Movie Review: ‘If God Be For Us’

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Director: Pascal Amanfo

Writer: Pascal Amanfo and Folake Amanfo

Cast: Eddie Watson, Evelyn Addo, John Dumelo, Kalsoume Sinare, Alexander Osei, Pascal Amanfo

“If God be for Us” as the name proclaims is a faith inspired film. It capitalises on a powerful storyline, good actors and sumptuous dialogue to inspire its viewer.

Johnson (Eddie Watson) is a happily married man, with good morals. His marriage is in turmoil and when the film starts he is quarrelling with his wife, Nancy (Evelyn Addo). She is the daughter of a highly revered former Supreme Court Judge, Mrs Anuzia (Kalsoume Sinare). After an argument in their home, Johnson leaves to get some peace but when he returns to apologize to his wife, he finds her dead. Johnson who has built a reputation as a just and honest man is charged with the murder of his wife. His life starts to fall apart. A few people believe that Johnson is not responsible, they are his colleagues Fred (Jose E. Tolbert) and Chief (Salim I. Itaniyi). They both struggle to prove him innocent, Fred gets him a lawyer and Chief uses his influence, but nothing works.

Mrs Anuzia is ready to fight for justice. She strongly believes that her son in-law has a hand in her daughter’s death. Challenging her is Dovulo (John Dumelo) he is Johnson’s Lawyer. It is only when Dovulo’s life is threatened that we find out that there is more to the story than Johnson simply killing his wife out of anger.

From the title of the film, the director, Pascal Amanfo makes a statement, if God be for us no one can be against us! Johnson decides to attempt reconciliation with his wife after he hears his boss has had an accident. It is the first message we get from the film, which is, holding a grudge solves nothing. Anything can happen at any time and we see this play out, when Johnson gets home he meets his dead wife.

The film raises questions about religion, privacy, marriage, faith and truth. People hide under religion all the time. They use it to get ahead, to be famous or to enjoy the goodness that life has to offer but they hardly ever represent what God is or what he wants of us. Johnson is not a strong believer but when his life begins to fall apart he meets a man in jail that preaches to him, he teaches him to believe in God- to have faith. And at the end of it, it is this faith that sustains him; it helps him to be strong, to survive until the truth is revealed. He learns a vital lesson in life at the end of it all.

The purpose of the film is not only to pass a message on faith but on the importance of privacy and maybe extreme secrecy when we have problems. A problem shared is not always a problem half solved. It is rarely so. Johnson and his wife Nancy are known by their neighbours and friends to have a very unhappy marriage. The killers target his wife when Johnson gets a promotion to the financial department. They feel threatened when he decides to launch an investigation into the accounts. His colleagues who are at risk of getting exposed decide to use his marital challenges to set him up; they kill his wife immediately after they have an argument, get him accused and then return as friends who are concerned about his freedom.

Pascal Amanfo is careful not to make his script or the whole film appear preachy or too scriptural. He writes with intelligent care. He strikes a balance between what we believe is “realistic” and the wonders of God which we just can’t understand.  He does not ask us directly to have faith but through the film, he asks us to think about faith. “If God be For Us” is easiest one of the best and unforgettable films that Pascal Amanfo has written, directed and stared in. He knows how to craft good dialogue and that is what makes us happy with this film.  Every exchange between the characters is important. We hear powerful messages from Johnson, Dovulo, Mrs Anuzia, Fred, Chief- from everybody! The dialogue keeps the viewer engaged and most times it inspires reflection. It takes an exceptional writer to accompany a great storyline with a dialogue that is even better.

The glory of the film goes to Kalsoume Sinare in a supporting role as Mrs Anuzia and to Eddie Watson in the leading role. Kalsoume is able to represent a brokenhearted mother but Eddie Watson is the story. His performance is bold; it is heart shattering and he carries the role with a great ambition, an ambition that he successfully accomplishes. “If God be for us” is a soul searing film, mostly because Eddie knew the purpose of his character and he lets us in.

Pascal Amanfo is a good director and he is even better as an actor. He plays the religious man in jail, he meets Johnson and helps strengthen his faith and in the few minutes he is on screen, we see why he reserved the role for himself.

“If God be For Us” is the perfect film to watch in the first month of this promising year. You can catch it on iRoko TV.

 

About the Author

Rejoice Abutsa 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.

 

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