn’t come across as deep as they make it seem. All we know about their love is the number of times they are seen unclad in bed or kissing on the sofa, which isn’t different from what he has going with all the others. It is rather ironic, however, that Mr. Daniel, who claims a single man over thirty is irresponsible, is in fact single and a serial womanizer, who, at the end of the film, is alleged to be engaged to Lola (which is not even in the least believable considering Lola went back to him for malicious reasons).
Glass Slippers is not a one-of-a-kind movie. There is good enough acting to make you enjoy it, but it isn’t a movie you’d remember for very long.
I give it 50%.