YEAR OF RELEASE 2016
FEATURING BAYRAY MCWIZU AND ALEX EKUBO
You know the story of the unmarried woman. She is almost thirty, single, without a relationship and miserable. It is, of course, a stereotype and an assumption that every woman that is almost thirty and single is miserable. There are women in the world that don’t care. There are also those who also feel miserable. The pressure to get married before 30 is captured in this movie, starring Bayray Mcwizu and Alex Ekubo. This time, it does not feature the pressure from people around the woman, it follows the pressure the woman puts on herself.
The story follows Ada (Bayray Mcwizu), a beautiful and successful on-air personality. The first scene introduces us to Ada and it is her birthday but she is unhappy. She is 29 years old and for Ada it is nothing to be happy about. Despite her success and her wild fan base, she feels unsatisfied that at 29, she is single and miserable. Ada causes this misery on herself. Even when her listeners from her radio station call to wish her a happy birthday, she cuts them off. She is unhappy when her friends call to wish her a happy birthday. Ada is just unhappy with everyone around. The problem with Ada is not the society. The problem with Ada is Ada. When she tells us her story, there is a flashback; her boyfriend Sam ended their relationship abruptly, his attitude changes all of a sudden despite the fact that they were having a good relationship. This leaves her broken, especially after she finds out that he left her to start a relationship with a girl she hates.
I love the story in this film, mainly because it does not blame society for the pressure that women go through to get married. It features a rare perspective of how women pressure themselves because they are unmarried. As the lead character of the film, Ada, says in the film, she is not satisfied with her career because she is unmarried. There are many women like that in our society.
While the film has a beautiful narrative, the film shoots itself on the foot by blaming Ada’s lack of a spouse on the fact that she has a nasty attitude. We see this nasty attitude in the film. The problem is that we are tired of the narrative that blames the woman’s attitude for her inability to have a husband. Fact is, good people get married and bad people get married too. A man is never featured as unmarried because he has a bad attitude, it is always the woman. It is time for this narrative to change. Ada’s desperation leads her to an attention seeking game with a complete stranger. Ada meets a man at the mall and she sticks around just to meet him again. She eventually bumps into him and they exchange numbers. She calls him and the second time they meet she proposes marriage to him. That is the rate of her desperation and she is just 29 and not 38. Ada has a nasty attitude but there are worse women that are married.
When women are unmarried before thirty, they are told to change their attitudes, behave better. I would like to see a film that features the narrative of the unmarried woman but with focus on the woman’s choice, rather than her flaws. What if she is not ready or she does not want to marry those that have proposed marriage to her?
Another problem with the film is the title, “29 and Miserable”. Did the filmmakers consider other names? 29 and Miserable does not do it at all, with the story we get, I would expect them to be a little creative and think of other names for the film but the name is enough reason to be discouraged from watching this film. That does not mean you should not watch it though. It is a good film, it makes quite an effort.
The film relies on specific locations, mainly Ada’s compound and her office. Which is a good thing for a film which is on such a low budget, it works for what they had. The scenes seem familiar in a good way. The sound could have been better.
The acting was commendable from most of the actors. The problem here is Alex Ekubo featured in the same recycled role he is used to. I will like to see Alex in something else; he is always the lover boy. Time to switch things up, Alex.