10 days in sun city

AY’s 10 DAYS IN SUN CITY **SIGHS**

Posted on Posted in Movie Critiques

In this movie, Bianca (Adesuwa Etomi) is nothing but a damsel in distress (and also a bimbo); Otunba  Williams (R.M.D), nothing but the usual over-privileged business mogul, as Akpos (AY) himself fails to be saved by his own supposedly witty goof.

In this movie, Sun City is nothing but a tourist city, and Monica (Mercy Johnson) and Falz are nothing but pointless fillers.

Stereotypes from past world movies, and AY’s as well.

Are these enough to say that this 2017 movie is nothing but mind-numbing?

THEME

How do I put it now? Let me try: this filmmaker appears to be on to something, but all that is perceivable here is nothing but child’s play; even primary pupils can do better with their school drama –after all, there is usually a detailed morale of the story with them.

Here, there seems to be an attempt at morale, but it fails to come fully fledged, and leaves the audience wanting in the areas of Love and Sacrifice, Hustle and Success, Depravity, and Good Versus Evil.

  • It is not clear what point Bianca actually starts loving Akpos. Have they been feeling each other all along when she was acting all goody-two-shoes? If so, it is not established in the movie; there should be at least a moment earlier to establish this – it helps with suspense. Although, it is pleasant to notice the first time she actually shows feels for him when he starts flirting with some tourist ladies(?), this is still not enough. Akpos, on the other hand, proves time and again his unflinching love for Bianca, but his state of mind is a little confusing/misleading to the audience in some areas – for a broke hustler who is so much in love with Bianca as to refuse millions of dollars and an American passport, and who has been viciously protecting her all along, it is too easy for him to be as flirtatious with other women as he is – double standards with no real message; not fair enough, and leaves some female audience members with the feeling of no hope of ever finding the “perfect” man.
  • Akpos is a confirmed hustler, and would go through thick and thin to make it in life. A few motivating ideas can be observed in this movie by the average Nigerian man to encourage him to look to the sky as he perseveres. Akpos perseveres, and is successful, even beyond his expectations, and this is very inspiring, despite the fact that Bianca is his major selling point. But hey, we all need to have a selling point; all we need do is identify it, like Akpos did Bianca.
  • Money and Power intoxicates and Otunba Williams appears to fall victim to this, as he allows himself slide into depravity which is the reason for his downfall. Though, here, the filmmaker might have gone deeper to help the audience really understand why this character came to be this way.
  • There is the idea of good overcoming evil in the end, but it is only with Otunba Williams’ downfall that we realize why it is always good to be good. With other characters such as Monica and Falz, we never see a downfall with what they are established as. Or is this filmmaker insinuating that it is good to be a prostitute, and it is good to auction all your body parts for immediate, non-emergency gratifications?

At some point also, it almost feels like this movie is going to be about sex-trafficking as well, but, then, it starts and ends with Bianca’s open suspicion in Act One. It probably would have been a winner if well established, as this movie seems to not have a grand theme.

On a more serious note, is it not inappropriate (illegal?) to tear an international passport on screen, especially for a flimsy, ridiculing reason? Someone, please clear me on this! 3/10

PLOT

In Act 1, Monica, Akpos cousin, who also chooses to be fancy-called Monique, first reveals to the audience the lifestyle of some apparently-unemployed-yet-wealthy-ladies with her introduction of the first Otunba to Bianca. It is established here that Bianca is not that kind of person, as she shows zero interest in the Otunba. However, there is a turn of events with Bianca, as she slightly considers when Otunba Williams starts to show interest in her in Act 2 – manner of approach. Brilliantly plotted!

It would be nice to see a number of other before-and-after moments like this with the featured characters of Act 1, for example, Yomi Casual and Falz.

Is Yomi Casual thankful he decided to take the risk to cloth Bianca, a nobody? What did this sponsorship do for him? Did he cloth Bianca in Sun City? Did Otunba Willams give him any other job(s)?

Similarly, what did Falz do next when he realized he couldn’t sell his second kidney without dying? It would have also been nice to see him miraculously appear in Sun City, mingling with other characters with his body-part ulterior motive in mind – just saying.

The movie has no clear identity of genre; what it starts with is different from what it ends with: a dramedy turned action-thriller, having rural originated pageant beauty, Bianca, skillfully break bottles on heads, and having to deal with sporadic gunshots, alongside village champion, Akpos.

Otunba’s cosmetic company nearly has no presence in this story, apart from times where it is mentioned publicly as part of an event. It is not even established what products this company produces; we never even see a sample; the products are not even used as a basis for conflict at any time.  Clearly, the filmmaker knows not what to do with this concept, and any other company with inkling for photo-sessions could serve as a substitute here. I bet it is clear what this means.

Furthermore, it is quite painful that Sun City, itself, is totally uncalled for in this movie, considering that it is also a part of the movie’s title. This, alone, makes 10 Days in Sun City extremely naive. There is no real story in Sun City in this movie that couldn’t have happened here in Nigeria; all the fun and play that are included in this movie, because Sun City has a number of exquisite tourist sites, are not exactly story based. However, I’ll list out a few favourites:

  • Bianca getting lost in the vegetation maze;
  • Akpos changing the songs played in the club to a Naija hit (a more bubbly song could have sufficed, though);
  • The Safari expedition;
  • The Zoo visitation where Bianca feeds an elephant nuts (?).

It is a pity to imagine, though, that fun was considered more important to this filmmaker, while on his way to Sun City, than logic. 3/10

 

CHARACTERIZATION

One thing that might be a little unbelievable in this movie is how easily a grown up rural lady, Bianca that is, can fit into the lifestyle of city in just presumably a few days or weeks. There is not much of the Warri personality about her. Understandably, this might be the reason Akpos handpicked her, being that she’s different, but that clause needs to be highlighted and resolved in some way. She speaking pidgin in Sun City, saying she doesn’t understand what Kim K is speaking, just once in the car, with Kim K there, does not really help. She’s almost flawless every other time, as she makes no fool of herself at all, not even when she is awed by the Sun City scenery for the very first time in her life.

Also, I hate to think that the name, Kim K, was inspired by Kim Kardashian, especially as the full meaning of Kim here is also Kimberly, but I’d just go with the flow, considering Kimberly acts otherwise corporate here. There is not enough knowledge about her to understand what really went down between her and Otunba Williams that she has to warn Bianca about him, despite her seemingly detailed explanation. Or maybe it’s just the movie not showing enough background detail about Otunba Williams.

Similarly, her ex-boyfriend cum ex-convict. Maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t enough time to squeeze in valuable detail about the history of his supposed martial arts, and whatever the world he needed to work with Otunba Williams for in the past. He seems more like an after-thought; a Hollywood actor who probably agreed to feature in the movie during the shoot already. At the point of his imminent introduction (i.e. we seeing his current girlfriend at the pub), the script starts to get too off, as it forces itself into the action-thriller genre.

Seeing that there are no after plans for Monica and Falz, and not much relevance of these characters right from the last time they appear in the first act, wouldn’t it have been a good idea to have them scrapped out entirely for story-sake? Certainly, they do add some flavor to the project as a whole, but this is a movie, as the filmmaker claims, not a parody. 3/10

 

DIALOGUE

Enough with the Akpos jokes already! This is 2017, we want something fresh and with a hint of genuine intelligence. When Yomi Casual says “I’ll take the risk” and Akpos responds with the joke “this one nor be bobrisky o….” in an attempt to be clowny, I pondered about it and came to the conclusion that this dialogue was just rhyme, nothing more – no meaning. This is how Akpos keeps blabbing cringe worthy jokes with no apparent deeper meaning. Though, it is important to say that only a few of his jokes are on point.

There are a number of South African natives whose only role in this movie is to speak Zulu(?) to confirm to the audience that we are really in South Africa, so it appears, seriously?! These characters just pointlessly come and go with no added real importance! Whatever happened to Kim K and her ex-boyfriend cum ex-convict’s accent? They do not even sound slightly South African at all! Let’s imagine they are not South African in the movie, any explanation for that?

Thank God for Otunba Williams, I wonder if the audience would have ever been granted any form of modernity in terms of standard Nigerian English language delivery, even if sometimes it appears he is sounding American, especially when he says “awwww”.

Generally, the language in this movie is unsuitable for a wider audience, owing to the fact that Akpos says most of the lines, and they are, in fact, in concentrated pidgin.

The subtitles are also most times more confusing than what can be deduced from the visuals. It would have been nicer to have Akpos speak sparingly if he is the protagonist and can only speak this way. Not catchy at all the way it is. 3/10

 

PACING

Apart from the short duration of this movie, which invariable should set the movie’s pace at premium, a few catchy moments keep the spirit of the audience high, but these do not stop this movie from being mindless anyway. Some hype moments would be:

  • Bianca getting lost in the vegetation maze;
  • The Safari expedition;
  • Other tourist engagements;
  • The point where a slow Tuke chases a car in a supposed high speed chase;
  • Mannequin disguise of Akpors;
  • The effective use of Akpo’s catapult;
  • The comical way 2Face Idibia runs for his life in a shoot out (could have been more comical, though)

The pacing would be ace if the movie really didn’t need more development. I imagine that the filmmaker didn’t want to exceed 1 hr 30mins, yet had a lot of his details to fill in. Well, it sort of worked.

Though, the audience sometimes find themselves waiting for a dialogue or an action sequence to get over and done with because of the stereotypical nature of this story; this, unfortunately, might have made the movie a little slow paced too. 7/10


It is a very interesting piece to audience of such following, but would have required more brilliance to get to the point the filmmaker most likely wishes it be – more international.

Generally, I sincerely doubt South Africans would like this piece, seeing that the movie dwells a whole lot on how Nigerians are winning in South Africa. It would be nice if there was a balance. Not a political statement; just logic. I wouldn’t like it if people from another country did the same in Nigeria.

This filmmaker might just have unknowingly aggravated issues for Nigerians living in South Africa with his movie. Just cannot stop imagining how desperate his South African partners would have been to agree to such story, so much that they also agreed that it will be appropriate to tear an American passport on screen.  19/50

PERCENTAGE: 38%

GRADE: F

Isedehi Aigbogun, also known as ISD, is a staunch academic, holding a B.A., M.A., and PhD (in view) in English Language.

She’s a Screenwriter, Screenplay Analyst, Consultant, and Film Scriptic.

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