Producer: Judith Audu
Director: Uduak Patrick-Obong
Screenplay: Rita Onwurah
Cast: Ifu Ennada, Judith Audu, Ordera Olivia Orji, Yemi Blaq, Femi Branch, Mawuli Gavor
Judith Audu’s “Obsession” is an addition to the endless pile of seduction thrillers.
From the film’s title, ‘Obsession’ is not set for, and does not offer a fresh story. This story has played in many films before: you might have seen the same story with a different cast in the Hollywood movie, “Obsessed” which features Idris Elba and Beyonce, or in “When the Bough Breaks,” also add Moses Inwang’s “Stalker” to the pile. These films have taken fatal attraction as inspiration and very few of them have explored reasons behind this attraction. “Obsession” is your regular fatal attraction story, with no twist nor exceptional dialogue. The director tries though, by offering new and pleasurable actors that make the story worth viewing.
Fatal attraction in “Obsession” exists in two folds; on one side it features a female stalker that has a smooth entry to the home of a man she has long admired. On the other hand, it features a bored wife, who has an affair because of neglect in her marriage.
Aret (Ifu Ennada) ushers us into the story. We see her posting pictures of her favorite actor in her room; Bayo Davis (Yemi Blaq) is this actor. He is having a hard time sustaining the fame and accolades he used to enjoy and must deal with cheaper bargains to feature in films. This keeps him at home, taking care of his young child, with wife, Tricia (Judith Audu). Their marriage seems very happy despite her busy schedule, but when her schedule gets too tasking, she gets help. That help comes in the body of the young and obsessed Aret, who maneuvers her way into the couple’s home. Tricia travels and Aret successfully seduces Bayo. Things get awful when Tricia returns, and Bayo wants out of the affair with Aret. Aret gets crazy and puts a gun to their child’s head.
The second couple: Tega (Femi Branch) and Ene (Ordera Olivia Orji) are married with a child. He loves his work more than he loves his wife. She gets bored and on a night out, she meets Kamar (Mawuli Gavor) a pianist. Innocent flirtation proceeds to a full-fledged affair, when Kamar asks for commitment, Ene walks out of the relationship. He decides to make her pay by kidnapping her young son.
“Obsession” comes at you with red-warnings, we have seen this story before, but we watch anyway. The screenwriter does not offer any motive or narration to Aret or Kamar’s behavior. They are obsessed with the people they are having an affair with, but when it gets too dangerous, shouldn’t we be compensated with a backstory? At the end, we are left with questions, such as: Is Aret and Kamar’s behavior a sign of an unexplored mental trouble or people just get obsessed and then dangerous?
We know how films like this progress and how they end which makes us extra alert, to see if the writer would offer a new twist, but there is none.
Obsession has some high moments especially with exceptional performances from the rising actors. “Jemeji’s” Odera Olivia, who takes charge of her performance in a way that positions her for more lead roles is worthy of commendation. Ifu Ennada, embodies the role of Aret so well, it is difficult to separate the actress from her character in “Obsession,” she is an absolute delight to watch. Mawuli Gavor is quite predictable. While he starts impressive, there are cringe-worthy scenes featuring the actor that begged for a reshoot.
The director tries to withdraw from the cliché romance scenes we are used to in Nollywood, which is a plus for “Obsessed”
I loved the art direction and editing for ‘Obsession,” if you are a fan of the story over the technical offering of a film, you might not enjoy “Obsession.” If you need a fix from unpopular faces making the best of the opportunity given to them, then “Obsession” should be on your radar.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rejoice Abutsa is a 22-year-old aspiring Filmmaker and a big dreamer. She’s also a ‘Theatre and film’ arts graduate from the University of Jos, Nigeria.