BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
They say everyone is crazy to a crazy person. This plays out perfectly in Crazy People, tilting almost towards excessive interpretation. The 2018 film written, produced and directed by Moses Inwang, has a lot of crazy people in it, or one really crazy person who thinks everyone else is crazy.
A new Ramsey Noah comes to town after an eighteen-month hiatus and declares himself the real Ramsey Noah. And even though he is identical to the fake one, who has managed to steal all his movie roles and endorsements, no one else sees their resemblance except his manager, Lucinda, who joins him in the rigorous search for the impostor. They would go as far as they can, to the police if they have to, to reclaim Ramsey’s life and shame every crazy person who has doubted them. While they are on their own intense search, a certain Regina Oloko and a group of men in white are hot on their heels, and upon contact with the ‘fake’ Ramsey Noah, everyone realizes there is only one crazy person.
The story idea of Crazy People is as original as it gets. But you wouldn’t appreciate it as much as you should, because not only does it drag eternally to get to its destination, it waters down its concentration, its juice, till all you’re left with is a feeling of frustration at how such a brilliant story idea could go to waste.
For the first ninety minutes of the film, we find a repetitive cycle of outbursts from the new Ramsey, how he says ‘crazy people’ in every scene, shouts, hits things, barks at his docile manager, and roams the fine roads of Lagos in his red beetle. It is fun at first, then it becomes tiring, and with a forced attempt at comedy, it becomes annoying.
Thankfully, the last forty minutes make a good attempt at saving the film with the new revelations which are ingenious. In a bid to perhaps flaunt the amount of money that went into this film (I hear about 100 million in naira), scenes that do not particularly move the plot forward and could readily be done away with are introduced into the resolution, thinning down its effect on the audience.
One would think that with the press conferences and releases in newspapers, the other Ramsey, who is tagged fake, would have caught wind of the news and addressed the issue. I mean, this is Nigeria with all the hungry blogs and gossip sites. A tiny whiff of an impersonation of one of Nollywood’s biggest actors and the cyberspace should be agog. But no, Ramsey is completely unaware, and so is everyone in this film until they are told. This doesn’t work well for its believability.
Crazy People features Ramsey Noah, Ben Lugo Touitou, Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah, Ireti Doyle, Sola Sobawale, with cameos by Kunle Afolayan, Monalisa Chinda, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Bryan Okwara, Funnybone, Sexy Steel and Desmond Elliot.
Besides its story, Crazy People enjoys brilliant cinematography, lovely aerial shots, good sound, lots of fancy locations thanks to a decent budget, and fairly good acting performances. Its dialogue is inconsistent; very good in places and repetitively contrived in other places. Mistermed a psychological comic thriller, it has very little comic value, if any at all, but rides on its good, albeit prolonged story, to make it an above-average film.