BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Set in London, UK, this 2017 directed by Niyi Towolawi tells the story of a Nigerian Doctor, Sola Daniels, his wife Adesua, who is a legal practitioner, and his mistress, Linda, who is a professional pest. Adesua travels with their nine-year-old for one weekend, and Sola gets together with Linda who becomes obsessed with him. She demands that they continue the affair even after his family returns, and while he is reluctant, she doesn’t let up until she gets pregnant. Then she goes full throttle on her quest to ruin his home.
If I had a penny for every time I saw a storyline like this, I would be a billionaire already. I would have a thousand for the times I saw Rita Dominic play the role of the other woman. The entire story, from start to finish is like a popular nursery rhyme; everybody knows it. It doesn’t help that the dialogue is very on-the-nose and stretched either. Even in places where the screenwriter attempts to be witty, the conversations are largely unnatural.
Coupled with its predictability is the story’s glaring lack of direction. Desecration is going the expected way, then stops in its track and says, “Well, let’s switch this up a bit”, and throws in an irrelevant character with very little acting talent or makes an unbelievable change in a character’s character.
Adesua, played by Nicola Alexis, is a bore half the time. At first, we cannot hear what she is saying, then we finally do towards the middle of the film, but it is uninteresting so we trail off. Linda, played by Rita Dominic, is unnecessarily erratic, and for no real reason. One minute she is being badass, the next she is crying for attention. It is a struggle to keep up. Rykardo Agboh plays the typical friend in every movie who speaks loudly in pidgin, womanises loosely, and has weird advice to give. He even bears a typical friend name, Richie. And Joseph Benjamin is cast as Sola, a mostly confused man. As a doctor, he struggles with his lines so much we can tell he isn’t a doctor.
Uninteresting as the characters are, the acting is only slightly better. Joseph and Rita are perhaps the most outstanding as expected from their wealth of experience, but even their showing is not one of their bests. Child actor, Angela Agala, really impresses with her character. She is smart and articulate and believable, something of a rarity with Nollywood children actors. The rest of the cast are basically hits and misses. An audition would have done this film a lot of good as it appears the only qualifications for the foreign actors were their skin colour and British accent.
The pacing of Desecration is extremely slow, and the film has no climax whatsoever. It starts leisurely and ends uninterestingly, and leaves the audience lethargic and feeling cheated of their lofty expectations. Errors abound in this one too; Joseph Benjamin wakes up after sex with all his clothes on, including his belt while the woman beside him is naked. It is confirmed that they had sex; who dressed him up while they both were asleep? What is the relevance of the Yoruba woman and her dying teenage son? This duo is given about three scenes for no real reason. Adesua’s boss at work who keeps talking about cases of no serious importance is also given too much relevance that doesn’t add to the story.
The camera is shaky in places, and the sound is poor. The only thing that seems to work for Desecration, written and produced by Bode Odetoye, is the fine picture quality and choice of location. Everything else is hogwash.