Tosin Igho’s The Eve, which screened at the Cinemas in Lagos in early 2018, is a prime example of what critics say about the Neo Nollywood.
It’s a far prettier picture than the average, pioneering Nollywood movie. It has a better feel for the glamorous, attention is paid to the music and it speaks with a diction closer to the language of Hollywood.
But it has no message to pass to anyone. It doesn’t care for the story telling. And it is not afraid to be empty.
This is problematic; to sit in a dark room for over an hour watching moving images who really don’t say much to you.
The object of The Eve is an idea; that you could make elaborate plans for a wedding and still end up not getting married. It’s not unusual: it happened in Isoken, (which actually had something to say), but The Eve is one of those movies where the idea is the story (nothing is fleshed out).
With the benefit of hindsight, the hint that this was the umpteenth Nigerian Movie about the Marriage Proposal in the space of 24 months should have prompted the debate: What is it going to say?
SO, BRIEFLY, THESE FOUR HANDSOME YOUNG men head to a seaside retreat two days before the scheduled wedding of one of them. What follows is not only designed in the mould of those American movies in which “shit” happens in some holiday retreat in the couple of days before the Wedding, but there’s heavy copy catting.
The eruption into Acapella singing by the four friends mimic the bonding rituals of characters in African American movies; the first conversation between Alero (Meg Otanwa) and the scheduled groom, Funso (Adeolu Adefarasin) references the tired comparison between the Superman and the Batman and there are hardly any memorable scenes in the entire Bachelor’s Eve party other than sketches of the peccadilloes of Austin (Mawuli Gavor) and, of course Funso being caught pants down, live on skype, by the bride-to-be.
Conversations allow us to get a sense of the back story, to gain insight into characters, and to empathise with them. But the director of this movie doesn’t allow conversations.
“I was the one that burned down the school, not him”, Funso confides to a friend, in one of the several vapid scenes. But how? why? No one asks. It is clear that The Eve needed to have had a robust script conference/workshop before the move to location.