BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The first film of 2017 was King Invincible, a fine film by many standards, with solid acting and storytelling. It was, for me, a pointer of what was to come in the year, and that pointer was shimmering. But it turned out the year couldn’t deliver much, and King Invincible was comfortably one of the year’s best films. Going by this logic, it is looking pretty grim for this year if The Blind Spot is supposedly the first cinema film of 2018. For a movie starring two of Nollywood’s most sought after actors, the movie is abysmally disappointing.
It follows the story of a couple, Ayo and Ekemini who decide to wait till marriage before having sex. Clearly, only one party is waiting, and while the other, the man, is trying to have his final rounds of sex before committing to one woman for the rest of his life, he is gifted a curse of impotency that begins to play out as soon as he marries his heartthrob. But it really isn’t about the curse, and we find that it is in fact the innocent one who is under a spell. She makes an effort to break it, and does a little too late.
The movie begins with an inaudible awkward love display between the protagonists, especially Ayo who speaks like he doesn’t want to be heard. The following scenes have better audio, but that’s besides the all-important question of whether the scenes are relevant or not. The shoddy transitioning between scenes, the abrupt stops and the editing that could use a lot more work fall into the mix. The sex scenes are tacky and the strippers make you wince. You look around and cannot but commend the Nigerian audience for being so patient. They are sighing uncomfortably at each scene, but they’d rather stay put and hope for the best. And of course, there’s the ticket money to consider.
When Joy the stripper packs to leave, you cannot but wonder if she came with spare clothes for what was intended as a one night stand. For the most part, and because the conflict has been established within the first fifteen minutes, the characters catch themselves thinking a lot, an episode that makes the film tell-y and exhausting. The characters want to move on, but they can’t because there is no story to tell, and the only big twist, which really is a subpar brand of twists, is at the end of the film. So in the meantime, they’d walk around, think, remember, fantasize, complain, and for all intents and purposes do whatever it takes to make this film feature length.
The unnecessary scenes are many, but there are those that make you just want to scream. One is when Ayo rushes out of the house and into his car, while Ekemini watches through the window. He starts the car, the gateman opens the gate, and he drives out. The End. Nothing leads up to this scene, and nothing follows it that makes it relevant. There is yet another scene where Ayo watches as Joy and her boyfriend get in their car, follows them closely as they drive to the supermarket, shop, get back into the car, drive back home, and have the most ridiculous fellatio known to man. He follows them through the entire fifteen minutes within which this is showed, and at this point, you really just want to cry. How can they not see him? Why do we have to watch all these? What in the world are we watching?
The movie stars Femi Jacobs and Rita Dominic as Ayo and Ekemini who try to salvage the poor writing with good acting, but fail. The duo fail at chemistry too, and whatever love they profess is as bland as unsweetened pap. The Blind Spot also features Rachael Oniga and Etinosa Idemudia who plays Joy the stripper. Her lap dance is horrific, and so is her acting. The movie also features a lot of breaking as a way to create some form of action. I bet the trailer is full of such moments, where a television is smashed to the ground, a cup, a plate, a bottle of wine. If only these losses could translate into gains for this film.
The movie is written and directed by Igunwe Alfred Otaniyuwa. There is no better way to put it; The Blind Spot is a bad film in story and delivery, and definitely not a good start for the film year.