BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Titles are just about as powerful as every other aspect of a film. Climax, the title of this 2017 Obi Ted Xavier flick is catchy, preparing you for nothing other than heart-racing goodness. Even though the faces on the cover are mostly unknown, still, because of the title, (also ignoring the rather sleep-inducing synopsis), you give it a chance.
The first few scenes quickly bring your expectations back to earth. There are aimless dreams, and people snapping out of them. There are flashbacks that pretty much reveal the entire film in telling dialogue. And there is crying, a lot of crying, that look music-video-ish. This is what is repeated to us for the first thirty minutes of the film, again and again, in case we didn’t get it the first time.
The storyline is like a bothersome aunt that won’t stop visiting; you’ve seen her one too many times and every new visit is worse than the last. Max breaks up with Dora and marries Ada for her father’s money and influence. Coincidentally, they are all lodged in the same hotel, after Dora’s doctor advises her to move into a hotel to get over her heartbreak. Their rooms are separated by a wall, so Ada hears all of Dora’s endless crying. They become friends soon enough, Ada being totally oblivious of who Dora is. Ada then becomes the bait with which Dora gets her revenge on Max, as well as hooking up with John, Max’s best friend, who, from the beginning of the film already makes it obvious he has a thing for Dora.
Dora is played by Yvonne Jegede, Max by Jude Nkadi, John by Stan Nze and Ada by Pascaline Alex. The performance of the leading man, Jude Nkadi, is not one you’d watch without sighing in dissatisfaction. Nearly every scene has him screaming ‘What!’ for no clear reason, and one can only wonder why Stan Nze wasn’t cast in his stead. Pascaline has a beautiful face but very little talent. Acting isn’t a roll with butter, and it is highly advised that she takes a break to acquire some training to avoid more cringe-worthy acting. Yvonne and Stan do a lot better, but even their performances are not breath-taking. Climax is helped by certain scenes where Dora actually speaks like she has profound lines. Other than this, most of their conversation is cliché-ridden and exaggerated, mixed with accents that try too hard. The writing is weak (grammatical blunders, wrong pronunciations, statements that show no clear research), the story is improbable, nearly pointless, and the title turns out one of the biggest ironies of the year as the film is anything but climatic.
Produced by Felix Nyemike Nkadi, Climax is ninety minutes of world-weariness. It doesn’t entertain, doesn’t impress, and is a tad too basic for the standard Nollywood has set in the last few months. Climax definitely isn’t fit for the big screen, and we can only hope the filmmakers do much better.