BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Since The Wedding Party, Nollywood has seemed to tow the path of weddings and comedy, two elements that made the Elfike blockbuster hugely successful and branded the rest of 2017 the year of mostly mediocre Wedding Party wanna-be films. And just when the frenzy was beginning to wear out, a sequel in Dubai brought it back to life, this time even more colourful and lavish. And so it is on, a spree of wedding-themed films and weddings going wrong. From Bachelor’s Eve, a horrible pre-wedding film, to Mummy Dearest 2: The Wedding, to June; 2018 seems to be towing the 2017 movie path, but worse.
Enter The Eve, the latest addition about a wedding eve (clearly), ready to save the day. In order to add some spice to an already worn theme, The Eve brings in a boy band of Westlife-ic proportions, and a lottt(!) of gorgeous faces, which is never a bad thing.
The Eve tells the story of Funso and Yewande, a couple intending to get married. A day before the big day, the groom-to-be goes to his uncle’s beach house with his three closest friends to celebrate his bachelor’s eve. They meet a group of ladies who live next door and are there for a birthday party. As expected, emotions fly, and Funso finds himself getting attracted to another person. And because Yewande is paranoid and controlling, she refuses to enjoy her own party but calls every moment and soon finds out her husband-to-be’s latest attraction. He also discovers her secrets, and the entire wedding plan crumbles.
The story offers nothing we haven’t seen before. We find their lines just as repetitive as any wedding-related film would be, and the characters just as predictable. There is the ever-crazy friend who puts everyone in trouble (read Wedding Party’s Sola), the sane one who seems to have all the advice (read Wedding Party’s Nonso), and that last one who may or may not be the least respected of the pack.
What works in this film, however, is the burst of colours, the way the theme is portrayed in lovely beach wears and locations that bring nature to life. Beverly Naya plays Yewande, the overbearing bride-to-be, and she does it with ease and finesse, giving the best performance in the entire film without hassle. The original music is also great, even when it is obvious the actors are lip-syncing. A less obvious technique would have worked better.
What does not work in this film is the constant need to bring drama, drama that dies before it is born. The first is when the friends who have just arrived at the beach house are suddenly attacked by robbers. Then it turns out this robbery was staged by ‘friends’, but what happens to these friends afterwards? Shouldn’t they be joining the party? Who doesn’t like a free party by the beach? Why did they leave?
There is a Truth Or Dare game that begs for life, and a birthday party that barely excites anyone but the actors in the film. I mean, watching these fun-loving partyers can put you to sleep faster than a Process Dynamics textbook. I would know; I have seen both.
The Eve features Adeolu Adefarasin as Funso, and Mawuli Gavor, Efa Iwara and Kunle Remi as his friends. Hauwa Allahbura (who doubles as the film’s producer), Meg Otanwa, Ronke Odusanya, Toni Tones also feature.
Written by Tunde Babalola and directed by Tosin Igho, The Eve attempts something different with its music, and this is applaudable. It is an improvement on previous attempts in films like Hoodrush, Alero’s Symphony and Tears In Heaven, and it shows our filmmakers are trying something different. But for this experiment, The Eve would be just as forgettable as the ones before it, lacking fire and wanting oomph. Even the addition of Ronke ‘Oshodi Oke’ Ojo and John Okafor aka Mr. Ibu for comic relief falls to the ground as they nearly do not have roles.
There is hardly any chemistry between all the lovers here, except the on and off sparks of true camaraderie among the guys. Efa Iwara gets major props for the distinctness of his character, and Femi Durojaiye’s one scene role is one you’d have a genuine laugh over. They both bring memorable performances to this table, topped only by Naya’s ‘Funshy’-calling and flawless sass.
The Eve is colourful and ambitious, but its many misses leave its back door open.