Behind a Smile

Behind a Smile

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Behind A Smile ~ 2009
Story – Ojiofor Ezeanyaeche
Screenplay – Frank Rajah Arase
Director – Frank Rajah Arase

Starring:
Majid Michel – Fred
Jim Iyke – Majid
Nadia Buari – Mara
Adaora Ukoh – Maria
Omoni Oboli – Stacey
Jibola Dabo – Chief Darcy
Gloria Young – Lucy
Florence Sunday – Fred’s Mum
Esther Audu – Jenny
Gabriel Okorie – Dr Rex
Tunde Alabi – Dr Sam
Nathaniel George – Dr Ben
Patrick Nnamani – Dr Smith

Themes:
Friendship
Betrayal
Love
Family
Forgiveness
“Saving Face”

My Rating – 56%

Majid and Fred are as close as brothers but behind behind Majid’s show of brotherly love and concern lurks a sinister nature. Majid comes to live with Fred after a sojourn in Span. He comes back broke, with a hustler mentality and in no time at all he has already set Fred up to be robbed.

Fred is engaged to Stacey but when he meets a beautiful girl in a wheelchair who helps him out in a life or death situation they form a strong friendship and consequently fall madly in love.

**********SPOILERS*********

Family Relationships
When Fred breaks up with Stacey he has ruined his family’s relationship with hers, and the repercussions are massive. Because he was employed by her family he loses his job and home as does his mother. His mother tells him,

“You have not only brought me shame but pain.”

The relationship break up is a huge strain too on his own relationship with his family.  When Stacey’s mother throws Fred and his mother out of their respective homes the shame that she feels as a result of the break up is used as a justification,

“Do you realise how many dignitaries we invited to the wedding?”

She would prefer them to marry to “save face” in front of others than look at the fact that her daughter has had a lucky escape from marrying a man that could abandon her in the future.

Stacey goes to go and tell her parents that she is going to get married and gives them an invite at the same time. Wouldn’t any decent daughter have mentioned the fact to her parents BEFORE making concrete plans and printing off wedding invitations?

_____________

Friendship
Friendship is about give and take. Fred takes Majid into his home and supports him in his time of need but when the tables are turned Majid is not willing to support his friend and turns his back on him. We see from the beginning that Majid is not a true friend but what is the reason why he behaves the way that he does? He treats Fred more like an enemy. There is nothing to clue us in on this.
_____________

Why? Mara supposedly has kidney failure and is in a wheelchair not because her legs don’t work but because she is weak but then she is able to go horse riding. She can barely haul herself onto the bed from the wheelchair when she is about to make love with Fred. Would it not have made sense for her to have just walked the three steps to the bed since she clearly is not THAT weak?

Why? Fred is burnt and OMG do the burns look sooo fake! He looks like he has been placed in a toaster with stuck on sores. Reminded me of the black and white Minstrel days when white men would do black face. This was like a yellow man doing brownface!

Why? A lot of the dialogue sounded like Shakespeare being performed on the big stage, which was kind of weird and sort of inappropriate considering it was a modern day movie.
__________

The story started off really well and then it descended into nonsensical chaos which was quite disappointing. In the movie Majid had always been horrible to Mara or ignored her existence when she used to visit Fred at the house so it did not make sense to me that just out of the blue we see him helping Mara and walking her out of the hospital. Huh when did this happen? The last we saw he was rude to her and had abandoned her boyfriend in his time of need.

The next ridiculous thing that happened was Majid claiming to be in love with Mara. Huh? When did this happen? Where was the build up? We never even saw ONE lingering look… NOTHING! Even more ridiculous was Mara supposedly falling in love with him too! Chineke!

The whole thing was so sudden. It was just like BAM Mara and Majid were a couple and having an affair behind Fred’s back. Then we get introduced to Maria and the story gets even stranger, where does she fit in? This is the first we have seen of her. In that sense the build up of suspense throughout the movie was good. The huge downfall is that those questions were never answered. There were questions constantly on my mind:

Does Majid really love Mara?
Or is he using her?
Why did Majid set Fred up?
Why does Maria feel so used by Majid? What is their story?
_____________

I would recommend this movie because on the whole it was wholly entertaining, even the ridiculous parts and Jim Iyke’s thugisms. Major kudos to Majid Michel and Adaorah Ukoh, they were the standouts for me. Adaroah Ukoh is wholly underrated as an actress. She needs to be getting bigger and better roles. I have never seen her fluff up a role I don’t know why she isn’t in more movies and as lead. I did think that by the end of the movie the questions that I had throughout would be answered and to my disappointment they were not. This is where the movie fell down for me. What was the motive behind the characters acting the way that they did? There were so many untied ends. It was as if halfway through the movie focus was just lost.

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4 responses to “Behind a Smile

  1. i enjoyed it…though it became too far-fetched wit all d kidney n bone marrow matches…but in general, it was a feel gud movie…d gud winnin over d bad. cheers!

  2. oh i just looked at d photo of d movie 3 virgins…itz a repackaged ghanian movie titled picture perfect…frm d same producer of life n livin it…gud movie though, just wondered y they changed d name…

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