BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Treachery (2017) parades three fine faces on its poster, faces that don’t make you think before you press play. There’s the gorgeous Nancy Isime looking like a plate of fried rice and chicken, flanked by Ghana’s finest, Mawuli Gavor and fresh baby-faced Wole Ojo. If these aren’t motivation enough to watch, I don’t know what is, even when the ensemble and title already seem to tell the whole story.
Treachery is about an affair, but you know that already. Remi is the classic grass to grace story. He is an orphan who meets and falls in love with a billionaire’s daughter, Ife. He begins to work for Ife’s father at an oil and gas firm. He meets Ovy one night and they hit it off becoming best buddies, then he introduces Ife to Ovy. Six months into their relationship, Remi and Ife get married. Then Ife begins to act up and make advances at Ovy, who turns them down at first, then yields. At work, Remi is Ovy’s boss, and they have a number of issues with theft and the government. Just when Remi decides to take stolen money and flee with Ife, Ife turns her back on him and Ovy and betray them both, running away with the money to Ghana.
The predictable story follows the same pattern of everyone losing in the end to a taxi driver, a complete stranger Remi opens up to about his plans. Many holes peek left right and centre, beginning from the very first scene. Why would you tell a taxi driver so much about yourself, including your fraud and theft and murder plans, as well as amounts of money you’d soon be having? Makes absolutely no sense. We also aren’t given a reason for Ife’s sudden change towards her husband. She is a rich kid, so money can’t be her drive. She just suddenly starts crying on her wedding night, and then begins to cheat, but it isn’t love for Ovy either, or she wouldn’t have killed him. Muyiwa Aluko, the writer and director, seems to have a good idea but veers off course with his story in a bid to create a twist.
Nancy Isime as Ife is enchanting; however, her character is too familiar, as it is a role the actress seems to have mastered playing. Movies such as The Script, Hire A Man, Gidi Blues, This is It have seen her act similar ‘bad girl’ roles, and the viewer is tempted to think roles like these are all she’s capable of. Wole Ojo as Remi is forgettable. His pain and joy are expressed the same way, and adds to what dampens the movie’s pace. Mawuli Gavor doesn’t show his undying affection beyond his dialogue lines as Ovy. He is charming, but he doesn’t make us feel anything from his character. Rotimi Adelegan of Hush plays the big man role of Ife’s billionaire father. Kweku Elliot lightens up the mood a little with his funny Twi expressions as the cab driver.
One cannot but wonder why a person running away for good will go to nearby Ghana and expect not to be found. The lovemaking scene where Ife grabs Ovy’s crotch is painful to watch. The gunshot exchanges are improbable and eye-roll-worthy, and so also is the strangling scene. For one who is shot on the chest, Remi remains strong, talking like he would over a cup of coffee and clutching a chest that refuses to bleed. And what with the many “I can explain”s splattered over the dialogue like garnishes?
In the end, Treachery leaves you checking the time and waiting for it to end. It falls short in its writing and acting, and gives us too little to enjoy.