CATCHING UP ON “DEAR AFFY”

Posted on Posted in Movie Critiques

What an elder can see sitting, a child cannot see even atop a tree. Mike’s boss (Jide Kosoko) refuses to be convinced otherwise that Mike (Eyinna Nwigwe) did not sleep with Anna Duke (Bimbo Akintola) to get all the benefits their company now enjoys. At first, he seems like a dirty old man with his insistence, but later, it is clarified that he is only speaking from experience.

This and many more instances in the movie win in the area of suspense, most especially the suspense of Affy (Kehinde Bankole) trying to find out who did her “evil”. There is particular suspense with Obiora (Williams Uchemba) as well – with the audience loving his clowning character, his integrity is set to go crumbling down, till he is thankfully vindicated.

“You are cheating on my boyfriend…with my boyfriend…on me!” might have been an erroneous statement from the actress probably meant to read as “You are cheating with my boyfriend on me”, but the supposed frustration of the situation at hand qualifies the former as the rightful choice of words, and also for comic relief. Another instance would be when Mike shouts in Anna Duke’s office and says “I will ruin your life like I did you…like you did mine!”. The jumbling of words feels like a genuine burst of rage, and these are highly commendable to establish the moment, and also for comedy.

Affy means Affiong, and is useful in establishing that she is sexually skilled like people from her ethnic group (re: bridal showers). Asides this, who really is Affy?

The movie generally is an interesting drama-filled story peppered with a good attempt at indigenous comedic dialogue.

However, the filmmaker shoots itself in the leg with the movie’s name and prologue. A story told in this manner doesn’t feel right if the rules of engagement are not duly followed. Why should any audience care that an inconsequential diary is being kept with a blog? “This one needs serious advice”, really? Where did any real help ever come from this blog in this movie? Who the hell is this narrator (Toyin Abraham), and why is she important?! She is not even the so-called blogger being written to but a fellow reader, even if this movie likes us to think the opposite! If Affy’s friends are reading people’s comments, let us know. But they keep referring solely to the blogger saying “she’s responded…she’s still typing…” while our supposed blogger/narrator is just as shocked at the comments Affy’s friends read out. Why try so hard to confuse the audience you want to entertain?!

There are also a number of other executive roles given to some celebrities (Chinedu Ikedizie, Adekola Odunlade, Fathia Balogun…) most likely to increase the rating of this movie in the Nigerian scene. Their inclusion is funny and handy for the moment to establish comedy, but they are not very necessary. Though, their acts are applaudable in the area of talent showcase.

It is understandable that love happens to anyone and at any time, but for the sake of Film and to eliminate all forms of love cliches, it would have been nice for us to know what unique and original attributes exactly Mike sees in Affy that he doesn’t see in any other woman, and why he is so dedicated to his oath of celibacy.

The movie might be attempting to recommend this kind of lifestyle to the youth in our contemporary world, especially with how “perfect” Mike’s bookie friend appears to be, but, hey, be realistic. All the things that Affy seemingly showcases as her virtues are not even the slightest acknowledged by Mike, not in any subtle way. So, what is it? Nobody, not even Mike’s friends, gets any closure on his matter.

Mike’s blackmailing antics appear to be far from realistic. A woman as experienced and wealthy as Anna Duke, in real life, cannot accept this sort of weak defeat so easily. Anna makes no move to discuss with a lawyer to view her options – there certainly should be options against such a slippery scheme. Even the basic “it wasn’t me” could suffice! Moreso, we are not sure why Mike’s company now has the upper hand. Again, this movie might be trying to make a huge leap towards battling sexual harassment in the corporate field, but falls head first, as a thorough background job was clearly not done.

In addition, for someone with the age and experience of Affy, and with the way she establishes this at the start of the movie, it is difficult to believe that she would handle heartbreak in the manner that she does. Affy has turned out to be virgin-like, not by her celibacy, but by the way she handles Mike’s unfaithfulness. Nigerian women with the same kind of past and experience, and who are now celibate would not handle this same experience this way, no matter how slow anyone is.

The kind of experience Affy claims to have should harden every aspect of her mental being. This movie only shows that there is a false mix of various kinds of women in Affy.

Also, Affy’s apartment seems a bit way off her league in comparison with the kind of car she drives.

Affy, therefore, is not realistic.

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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