Movie Title: The Women
Year Of Release: 2017
Cast: Omoni Oboli, Katherine Obiang, Kate Henshaw, Ufuoma McDermott, Kalu Ikeagwu, Femi Branch, Tony Monjaro, Gregory Ojefua
Director: Blessing Egbe
“The Women” is a movie centred around the lives of four women who (supposedly) happen to be very good friends. There is Omoh (McDermott), a competitive woman who is particular about making good impressions, even where she and her husband Maro (Monjaro) are in the middle of a financial crisis; Rose (Obiang) who has a high sex drive, never seems to get enough attention from her husband Ayo (Branch) and finds it hard to keep her mouth shut about anything; Teni (Oboli), the high-society lady with a huge chip on her shoulder who is always quick to throw her social weight around; and Ene (Henshaw), a gossip who is not exactly proud of her rich, plus size semi-literate husband Chibu (Ojefua), and fills in his “inadequacies” with the family chef.
Notwithstanding their financial difficulties, Omoh convinces her husband Maro to host a weekend party at an exquisite hotel for her 40th birthday. She throws invitations to their three friends and their husbands, who oblige her. However, the weekend getaway becomes an emotion cauldron of sorts, as the atmosphere gets tense and each woman subtly tries to outclass the other, in the face of grand scheming and dirty big secrets.
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Away from the issue of marital fidelity, the movie explores a number of subjects, including unhealthy competition in friendships, honesty and marital compatibility. The film also touches on the subjects of age difference in relation to marrying older women, the right to choice in pregnancies, and mental health in marriages.
Based on the plot of the movie and roles therein, “The Women” provides a big chance for Ufuoma McDermott to shine in a leading role, and she somehow blows it; her acting is too mechanical, and her role interpretation is hard to watch, particularly when it comes to the dialogue. This is Omoni Oboli’s third feature film in 2017, and the fatigue seems to take its toll on her acting, as there are portions where she seems to try too hard, but she holds her own nonetheless. Katherine Obiang spices up the cast with her effortless humour and a bit-over-the-top acting, but the same cannot be said for Kate Henshaw, who for all her pedigree, happens to be a virtual no-show here. Ojefua’s comedic sequences light up the movie, Femi Branch is a bit of a balancing act, Tony Monjaro’s acting seems forced but he aces the role of oblivious husband nonetheless, and Kalu Ikeagwu, who plays Teni’s husband Bez, does not seem to have too much to do on this one.
The movie itself starts slowly, but eventually picks up and maintains a decent pace up to the closing credits, though one cannot help but feel that the twists and resolutions were arrived at a bit too quickly. The dialogue is worthy of commendation, but the sound engineers deserve some talking to; they could have done a lot better. A big chance to dwell on the issue of post-partum depression is passed up too, and that part of the film does not get the attention it deserves.
“The Women” in general reinforces the cliché that a gathering of ladies is always a tense and complicated one, but clichés wouldn’t be what they were if they were not valid truths in the first place. The movie has its rough edges, but it is a more than decent effort, it will cause genuine giggles, and movie goers should add this clip to their schedule.
Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy, Oshodi.tv, The Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper. He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.com