Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Before The Rain ~ 2008
(Continuation called Dangerous Beauty)
Story – Eriobi Chibuzo Sunday & Nwegwu Chinweike
Screenplay – Chidi Chijioke
Director – Ikechukwu Onyeka
Van Vicker – Fabian
Chika Ike – Anita
Tonto Dikeh – Mercy
Desmond Elliot – Raymond
Halima Abubakar – Meg
Ene Millex Ogiri – Nneka
Princess Eugoda – Mimi
Udolisa Uzoma – Morris
Chika Ihekwabu – Anita’s mum
Mary Igwe – Oby
Amaechi Aguiyi – Meg’s mum
Chukwuemeka Akpagu – Melvin
Chubozor Umeh – Chidi
My Rating – 40%
Mercy and Anita are two girls from poor homes from the same village. They both gain admission to the same university and become roommates. Their relationship sours when Mercy’s jealousy gets the best of her. Mercy is holding a grudge because Anita has a boyfriend, and she does not. She does not like the fact that Fabian likes her friend and not her so she sets about spreading on campus that Anita has Asthma in a bid to stigmatise her.
In time Anita does get her own boyfriend, however one of the “Social Ladies,” a cult on campus has their eyes on him and she is warned off him by them repeatedly. She does not adhere to the warnings and consequently is stripped and beaten in public. She flees campus humiliated only to return and reinvent herself and the fearsome and notorious Mercy Blaze.
The primary fault with the film is the storyline. It is a big big problem in that the storyline is based around Anita’s illness which is … Wait for it…. ASTHMA! When have you have you ever heard of someone being stigmatised because they have asthma? An adult at that? This was pure nonsense. It is a condition that they say affects up to a quarter of urban children, and in the movie it was likened to leprosy.
Anita wants to keep her asthma a secret from the whole school, but her friend Mercy decides to go spreading the news around school. All of a sudden people are disgusted by her and shy away from her. The disease isn’t even one that shows intself in one’s physical appearance, or one that is contagious, or even one that can be passed on at all so this was just stooooooooopid. There was no research done in this movie. I am not even asthmatic and I know how and asthma pump is used. They have Chika grunting, rolling her eyes and pressing the pump furiously with no deep inhalation or method to her action. It was horrible to comedic effect.
One day her boyfriend Fabian finds her in her room during an attack and cue wide eyes and dramatic music. I mean WTF? It was as if he had caught his church princess shooting up heroin. From that moment on he begins avoiding her. This could have made sense if the affliction was HIV, or herpes but for it to be asthma was just senseless. We then learn that he dumps her because his ex girlfriend died of asthma. We even see a flashback where he is remembering his ex’s death. The death scene was ridiculous. It looked like a panic attack and then she just dropped to the floor.
I was surprised that Tonto had her butt crack and kebab out during the scene where she gets stripped and beaten by the Social Ladies in an industry where when a girl is going swimming she is wearing a swimming costume over cycling shorts and a bra. I don’t know what was with the extra highlighting of Tonto’s body in this movie. There is another scene where she goes to try and seduce Fabian, played by Van Vicker. She is wearing some orange shorts and we get a close up of her camel toe… ugh!
The women in the movie have no shame. I suppose females like this exist. They are fighting over men that openly don’t want them. The head of The Social Ladies beats Tonto for dating “her man” Larry. Of course Larry is not her man and has no interest in her. He even goes to confront her and make it clear that he is into Mercy and not her, yet she is still ranting, claiming him as her own. Status has given her a sense of entitlement. She does not care if he wants her or not, getting him to comply is her main thing, whether or not he truly wants to be with her or not.
Stand out performance was Tonto Dikeh, as usual… She played her part brilliantly. I was also loving Ene Millex Ogiri. She was the perfect casting for her role as a Social Lady. Van Vicker – Blah. Chika Ike – Blah. Adequate but bland performances.
I would not recommend this movie. It doesn’t end and then like me you will end up wasting another few hours of your life going to watch the continuation Dangerous Beauty, another 2 part movie. However, it is not all bad, some of it is so ridiculously stupid it will have you in hysterics. There were also some very good isolated scenes like when Mercy’s parents show up on campus looking like village rats and she denies them. Build of mystery was also good in parts, even when I thought the film was veering on ridiculous I still couldn’t help but to keep on watching. So it’s up to you!