BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Sobi is the typical playboy who thinks he is a gift from God to all women. He outrightly uses them and then forgets them, and when he meets them again, thinks of how to reuse. One night, he misses, and in his humiliation meets a woman who is bold about her attractions. They have sex, but then she asks him to leave afterwards, claiming dissatisfaction. Sobi’s bloated male ego is bruised, so he keeps looking for the mystery woman in hopes of a rematch, which she grants when he finds her. He realizes he cannot get his mind off her, so he keeps chasing and she keeps running, calling herself Mystic and being mysterious. In an alternate world, Mystic’s look-alike is Aida with two children and a ‘husband’ who seems to be cheating. Sobi chases Mystic till he finds Aida, and realizes there are two different personalities in one body.
If I said anymore, I would say the whole film. And while the story is original and sounds exciting, it doesn’t exactly play out that way. The thing about movies that keep the audience guessing up until its last moments is, while this builds suspense, the big reveal must be worth the wait or the viewer would never forgive the misused time investment. As a matter of fact, he would leave with a grudge, especially if not just time but money (or data as the case may be) has already been invested as well.
This is the feeling you nearly get after watching Sobi’s Mystic. Yes, the story makes you wonder who the two women are, and how they look very alike but don’t behave alike. But the performances of one, of Mystic, constantly get on your nerves. Aida is a typical mother running around to take care of her kids, but Mystic tries too hard to be sexy, slurs her words, squints her eyes, moves slowly and portrays herself in a manner that seems forced. Sobi, on the other hand, is badass, but quickly turns to jelly, perhaps unrealistically. One night with the woman and you’re in love? You probably weren’t as bad as we thought you were.
And what is a lead without a friend who keeps trying to meet up? Enter Dafe, played by Emem Ufot, the married but playboy-ish friend. Sobi and Dafe’s relationship comes off contrived, of one man being bossy and the other being a sycophant. Ufot brings humor to the table, so his character is a welcome addition.
Kunle Remi is Sobi and does a lovely job at it. But it isn’t a role we haven’t seen him in, so there’s no surprise here. Mofe Duncan is here too as Fowe, a loving father and widower. It is hard to not notice that both men held key roles in Biodun Stephen’s last two films, Tiwa’s Baggage and Ovy’s Voice. One cannot also ignore the titling patterns of all three films, which in both interesting and creative. Bukola Ogunmola is fantastic as Aida. As Mystic, not so much. Her ability to juggle both roles earns her a hat tip still.
The soundtracks of Sobi’s Mystic are well-done original songs of real life artists performing at a club. These are a major highlight. The attention to detail in terms of the changing cars and phones between the present and the past are also commendable.
Inconsistencies show up. We wonder why Mystic was driving at daytime if she only got a chance to be Mystic for one night every month. When Sobi says “I believe in both parties being certified…” instead of satisfied, or when he says “Why did you do it?”, “Do what?” “Had kids-” instead of ‘have’, you jump in your seat. A line like, “You run. I like” is so ill-fitting and eye-roll-worthy when Mystic says it. Generally everything Mystic says is that way.
Sobi’s Mystic works slowly and repetitively towards the big reveal in the end, so much that it doesn’t give us so much without it. And the reveal isn’t bad, it just isn’t as big as we anticipated, leaving us parched. Written, produced and directed by Biodun Stephen, Sobi’s Mystic combines good music, fair acts, an imaginative story and a disappointing resolution, and winds up an average film.