Movie Review: Glimpse

Director: Biodun Stephen

Producer: Biodun Stephen

Screenplay: Biodun Stephen

Cast: Bisola Aiyeola, Okey Uzoeshi

Year: 2016

There is a thin line between faith and fanaticism. Some Nigerians believe that prayer and not making an effort can change predicaments. If prayer was to solve the majority of our problems, our country will be in the top five countries for anyone to want to live in. This attitude makes a film on faith one to watch. How well these films also capture faith for what it is, is important. You can put “Glimpse” on your list as a film that makes an effort to capture faith as it should look on screen. It does not succeed on every level but we can give it a sixty out of a hundred percent.

Biodun Stephen crafts “Glimpse” from a true life story of a couple going through extreme financial challenges and their desperation to have a better life. Simi (Bisola Aiyeola) works at ROK studios as a receptionist, her husband Tefa (Okey Uzoeshi) has been out of a job for a long time, rent is almost due and their young daughter has to return to school. From the first scene, the couple establishes themselves as strong believers. It is this belief that leads to strong criticism from friends and from a landlady that shows up to harass them three months before their rent is due.

The narrative in “Glimpse” has shown up in many old Nollywood features. Men have been without jobs, but with supportive wives pulling them through. What makes “Glimpse” quite different is the element of surprise Biodun Stephen tries to pull at the end of it. This is a narrative that tries to convince its audience of faith. It succeeds. It continually puts us in situations that will make us reconsider our ability to trust. The writer is considerate of her intention to preach faith and is not pushy about it. The tone of this production is not the type that says “you will go to hell” for failing to believe, it is the type that says give it a try.

Biodun Stephen takes inspiration from faith and all the wonders that could come from it to create “Glimpse” but it’s a film we have seen before – in the exact way it is presented.

ROK Studios is there to pass a central message of kindness, but before it does this, it shoots itself in the leg. Its CEO, Mary Remmy Njoku serves as executive producer and had her company at the centre of the narrative. It is the film company where Simi works, it is also where she says she cannot afford a proper meal.  Are ROK staff badly paid that they cannot afford proper meals for their families? Placing the lead character as one of its staff was quite extreme. There are moments in the dialogue that unintentionally water down the company as one of the places to work.

The writer tries to redeem this by devising some moments of sympathy. The staff working there become Simi’s saviours. One lends her some money and the CEO settles Simi’s rent. This does not settle it for me.

The actors make the feature quite endearing. Bisola Aiyeola and Okey Uzoeshi re-unite to perform in roles that will present them as credible actors. They have a chemistry that is easy on the eyes and this makes for good viewing.

The soundtrack for “Glimpse” compiles of many popular Christian songs. The soundtracks used re-inforces the film’s theme and offers it a slight difference. This post-production decision is one of the reasons this film might appeal differently if you choose to see it.

 

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