After a long wait, Dimbo Atiya, CEO of Innovative Television Kontents and film prdoucer finally dropped Still Falling the movie.
Uhhhhhh…. you might want to grab a drink and a popcorn because this is gon’ be a long read.
The story is about two major characters —Lagi Gowon and Bonosiaba Kuku, who were lovers during their university days. The relationship was toxic one as the male—Lagi always physically abused Bono. He would beat her, hit her head on the wall, and then slit his wrist and made her lick his blood. Now, I understand there are abusive people out there, but baba, you must be the true definition of a vampire from the beastly etymology for you to perpetrate such an act!! Ahn ahn!
Fast forward to seven years down the line, which is when the plot begins. The characters have had a break up. Nah, scratch that. Not a break up, Bono says he walked out of her life seven years ago. Just like that. Like after destroying someone’s life and esteem through abuse you stand up one morning and leave without turning back? Then you see her sometime later, seven years to be precise, she’s doing very well for herself and somehow you figure you never stopped liking her? It’s the audacity for me. Lol.
For the need for closure(at least that is what Bono describes it as, lol), they both meet up. Bono is curious, Lagi finally comes clean with his true identity. Bono then realizes that she has been lied to all the while. She never actually knew who he was. Turns out he is the son of a popular Clergy— Bishop Gowon, the pastor of a renowned gospel ministry. This exposes his lie of being from a poor family. Lagi is really just a son rebelling against his family and the church-typical prodigal son.
You see it’s how this line would later be used as an excuse for his beastly abusive characteristic that I do not understand. So typical. Lol.
After coming to make these discoveries, Bono resolves to have her own pound of flesh. Her friend Kore who apparently knows her so well figures that indeed it’s revenge Bono wants and not closure. She tries to warn her about it especially because she knows she may end up falling again for him but Bono is resolute—”It’s the demon that I know over the angel that I don’t, especially when this demon is now becoming an angel.”
Lagi and Bono get back together in a relationship. Lagi is now born again(so he says). Bono learns he will soon be ordained a pastor and she finds it a perfect time to strike. Some nights before his ordination, she invites him to a club, makes sure he has so much to drink then gets girls to take pictures with him in the most compromising positions for a soon to be Pastor. Lagi unsuspecting falls for this plot and even has sex with Bono the night before his ordination. On the day of his ordination, Bono releases pictures from the club and it results in a social media scandal. Lagi’s ordination gets cancelled and he now falls back to drinking. Bono meets him at the club and reveals that it was her who set him up and it’s been her plan all the while. During their confrontation, Lagi tells Bono that she never cared to know his side of the story—the reason for his action—”I was in pain. I was rebelling against God, my father, my family… you were just caught in the cross fire.” The confrontation becomes intense and Lagi attempts to hit Bono but holds himself. He storms out then comes back a while after(the drag in this scene was totally unnecessary).
Forward all the way to when Lagi realizes he’s now hopelessly in love with Bono. He tries to get her back with him but she isn’t down for any of that. He resorts to stalking her. It is in this process of stalking that he saves her from a rapist. In an attempt to apprehend the rapist, she discovers he is Tunde Bada, the son of the Inspector General of Police which makes him untouchable in the Nigerian society(so messed up.SMH). She also looses a major contract as a result of this because she divulged too much information to the wrong person. After this episode, Bono becomes reclusive because she feels like she had returned back to the same cycle of hurt that favours the perpetrator of a crime rather than the victim. In the midst of all things, she finally gets the closure she’s been looking for after a conversation with her mom. She then decides to forgive Lagi but finds about his death the day he was going to call him to tell him. His ghost however comes to have a final conversation with her before bowing out.
Now that you have read the synopsis, let us get into the critiquing shall we?
For starters, I must commend the production team of this movie. The costumers especially. Excellent work! The videographers also did an excellent job with the scenery. Really good stuff. The editor, great work with the choice of playlist, really amazing, I stan but ejor uncle or aunty what was it your played at the funeral, the theme song? Who plays such songs at a funeral emagbamike!! Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful song, wasn’t just fitting for tgat cens
Now to those part of this production that wasn’t so fitting…
Who wrote this script???? For real, I want to know. I mean this scriptwriter had to be given this job a few days to the deadline because what is this half baked story? Where was your stance in the arguement? What plot technique did you intend on employing or what ideology was it that you were trying to establish? This story had so many questionable stances.
Like Amplifying Victimhood and suffering. The story didn’t favour the victim’s peace or healing. It simply sought means to arrive at a stereotypical conclusion. Like making Bono go through what she went through 7 years ago again just to project back the “recycled trash” in her life and make her run out of plausible options by demonising the Tunde Bada character and making Lagi a hero again. Why didn’t you simply project that it is more beneficial for a victim to let go of the hurt and forgiveness of the past for their own good and growth rather than having to go back to her abuser? Killing the character Lagi toward the end too was very unnecessary. It left the victim so much guilt thinking her forgiveness may have turned things differently…—amplifying suffering. As it was, the character Bono already had so much, why create more baseless conflict? Maybe if this was narrated in another way, it would have been a success, but in this way that we have come to see it, it wasn’t such a success.
There was also the desperate need for the script writer to redeem the character Lagi. Why? Now I understand that we are progressive beings as humans and that people deserve second chances generally in life, but we do not see the true change of the character Lagi, just a mask under being “born again” and pastorhood. He was still an egoistic, short-tempered, self righteous character who wouldn’t flinch to take advantage of people, as we see in his relationship with his “egg frying” friend who obviously likes him(but knows it won’t work). And he not paying attention to her only to come out of the blue and decide to “get to know her better” even if he knew it wouldn’t lead anywhere. He is the ‘love when convenient’ person.
The aim of this review isn’t to biasly call out the flaws of one character but I see no reason why the Tunde Bada character had to be demonized just to make an abuser a hero. Like pick a stand, you’re beginning to confuse us, are you making arguments for or against him? How can you say he’s now changed yet he doesn’t portray those characteristics. Is your argument for the fact that an abuser can change or that even when they say they have changed they are just under a guise? Please explain.
There was also this balancing of plots going on. Now I don’t know if to categorize this a genius idea or a flaw. But it was present. For every possibly annoying scene, there was a complementary one that supposedly pacified the viewer. For example when Bono gets her desired closure after series of helpless heartbreak. Another is when Lagi’s ghost comes to have a final word with Bono and hands her his aviators badge. This sort of warms the heart of the viewer.
There is even a contradiction with the religious foundation of this movie. Being produced by Entertainment Tru Christ, and having forgiveness as a major theme, it is expected that you see the adherence to the ideologies of the Bible to the latter. The portrayal of ghosts is not according to the Christian Bible. So even though I enjoyed the whole ‘thunderman away!’ moment when Lagi disappears, this was a clash of ideology. Another reason for my confusion in this story.
Generally the story had too many loopholes. But it would be unfair to not point out the fact that the movie ensued so many natural dialogues. Like with Bono and her bestfriend Kore. With Lagi and his two married best friends, and even with Bono and Tunde Bada. That is highly commendable.
Naturally, I would speak about character’s and acting earlier but it was left till this point for a reason. Simply put, I expected more with the acting. Even the celebrity features didn’t deliver as expected. Sharon Ooja especially, her delivery was poor, lower than the standard she had set with all her other features. In my opinion, the best acting was done by the character Kore.
So yeah, though this movie had so much hype to it, it didn’t deliver as expected.
Thank you for staying till the end of this looooong review. Lol. I hope to see you soon. Until next time, stay safe, stay jiggy.