By Eromo Egbejule
Nollywood great, Charles Novia, fresh off the success of his controversial memoir, Nollywood till November, recently premiered Alan Poza, his first feature film in a long time, on March 10, 2012.
In it, Alan Poza (OC Ukeje) is the suave, narcissistic ladies’ man who is friends with Kokori Oshare (Okey Uzoeshi) and is a label executive at Scorpio Records, an arm of a media corporation headed by the MD (Norbert Young)
Poza schemes his way into the hearts and undergarments of several conquests within and outside the company and his legend is well-known even to Pride Eze (Beverly Naya) barely hours after she joins the company as a senior management staff.
With his lead role performance in this movie, Ukeje rightfully deserves his nomination in the Best Actor category for the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). The titling is a welcome departure from the familiar monotony inherent in the industry and yes, it is easy to get a good laugh from some of the scenes.
But that is all that’s good with this disjointed story, which stymies the potential of its cast and together with its cliché-filled dialogues, is an adventure into nothingness and a glassy showcase of all that is not well with Nollywood.
The character of the main protagonist is at its best, a weak and terrible imitation of James Bond (Pierce Brosnan especially). Barney Stintson of the uber-fantastic How I Met your Mother, would have been a better model. Novia may be a respected veteran but of all the recent home videos this writer has seen, only Desmond Elliot’s despicable showing in a directorial capacity with In The Cupboard is worse.
Reflections of the boom mic and trail most of the scenes and the production designer - if one was hired- must have been asleep on set as the offices and conference rooms are bereft of anything to portray them as part of a big media organization. Adjectives shouldn’t even be wasted on the score which was a fail. Same for continuity.
One can hear a pin drop in the bar scenes which interestingly have less than seven people in all, in each of them. Poza’s narrative would’ve been better as a voice-over, not actual talking; something like Ted Mosby’s in the aforementioned HIMYM.
While it is odd that playboy Poza has pink sheets in his bedroom, it is even more shocking that in most of the scenes in his bedroom, it is the same one that is used! And albeit this is a modern Nigeria where a lot is changing, there is a much better chance of finding polar bears in Lagos than a Sexual Addicts Anonymous therapy session.
For a sex-themed movie, there is not more than one proper believable kissing scene. Okey Uzoeshi seems clownish and rather out of place, like a ridiculously unfunny Dave Chappelle. Kemi Lala Akindoju’s choreography in that one scene that belied her overall not-bad-at-all acting in the movie, is stiffer than dry overage bamboo. Pastor Phillips, played by Novia himself, is a yawn-inspiring version of the typical African-American preacher, best exemplified by Reverend Brown in that oh-so-good classic, Coming to America.
Seeing as this original is worthy of a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture of 2013 nomination and Alan Poza is too superbly exotic a name to waste, a remake from one of the new-age Nollywood directors is needed, a few years from now.
• Egbejule writes from Lagos