Author Topic: LONELINESS GETS A DROP OF WHITE WATER  (Read 2409 times)

Offline furtune

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« on: June 13, 2008, 12:09:55 PM »

Loneliness has a new name, Melvin Williams (O.C Ukeje), is rejected by his parents because of his inability to ?pass? in school.

He was sent to his grandmother (Joke Silva), in Amori village, and, over the years, shuttling to the village Doctor to get his Grandma?s Asthma drugs helped develop a gift which he would, under the mentorship of Coach Samson (Kpt Tony Akpom), harness to become a champion, something definitely new to him.

Withdrawn, meek and mute, until he is gradually brought out of his shell by Nolah (Rita Dominic), a long jumper, whose encouraging words and ?secret place? gives him the mental release to face the world and overcome reproach and rivalry from Banji (Alex Jibril), a Co*ky star sprinter who wants to get Nolah by any means.

An underdog/sports/romance/coming of age drama, Director Izu Ojukwu does a good job piecing together the different fabrics of these genres to make a decent movie.

Making use of a relatively new cast mixed with the experience of the ever golden Joke Silva, and Rita Dominic who was miscast for her role because she plays a long jumper since she doesn?t exactly look athletic. O.C Ukeje impresses in creating a lovable protagonist, he justifies his Amstel Malta Box Office crown in his first lead role here.

Save for his slight but noticeable northern accent, Alex Jibril?s portrayal of the arrogant Banji, a Yoruba (deducing from the name) was nice. A simple story about determination and overcoming stereotype and rejection, White Water is message-laden but the screenplay could have been better.

While a decent sports movie should be a first around here, White Water plays out like the typical Hollywood underdog story, complete with the girl, the rivalry, the victory and a whole lot of predictability, except with little humour, save for the scene where girls were mimicking Banji at the sports centre.

It was obvious from the moment he ran his first race that Melvin was going to become a champion, if we had to wait an hour to see it happen, it had better been worth it.

Within that hour, Melvin, unwanted in the group, is set up to have stolen from Nolah by Banji, who feels threatened because she is attracted to Melvin. It is all too obvious that Banji must have been responsible for that.

Shot in the environs of Nassarawa and Plateau states, a location which gives it its award-winning cinematography, the ambience is beautiful and the picture is truly crisp and breathtaking.

But while it is rightly rewarded by AMAA as the best cinematography, White Water doesn?t get it all right.

The local government sports centre, where most of the races take place, looks like a secondary school with a big field and no sports facility, not something the local government Chairman should be proud of, and expects results from a national sports festival.

Most of the athlete extras were just jumping up and down, doing nothing really. The use of a real sports centre with real athletes, really training, could have redeemed that. The D-days, the states and national sports festivals, where all the local governments in the state and subsequently all the states in the federation meet should be a somewhat big event that should at least attract a little crowd.

The state championship was so sparsely populated, that even school inter-house sports competitions pull more crowd than that. The National Sports Festival also suffered, although a bit less, in this regard, a closer look would discover that two separate footages of the spectators were used.

You can see spectators leaving the stadium when Coach Samson is celebrating Melvin?s victory in a race that would crown the winner the ?fastest man in Nigeria.?

These may, however, be forgiven as challenges of shooting a live action sports event. But when the stadium announcer introduces Banji as Banji Odukoya, while the television displays his name as Banji Bello, one feels low of a movie that won the AMAA for best Sound.

White Water doesn?t really depart from the stereotype ?Nollywood? romance movie but goes a step further to include ingredients of other untapped genres.

Coupled with the beauty of the Farin Ruwa waterfalls and Massange and Ampidon villages, this movie seems to kick-start a new era in the Nigerian movie industry, an era where new, untapped horizons in film are explored like Izu Ojukwu does here.


« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 09:21:00 AM by furtune »
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« on: June 13, 2008, 12:09:55 PM »

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