Movie Review: Perfect Strangers

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Producer: Frank Rajah Arase

Director: Frank Rajah Arase

Script: Diana Diaz

Cast: Okawa Shaznay, Desmond Elliot, Barbara Sokey, Tony Umez, and Segun Arinze

Year: 2017

Frank Rajah loves his thrillers. Even when an attempt at making a thrilling film lacks depth he understands that it can be quite effective if he hires Okawa Shaznay in leading roles. She is fierce, she can also be calm but when it comes to performing in a dreadful role her eyes do all the talking. She can sustain a film that lacks a good plot, she has done it many times, and that may be the reason he continues to hire her in stories that beg to be left alone.

In “Perfect Strangers” Okawa is Anastasia Lawson. And just like it is in “Delilah”, which was also directed by Frank Rajah, she loses a husband that wills all his property to her. She is in charge and so she marries a second husband, William Lawson (Desmond Elliot) they seem to have the perfect marriage, but there is a problem with her. William tries to understand what is going on with his wife and be of help but after she opens up to him, we realize that it is her first plot to getting rid of him. She kills him and a police investigation starts. Segun Arinze is the inspector and he tries to make meaning of the death.

Frank Rajah can release beautiful films such as “Iyore” or “Somewhere in Africa” to the cinema but his catalogue on Iroko TV gives us a different director. A director who is concerned about the art of making thrillers but will also create films that sometimes are difficult to understand. “Perfect Stranger” starts with questions and these questions are there till the credits start rolling. We worry ourselves about the questions this film asks hours after the film, and it is not because it creates intriguing memories but because the writing is difficult to understand. There are many plot twists that happen within the few minutes of the film and they end unresolved.

We meet a woman that is unhappy with her marriage and needing release from the marriage and when she kills her husband we realize that he has offended her by asking his doctor friend to get rid of her womb. We never understand why he does this and what we follow through the film is her quest for revenge. When she finally kills him, she denies to investigators that she has killed her husband even though she admits that she killed a man. It is difficult to decipher what the story is on about, because at the end the film gets more complicated.

As a director, Frank Rajah knows what will take his name far. He understands balance and so he spends proportionate time deciding what should got to the cinema and what should end up on Iroko TV. Delilah was impressive but there are many more films released by the director on the film streaming network that speak so little of his ability to do greatly. We know he can be great but we also know sometimes, he does not mind directing films that are difficult to understand and not because they are superbly intriguing, but because after watching, it is difficult to find a reason why it was released in the first place.

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