MOVIE REVIEW: THE GRUDGE
WRITER: TAIWO EGUNJIBI
DIRECTOR: YEMI MORATA
PRODUCER: FUNMI HOLDER
CAST: RICHARD MOFE DAMIJO, IRETI DOYLE, IFEOMA ANIEBO, ODUNLADE ADEKOLA
YEAR OF RELEASE: 2016
There was something exciting about the trailer of The Grudge. Maybe it was RMD giving that heart-breaking performance at the end of the trailer or preferably it was the eagerness to see Ireti Doyle. We can also say generally, it was just an exciting trailer but I think it was exciting because I saw some of the best Tinsel stars and I just needed to see this film.
Marriages go through challenges and in this age, it is easy to see a couple smiling and tag them ‘goals’ but behind closed doors, they might just be plotting how to kill each other.
The Grudge focuses on two distinct stories. First of all is Tunde and his wife (RMD and Ireti Doyle) after almost ten years of marriage, they are not in a happy marriage. Their marriage is on the verge of crumbling. Tunde is calm, he is trying to make things work but his wife is not interested. She is a workaholic; she appears to us almost as a self-obsessed woman. She seems to be holding a grudge that distances her from her husband, she is not willing to compromise, and she can hardly stand Tunde. They have children that are victims of the parents’ problems. While the couple are affected by their problems, their children also suffer as a result.
We have people that we can confide in; the Tunde’s find that in a colleague and a family friend (Funmi Holder). They both share their problems with her but as we learn from the story, sometimes, it is best not to share our problems with other people. Maybe they will just end up complicating things. A problem shared is not always a problem half solved and the Grudge proves that.
The second story focuses on Taju (Odunlade Adekola) and Chikaodi (Ifeoma Aniebo) they are the opposite of the first family. They are a poor couple. Taju is a frustrated man and for support Chikaodi takes a job with the troubled Tunde’s family. That act connects both families and we learn from their journey. What is at the centre of the Grudge is marriage and how lies, deceit and keeping secrets can destroy families.
The Grudge is a production that brings back memories of old Nollywood, not because of the cast but the story and its execution. It is a film made with the intention to enlighten and pass a message to its audience; it is not merely for entertainment. The Grudge is straight forward, the purpose of the film is established very early and it is an enjoyable film because of the filmmakers’ ability to strike a balance between the type of films we expect to see now and those that we were used to seeing. While it is enjoyable, it is also problematic because we know some of the actions before they play out. It is predictable and almost too serious, even though Taju offers some humour to the production.
The Grudge is relevant especially for married couples and even those that are unmarried; I learnt a lesson or two from watching it.
The actors are impressive, before Tinsel Funmi Holder acted in a couple of movies before finding a home in the long running Africa Magic production, this is her return to the big screen and also her debut as a producer and she makes a good return. Her performance in The Grudge is very similar to the one she gives in Tinsel. We see her go from the lovely woman to a character we can’t really define. RMD does a great job. He plays the character that we see at first as the kind husband desperate to get his wife’s attention and her love, we see him play an endearing Tunde, and we also see his true character get revealed.
There is very little to exalt when it comes to the technical production quality in The Gruge. Visually, it is not an impressive production but we hope for a better job when Funmi decides on her next production.
About the Author
Rejoice is a 21-year-old aspiring Filmmaker and a big dreamer. She’s also a ‘Theatre and film’ arts graduate from the University of Jos, Nigeria.