BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Imoh and Munachi are in love and they keep inventing ways to show each other this. Love is on their faces, in their words, in their actions and intentions. Then Imoh has an accident that renders him brain-dead and Munachi’s world comes crashing. She gives all that she has to keep him alive, and then gives more than she has; her passion for her work as a screenwriter, her radiance, her cordial relationship with family (because they insist she should let Imoh be euthanized and gone for good), and contributions from everyone who cares enough to send a token.
People around her keep moving on with their lives, but Munachi feels stuck. She meets Yemi, a doctor that assumes responsibility for Imoh in his unconscious state, and because Yemi is so easy to talk to, they become good friends, until they both get carried away one night and have sex. Not too long afterwards, Imoh comes back to life, but a love triangle has been created, and Munachi must decide where her heart really is.
While the story isn’t particularly original, the execution is a beauty. From the way the love story of Imoh and Munachi is shown, you are rendered a devoted believer. Munachi’s frustrations after her husband’s incident come clearly across, and at the point where she begins to scream at him in the dark, you nearly cannot help shedding a tear or two. Falling engages you emotionally through its entire run, making you feel for each individual differently and nod in understanding of their plight. Their lines are also profound and superbly written; you find Munachi making witty retorts more than twice on different occasions. Yemi’s personality is distinct with an air of light-heartedness. There are absolutely no clichés in the dialogue, and if one is to applaud anything at all about this film, it would have to be the screenplay, written by Uduak Isong Oguamanam and Anthony Kehinde Joseph.
But there’s also the brilliant shots, the ones of silhouettes, of little lights, the drone shots, the shots that evoke emotion all by themselves. Niyi Akinmolayan does a fantastic job as director and makes the most of the beautiful locations. The eatery advertisement is subtle and very well done.
The movie veers off course at some point as it focuses for too long on Munachi’s father and his new wife, but doesn’t really go anywhere. The scene where they make love is unnecessary and at best, a time filler. Munachi’s reactions immediately after the accident are unreasonable. It is hard to understand why a grown woman who sees someone in a coma would ask why he isn’t looking at her, or bring oats for him to eat while still arguing that it is ‘just oats’. It is a stretch of the gloom of loss and it doesn’t work. The on-set scene with the shouting director has no script and is painful to watch.
Falling stars Adesua Etomi as Munachi. She is a delight and doesn’t hold back on the romance, in a way that makes Munachi utterly believable. The switch in her character is amusing, considering how determined she is at the beginning to stick with her husband ‘for better for worse’, and then a year later, she is seen kissing another man in her living room. Her character portrays humanity in its truest form and gives the line (which ironically was said by her) “Forgiveness is divine, we are only human” some reality. Blossom Chukwujekwu as Yemi embodies his role with brilliance and makes the viewer want to keep listening to him talk. Kunle Remi plays Imoh. He plays love-struck well but doesn’t sustain moody well enough. Tamara Eteimo plays Tina, Kofi Adjorlolo plays Munachi’s father, Lota Chukwu and Deyemi Okanlawon play important roles, and Desmond Elliot makes a cameo as himself.
Falling leaves the big question unanswered. What happens to Yemi? He knows he has a child coming and a baby mama he is head over heels for. Will he just accept the choice of playing second fiddle when he was outright seduced by Munachi? Will there be custody battles when the child arrives? Will Yemi go rogue and disturb their love-filled marriage out of jealousy? Will Imoh relapse into his mood swings and throw the baby against the wall in a fit of rage on one of his off days? While it isn’t expected that the film would answer every question that pops in the viewer’s head, the resolution seems too easy.
Falling is a 2015 romantic drama produced by Uduak Isong Oguamanam.