Ricordi on NCR

RICORDI is a six-episode long series created by Dianne Russet, ex-BBN housemate and baby girl. For those who do not know, Dianne Russet owns an entertainment hub known as Russet TV. Over the course of two years, she has managed to churn out short movies, and series, RICORDI being one of them.

RICORDI is derived from the Italian word ‘Ricordo’ which simply means “to remember.” It is therefore not surprising the infusion of flashbacks, helps the audience get a hang of what was, and what is, at the moment.

RICORDI tells the tale of love, betrayal, homosexuality, and several other prevalent societal issues. This series is different. It is unique. It tells, albeit subtly, the complications women face in relationships, the homosexual tendencies of people in a country like Nigeria which the society rarely ever speaks of or if spoken about, is done with a level of contempt and hate.
The series does not take the conventional route, and this is applaudable. It unravels a can of “mysteries” which are evident in society but are more often than not, shoved under the carpet.
The series tells the story of different individuals and the different issues they face. Replete with different subplots, the series chronicles the life of Fejiro (Dianne Russet), a 24-year-old model and workaholic.
It also tells the story of the relationship between Adesoye (Teniola Aladese) and David (Abdul TJ); Fejiro and Lamar (Daniel Etim-Effiong); David and Tare (Daniel Abua); Malik (Eso Dike) and every other person.

Fejiro, while she was 18, met Lamar at a fashion show and they both got into a relationship. Present day, six years later, they meet at a dinner planned by David’s mum (Rita Edwards) to celebrate the intending couple – David and Adesoye. However, it was unpleasant as the hatred both of them have for each other could not be contained. Unknown to the both of them, they had lived a lie for six years. A lie told them by Malik who sabotaged their relationship because his sister was in love with Lamar.

David, mummy’s boy, and termed a “soft boy” is
engaged to Adesoye. However, he is bisexual. While he has a fiancé, he engages in coital reverie with his male best friend, Tare. This is an issue that is becoming rampant in society and cannot be shoved under the carpet again. The reality is that there are persons of the LGBTQ+ community in Nigeria, and sooner or later, we will have to live with that reality.

David cuts off ties with Tare after Adesoye finds out about their sexual exploits. Adesoye who is Fejiro’s best friend is heartbroken but decides to continue with the already planned wedding. However, she hesitates to say the words “Yes, I do” at the wedding, and that is where the series ends.

The series is replete with a plethora of societal issues. Homosexuality does exist in Nigeria. This reminds me of Damilare Kuku’s narrative “Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad.” A vast majority of persons who are engaged in this act cannot open up for fear of what the Nigerian society would think of them or even do to them. This is one of the uniqueness of the series – portraying issues people do not want to talk about.

Another unconventional issue depicted in the series is that of women with multiple sexual partners. Society excuses the masculine gender while it bites down hard on the feminine gender for prioritizing their sexual lives and exploits. This is portrayed by Fejiro who wakes up between two men, obviously after a long night of sexual ecstasy.

In addition, the issue of miscarriage is one that society also does not talk about. Statistics have shown that 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage in the first 3months. Yet, not many people talk about this. It is more of a shameful thing in this clime, whereas it is not the fault of the woman.
Also, women losing their lives during childbirth is another societal concern portrayed in the series. Society needs to be oriented on the complications women face with childbirth and thereafter do better, especially with their expectations.

The onset chemistry between the actors is beautiful to see.
Fejiro and Adesoye’s friendship came out as natural as it ought to be. The conversations, throughout the series, were not rushed and the dialogue flowed seamlessly.
I like that effective communication was a thing in the series. The conversation David and Adesoye had in Episode 5; the conversation Fejiro and Adesoye had in Episode 6; the conversation Fejiro and Lamar had in Episode 6. Both parties aired their grievances and were able to reach an agreement that suited them both. Not so many people are emotionally intelligent and can engage in effective communication.

Fejiro and Adesoye’s friendship is one that everyone wishes for. The understanding, the chemistry, the conversations, the subtle jabs, the bond, Touche!

Highlights to look out for in the series include:
Episode 2 – the sarcasm and war of words between Lamar and Fejiro;
Episode 3 – Malik sends Adesoye flowers.
Episode 3 – David’s reaction to Adesoye’s complaints about Malik hitting on her;
Episode 4 – Fejiro meeting with Malik (flashback);
Episode 5 – Adesoye’s confrontation with David;
Episode 6 – The plot twist;
Episode 6 – Lamar pulls Fejiro in for a kiss.

There are scenes I believe could have been better though.
Episode 1 – the last scene where Fejiro dropped the glass cup after seeing Lamar and Malik. As stated above earlier, they tried too hard to create a suspense-filled narrative. In such instances, the glass cup ought to fall from the hand of the character. What we see here is the opposite. Fejiro threw the glass cup to the floor. That does not seem natural to me.

Episode 5 – Who opens a total stranger’s car door and asks for their number in a country like Nigeria? Kidnappers, Yahoo Guys, and you no dey fear for your life?

Episode 6 – the sound was echoing in the background and was not exactly pleasant to the ears.

Episode 6 – In Nigeria, which Pastor wears an Agbada to officiate a wedding?

The casting was however perfect.
Adesoye (Teniola Aladese) is such a natural! It is no wonder she is getting the recognition and accolades that she deserves. She won the Trailblazer Award at the just concluded AMVCA. She is fast becoming the Queen of the Nigerian Series on YouTube.

Fejiro (Dianne Russet) has improved in her acting. From the movie, STORM, to RICORDI the series, you can see just how much she has improved and is beginning to hone her craft excellently well.

Lamar (Daniel Etim-Effiong) is wayyy too brilliant! Give this man his flowers! He embodies his role perfectly, and as usual, he did not disappoint.

Malik (Eso Dike) played a totally different role in this series. From “Game On”, “The Smart Money Woman”, his character is quite different. He was able to pull off the bad boy character flawlessly in this series.

The attention to detail is everything! The arts on the wall, the wedding. The lighting.
At least, in this series, Adesoye’s wigs are way better. (For those who have seen Little Black Book, you know what I am talking about.)
The makeup was checked. It was not overwhelming.

There are not so many highlights in the series. Whilst the series highlighted critical issues in society, it did not quite draw me in. Let us see what Season 2 has in store for us.
I rate it a 7.

Peace out.

Solomon Eneojo

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