Director; Blessing Egbe
Producer; Blessing Egbe
Screenplay; Blessing Egbe
Cast: Ufuoma McDermott, Katherine Obiang, Omoni Oboli, Kate Henshaw, Kalu Ikeagwu, Anthony Monjaro, Femi Branch, Lillian Afegbai
Blessing Egbe is an excellent Director, Producer, and Writer! She’s proven her taste for good humor by writing and producing “Two Brides and a Baby,” and “Lekki Wives.” Blessing’s new feature, “The Women,” stands out for its execution.
There are a number of Nollywood films that feature women having a getaway and things go awful. Blessing’s movie explores the rivalry and competition that exists amongst women, and although this is an over-flogged narrative, Blessing Egbe manages to create a drama worth watching. “The Women” is bright with memorable dialogue and actions that will be enough to keep the film at the fore when we countdown some of our favorite films of the year.
“The Women” is bright with memorable dialogue and actions that will be enough to keep the film at the fore when we countdown some of our favorite films of the year.
Synopsis: Omo (Ufuoma McDermott) is about to turn 40, and to celebrate, she wants something extravagant. Of course, her birthday celebration is a subtle show-off to prove to her friends she is capable of spending big. She wants a destination birthday, particularly in Dubai. The only problem is that there are some financial challenges that will not afford the reality of her dreams. It forces Omo to settle for a good hotel within Nigeria. Her friends Rose (Katherine Obiang), Ene (Kate Henshaw) and Teni (Omoni Oboli) are all expected for the dinner with their husbands. What should have been a jubilatory night ends up a total disaster. A former side chic lurks around, jealousy intrudes, and secrets are exposed.
Marriages get broken as a result of the revelation of these secrets, but Rose and Ayo (Femi Branch), find their marital strength in the disaster that occurs on that night.
“The Women” proves that the originality of a story can be inconsequential if the execution is excellent. Blessing creates an enjoyable experience with this one. The combination of actors makes this brilliant. Blessing does not give her characters a single dimension. Each character is different, and it is this difference that makes for pleasurable viewing when The Women collide.
Omo, who is the reason for the celebration demonstrates a pitiable history of lying to her friends, and to her husband. The man she marries only knows her true age on the night she is supposed to be celebrating her 40th birthday. Blessing takes time to build up her characters. Before the story reaches a climax, we know there is more to Omo’s lies. We hear her say “I did not lie, I just chose not to tell the truth,” this is after she exaggerates the price of a dress she got for N50, 000 and instead claims it is worth N250, 000. It is this refusal, to tell the truth, that defines Omo. It prepares us for the future of this character.
Rose (Katerine Obiang), on the other hand, serves humor from the first time we meet her. The combination of Rose and Ayo makes for pleasant viewing. She is an overtly insecure wife but she has her reasons, and when we finally learn that she battles with post-partum depression, we understand her behavior through the film.
Teni (Omoni Oboli) is the life of “The Women,” thanks to an excellent performance from Omoni Oboli. She is a celebrity, and exhales crass. She frustrates her husband, frustrates Ese (Lilian Afegbai), a receptionist she meets at the hotel. There is a hurtful explanation to Teni’s attitude but the character would have failed if Omoni failed to handle it with such experience.
“The Women,” works for the story, as much as it does for the actors that execute it; every character is developed dutifully and we never get confused. There is a limitation in the use of sets and characters. “The Women” ends with Blessing rejecting a verdict for her characters. We see some of the men leave their women, but it never truly defines the future for these women. This is what makes it exciting, that we, as viewers, have the ability to decide the future of the characters, and weigh the problems they cause through the film.
“The Women” stretches on the message that many women view each other as competitors. Women have been programmed to compete not co-exist, collaborate or support. What if, as women, we reject competition? The rejection of competition would have prevented many of the situations that occurred in “The Women.” It is a great thing that “The Women” sends a strong message about competition.