Movie Review: All Shades of Wrong

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Producer: Biodun Stephen

Director: Biodun Stephen

Screenplay: Biodun Stephen

Cast: Bimbo Ademoye, Femi Jacobs

Year: 2017

Biodun Stephen is one of the best storytellers in Nollywood at this time. Her stories grab your attention, they are dynamic, they move back and forth, they are both positive and negative and you’re able to empathize with the characters involved.  She has mastered the craft of telling genuine Nigerian stories. Typically, she explores themes that mainstream Nollywood has ignored for too long; from child molestation, illiteracy, domestic violence, poverty to single motherhood. She is proof that a film has to have one good thing standing for it. Technically, her films do not stand out, but she has exceptional stories that will sustain you and those that will have you passing recommendations to other people that have not been following the filmmaker’s productions.

“All Shades of Wrong” is the filmmaker’s latest directorial effort, after 2017’s “Tiwa’s Baggage”. She is also credited as Writer and producer on “All Shades of Wrong”.

You will set out watching this production thinking you are watching a love story between Barth (Femi Jacobs) and Liz (Bimbo Ademoye), but some love stories have complications and this is one of those extremely complicated love stories.

Barth visits his Aunty in the village, she has difficulty training her kids as a single mother. This inspires Bath to sponsor his niece, Ese, through her tertiary education. Soon after, we meet Barth’s girlfriend Vic. They have a really good relationship. Good enough that he sponsors her for her Master’s in the U.K. Good enough that while she is away, he does not cheat on her, despite advances from his ex-girlfriend. While attending to Vic’s needs, we question the promise Barth made to Ese and her mother, but a man in love will focus on the need of his lover first.

Liz (Bimbo Ademoye) returns to Nigeria to an excited Barth after two years of study in the U.K. We wait for the next phase of their relationship to kick off, but Liz wants out of the relationship. It instantly hits us as one of the regular stories of a man investing his life’s earning in a woman he intends to marry, and afterward, she wants out of the relationship. “All Shades of Wrong” is more complicated than that. Complicated in a way that we will not spill important details for those of you that intend to see this. Complicated in a way that starts an important conversation on the problem of Obsession and the power of wealth in the face of lack.

This is another production that will be loved by Nollywood fans. It will get people sharing personal stories. It will get people thinking about the possibility of such grossness. It will do a lot of things to its audience and one of those things is, it will inspire us to react. We look out for films that leave us with an experience, and this does it.

Despite all of these, the film is not all shades of right, it struggles with accuracy (continuity). Liz travels for her Master’s degree, she returns with the same hairstyle she left with. Which means, she used the hair throughout her stay in the U.K. 2 years precisely! Also, she returns to her abuser and sounds excited about the return, but soon after, there is a change in behaviour.

With serious themes of domestic violence, incest, child abuse/rape and poverty being explored, Biodun tries to explore all of these themes in one feature but does not totally capture the extent of the damage each of them play in her narrative. “All Shades of Wrong” concentrates too much on making us believe that Barth and Liz have a perfect love story before choosing to flip on us. The time spent on establishing their relationship could have been cut short.

More Nigerian films should explore the existing problems in our society and it is refreshing to see Biodun Stephen lead the way.

“All Shades of Wrong” starts an extremely important conversation that should not be swept under the carpet. Biodun Stephen gets an A, not because her film is perfect but because it insists on exploring a topic we are not comfortable with.

 

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