BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
This 2017 film directed by Kamara’s Tree’s Morris K Sessay tells yet another love story. Because it is a story of finding love in the most unlikely places, it sits comfortable within the league of timeworn story structures, one audiences have seen too much of, and relies on its other elements to give it freshness.
We are welcomed into the story by a scandal. Romanus the neighbor appears to have touched an eight-year-old girl inappropriately, and her petty trader mother, Ann, has been summoned from her roadside stall to come and douse the fire that has burnt her roof. She flees with all that panic and is relieved when she finds that Romanus had been unsuccessful. But now she is weary. A widowed woman with two children and a roast-plantain-selling business that barely pays, she must now deal with a paedophilic neighbor and the burden of taking her children around to keep them safe. Thankfully, she finds solace in her friend and other neighbor, Mama Charlie, who despite being a pest is kind towards her and her children. And then luck smiles on her again, as she meets this rich customer with car troubles, Malik, who she helps. He is grateful and offers her a cleaning job, one she accepts gratefully.
As is expected, Malik is very kind to her and feelings develop. But again, she is worried about her children are may have to choose them over this good rich man who could change her life.
The angle from which this story is told, despite being a very predictable story, is commendable. It manages to weave in a child molestation message in spite of its busyness, while also tackling love and sacrifice. But what is most impressive about this film are its relatability and easy humor, and how it just flows without anyone trying too hard to bring it.
The actors are up to it. Yemi Blaq, who plays Malik looks and acts his part. He doesn’t sell the sudden love, but he ticks many boxes. Mercy Aigbe plays Ann and, bearing a risk of being too melodramatic with her changing accents, she gives a stellar performance. Blessing Onwukwe as Pei-Pei and May Owen play their parts as antagonists without lowering the tempo. Charles Grandville as Johnson is friendship goals, and creates great chemistry with Blaq. Allwell Ademola gives this film a thoroughly entertaining finish, hers being the best performance of all, as Mama Charlie. And the child actor who plays Susan, Valvina Kamdem, is impressive.
Impossible Relationships begins with a lot of prospects. But as it progresses and falls into pothole after pothole of cliché, it finally resolves like every other love film; rushed and predictable. You suddenly cannot understand why the revelation of Malik’s child should have such an effect on Ann, giving that she too has two children and at the time, they were not even in a relationship. You cannot comprehend how the feelings even came to be, and why they came to be. Several processes are skipped, and we find a handsome eligible man who has regular interactions with ladies of his status, develop feelings for the cleaner that tidies his home. It is not impossible, but it is not believable.
Impossible Relationships manages to rise above its shortcomings, however. It offers entertainment and a lot of laughs, and if you’re a fan of happily-ever-afters, you are bound to clutch your chest and smile as the film ends. Impossible Relationships is written by Abigail Anaba and produced by Morris Sessay and Okenwa Onwuchekwa.