Movie Review: Guilty Pleasures

Posted on December 01 2009 , at 06:30 pm
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 guilty pleasures

By Joy Isi Bewaji

There is something extremely gratifying about Ramsey Noah. Whether as a doting husband to Genevieve Nnaji,  a suspicious boyfriend to Dakore Egbuson, or a vindictive friend to Kunle Afolayan, Ramsey’s unfeigned talent is simply admirable.

Last Saturday, I took a drive to the Cinema with a handful of friends to watch, well,  nothing  in particular; until we picked the movie brochure and saw ‘Guilty Pleasures’, the new movie by Desmond Elliot and Emem Isong. Feeling truly patriotic on a hot afternoon, we ignored all the Hollywood hunks and settled for Good ol’ Nollywood Ramsey and Majid, with a dash of Mercy Johnson and Omoni Oboli.

Filing into the theatre, and not so sure if we’d come out and shoot the brains out of the sales clerk at the counter for ‘stealing’ N7,500 (for five tickets) for a shabby movie, our hearts heaved in anxiety and I was certain everyone was praying this Nollywood voyage does not kill our spirit at the end of the day.

A friend whispered, as if reading my mind, ‘but Joy, we can buy this film later for only N200 and watch it on my flat screen nah!’

Too late, we were already seated with sugar-coated popcorn bags, eagerly waiting for the experience to begin.

Omoni Oboli’s ‘contact-lensed’ eyes flushed the screen and the whirl-wind towards a beautifully well-told, well-acted story began.

It is nothing new really. ‘Guilty Pleasures’ tells the tale of a restless, jobless, ex-model wife to a busy executive whose idle hands find some occupation in the bounds of her husband’s younger brother’s underwear!

Majid is the youthful younger brother, full of zest who just arrived Nigeria after a stint abroad to grow his photography business…Ramsey is the husband who finds enough time to kiss his wife goodbye before heading out to business meetings away from town every other day…and his wife is, at first glance, a not too impressive beauty, but as the movie progresses, you fall in love with something about this woman. I am yet to dig up more facts about her, but if this is her debut to the Wood, then we can all get ready for a vixen as impressive as Catherine Zeta-Jones!

She was born to play this part; the slutty, forced-into-sophistication wifey who misses her days as a street-chick, hangs out with friends who drool over the male specie like they are going out of existence, wears bare-it-all costume around town, and is as comfortable with her vernacular as The Queen of England would be with English.

What you would love about ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is in the finesse of the characters, the subtly unravelling of the true story, and the absence of unnecessary or unplanned flashbacks like badly patched trousers (see ‘Distance Between’). Moments of anticipation are captured in such flawless perfection; and gosh, Ramsey who has managed to grow above the Nollywood ‘ahs’ and ‘nays’ into a more ‘Hollywoodic’ gesture of expertise launches the movie into realms of fulfilment.

If you watch Majid kiss his brother’s wife; it is probably the most seductive kiss you’ll ever see (immorality is always such vile charm!). And when you observe the pain of a husband in the eyes of Ramsey (oh Ramsey…) you’ll realise some stars in Nollywood have grown bigger than the parlance they are made to prance about in!

Kudos to Desmond Elliot, and Emem Isong; the lady manages to produce above-average movies, now her hard work over the years is looking really good on screen.

But, I shall not ignore the obvious flop of the movie.

Mercy Johnson remains the vixen we all love to watch. As a matter of fact, apart from Ramsey’s pin-up which I would like to have in my bedroom so I get to kiss it every morning (like Elvina Ibru does to Dbanj’s in ‘Letter to a Stranger’), Mercy is one act who draws me towards any movie I have to watch. Her flawless interpretation is unrivalled and you, most of the time, forget you are watching something far from reality. She is good. Can I say that in another term? She is overwhelmingly believable like a character in a ritzy Jackie Collins novel!

But the plot where she plays alongside Omoni Oboli and a young character who makes no impression on me, is totally mindless! So she ruins a six-month marriage with a silly, clueless young Casanova who seems extremely dull and would need to count his toes if asked what 6+5 would be. What’s the story there?

The film would have worked without that part, yet you can’t help but admire Mercy at work. I mean, the girl was born to be a star even if she still needs to visit the spa regularly! Love her!

Lest we forget, the movie actually started like a narrative, with two women chatting at the airport about their love and lives…but they never got back to that scene. Silly over-look.

Whilst it wasn’t the Premiere of the movie, the hall was packed. Folks couldn’t keep their mouths shut as all the appropriate ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs’ went with every seductive, sinful, sexy scene.

And while I wiped a tear for finally admitting I have a crush on Ramsey, the hall broke into applause as the movie that is yet to be beaten winds to an end!

PS: I loved Figurine. Who wouldn’t? The buzz went on for weeks. But Guilty Pleasures is my kind of movie. Read my book or any of my short stories and you’ll know what I mean *wink*

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