First off, a big shout out to the late Kabiri Fubara. His story reminds me of the late Chadwick Boseman. Their fight with cancer and all of which they had to go through. May their gentle souls rest in perfect peace and may God continue to comfort their loved ones.
Fractured is an Ndani original that tells the story of a modern-day couple – Femi (Kabiri Fubara) and Teni (Eku Edewor) who, despite their love for each other, are unfortunately caught in the web of one of the greatest issues that placate the institution of marriage – infertility. However, this movie is somewhat unique in the sense that it sheds light on the issues that emerge as a result of the man being the cause of infertility in marriage rather than the woman.
The movie begins with a romantic scene, one that seems to be the celebration of Femi’s achievement at work. Femi opens a bottle of wine, and they exchange drinks for a while before Femi swoops his beautiful wife in his arms and carries her into the “oza room” for Bedmatics 101 (iykyk).
The scenes following this first one brings to the fore the issues that the couple face. After a home visit by her mother-in-law, Teni is morose and consults a specialist. After a series of tests, she is assured that she’s perfectly okay and able to give birth. The same could not be said for her husband, however, who after a series of hesitation eventually goes for a test and is told he has deficient sperm. Subsequent scenes reveal a selfish, egoistic, and patriarchal Femi whose sense of real masculinity is flawed. After several nudging and series of encouragement from his wife, Teni, he eventually opts for surgery. Unfortunately, this did not solve the problem.
The last scene is symbolic as it reveals exactly what the societal standards are for women in marriage. This scene shows exactly that the marriage between Femi and Teni is fractured and there just might be no way for a realignment or repositioning that would cause them to be the two lovebirds as seen at the start of the movie.
I must confess that I harbor some level of sentiments towards Kabiri and Eku. Kabiri, while alive, was such a brilliant actor. He embodies his roles and executes them seamlessly. He has a way of expressing his exact emotions. Everything just seems etched on his face. Eku, of course, is such a beautiful lady and for her, I have something called an “attraction bias.” (Don’t blame me. My name is Solomon.)
The short movie is one that is didactic and portrays a typical Nigerian society. A society that expects couples to give birth almost immediately after saying their vows and if that’s not the case, automatically, the woman is to blame. Here is why I stated earlier the twist that this movie brings – the man is the cause of infertility in the marriage.
Another cliche portrayed in the movie is the role of the mother-in-law played by Toyin Alausa. The moment I saw her name on the screen, I knew she was going to try to be funny. Here is one thing I think Nollywood tries to pull off in almost all the movies they churn out these days – comic relief. But then again, life tuff, the country hard, who seriousness epp???
Also, the stereotype that comes with the name “Femi.” I mean, every girl must have been warned to steer clear of the “Yoruba demon” who goes by the name of Femi. I laughed when Femi tried to show off to Teni that he had once impregnated a lady and there was just no way he was the cause of infertility. He pretty much reminded me of “Zeke the Freak” in Steve Harvey’s “Think Like a Man.”
The movie examines critical issues playing out in society, especially in the institution called marriage.
Femi never would have thought that he was the one with the issue, neither did his mum. In one of the scenes that showed the height of the conflict in the movie, Femi says to Teni…
“There’s a list of things I would have been prepared to hear … like your ovaries are damaged, or your eggs don’t work, or our chromosomes aren’t compatible…”
This suggests that he would have been better if he weren’t the one with the issue. In this scene, we see the selfish and egoistic Femi come to play. However, these sides of Femi are not fully his to be blamed for. In subsequent lines, he says…
“I’m the man! I wasn’t raised to be the kind of man that’s a victim. I wasn’t raised to be the kind of man that’s vulnerable.”
This shows a flawed perception of what real masculinity is and projects exactly what lessons and thought patterns are being ingrained in the minds of men, especially young adults.
Another moral lesson that the movie portrayed is the oneness of the couple. They were able to stay together through it all, especially because of Teni’s resilience and belief in her husband. This was short-lived though. The last scene, as stated earlier, is symbolic. The thoughts of Femi and Teni were aligned, and replies were forthcoming until Teni asked…
“If I was the one who couldn’t give you children, would you stay?”
Femi’s silence and inability to answer the question exactly reveal what goes on in society today. If it’s the man with the issue, several excuses are made for him. However, if it’s the woman with the issue, several “agendas” begin to “agend.”
One thing I must commend in the movie is the styling. The choice of costume, the interior decoration, everything blended so well to give each scene such finesse. I however think Eku could have looked much more beautiful because she is. (Nmueeh!)
In conclusion, the movie embodies what the title is all about – FRACTURED.
Femi is broken as a result of his inability to father a child; Teni is broken because she never thought this would be her own “Happily Ever After” – a marriage with no kids of her own; Their union is broken because of the impossibility of childbearing; The society is broken because of the flawed perception of masculinity and wrong standards set for persons in marriage.
I will rate the movie a solid 9/10. Beautiful. Didactic. Insightful!