BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
When a movie has a brilliant story and the story is well executed, the one to two –or more, or less– hours spent watching it would seem like a cruise on a yacht on a high-end island resort. It would seem like breeze caressing the hairs of your skin. And because it stays in your head, the feeling would linger. The most memorable films may not have the best technicalities, but they always have unforgettable stories.
2015 movie Grey Dawn, for example, doesn’t have the most fascinating effects in the world. What it has, however, is a refreshing story set in Accra, and an execution that leaves your heart at ease. A woman is hurt by her law-abiding Minister for finance husband for choosing to protect his work and keep the law at the expense of her father who is apprehended for tax evasion. The thought of spending a good portion of his life in jail scares her father, and he dies of a heart attack. She goes on a vengeful quest to have an affair with an artist she runs into. Her daughter returns from a foreign university and falls for that same artist, both women oblivious of the other. The Minister, whose name is Harold Davies, realizes his wife is having an affair, follows her one day and finds that she has killed the artist out of jealousy over ‘the other woman’ she thinks he has. He has to choose again which one takes priority, his wife or his loyalty to the law.
There are just about four major characters in the entire film, a trait that movies by Sparrow Productions (produced by Ken Attoh and Shirley Frimpong-Manso and directed by Shirley) seem to have developed. Bimbo Manuel plays the role of Harold. It is easy to feel bad for him, to climb into his shoes and feel his pain over his family as it falls into pieces right before his face. The dilemma is believable too, and the effects of his falling marriage can be felt at the back of your tongue. Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi is his wife. Again, she is made to play the stereotypical role of a strong-willed woman, a role we have almost always seen her in. While I am not the biggest fan of Funlola’s theatrical acting, her interpretation of her role as Jessica is toned down enough to make us feel. Sika Osei is cast as their innocent daughter, Flora. The character that interests me the most is the artist, portrayed by Marlon Mave. He is that actor you don’t see coming. Up until an hour into the movie, you don’t expect him to be of any major relevance to the story. He isn’t the typical ‘fine boy’ actor in the leagues of the Van Vickers and Majid Michels (considering that they are all actors of Ghollywood, which makes it even realer. His introduction into the plot is unassuming, a deviation from what obtains in many highly predictable movies. His acting isn’t striking, but it isn’t poor or unnatural, and so makes the movie very true to life.
Apart from having a good story whose only predictability comes when we realize Jessica’s daughter is an art student and naturally expect that she would somehow come across he mother’s artist lover (as though there was only one artist in Accra), Grey Dawn has depth as it addresses the issue about what takes priority for a man; his family or his work.
Grey Dawn will leave you feeling full, feeling satisfied with a story well told. This is what makes it a good movie. Its magic isn’t in its locations, or big words and punchlines, or cinematography to die for. Its magic is in its story, and the interpretation of it that would stay on your mind for a long time afterwards. Oh, and its delicious music.
I give it a 75.