Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Deepest of Dreams
Story, Screenplay, Director – Tchidi Chikere
Producer – Azuka Odunukwe
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde – Catherine
Tonto Dikeh – Debbie
Majid Michel – Omar
Geraldine Ekeocha – Mama
Prince Eke – Doctor Orkah
Zubby Micheals – Theo
Azuka Ijomoh – Isziah
Mirabella Micheals – Edna
Yoma Bini – Anu
Frank Greene – Bini
Jennifer Afuanya – Receptionist
Concepts of beauty
My Rating – 81%
Catherine and Debbie are sisters. Debbie is known as the beautiful sister and Catherine the ugly one because of a car accident that left her face scarred and lame in one foot. Catherine is derided by her sister and even perfect strangers based solely on her looks whereas Debbie’s looks are almost celebrated. Things start looking up for Catherine when Omar comes into her life. He stops one day to buy a recharge card from her and actually appears to looks past her physical appearance. They become close and when everything is going great Catherine discovers something that is to shatter her world.
At first this movie reminded me of The Sadist with Clarion Chukwurah (excellent movie by the way. If you haven’t seen it then you should!) but the differences become apparent quite quickly as in the Sadist Clarions character’s disfigurement make her bitter and full of anger and hatred, whereas Catherine always remains sweet natured and caring.
Omotola does a great job portraying Catherine. In one scene Catherine comes across a man that doesn’t flinch when he looks at her and treats her like anybody else and it is beautiful to watch. He even calls her “my dear” which sends her into a jubilant frenzy. She is amazed that for once she is actually being treated as a human being and excited over a situation that so many of us would take for granted. We see her elation in the way that afterwards she takes the notes that he used to pay for the recharge cards and rubs them all over her face, as though trying to remain linked with him in his absence.
When she lies in her bed smiling at night and playing the scene over and over again Debbie cannot understand why she is so happy. Catherine has to explains to her,
“You are used to people calling you my dear. I am not so this means a lot to me.”
Omotola does shy and bashful really well, as well Tonto does arrogant and bratty. As for Majid, what can I say he was true to form, seductive and cool. Omotola gives a powerful performance, especially in the scene where she confronts Omar about her confusion over his intentions. The torture is written all over her when she asks him, “What do you want from me? Why do you make me feel beautiful when I am ugly?” It is a very emotional and touching scene.
When Debbie sees that Omar likes Catherine instead of her she goes to tell concoct a story to her about how he is probably using her for Juju. She knows that it is likely that Catherine will believe her because of her low self esteem. She cannot simply be happy for her sister and the little bit of joy she is receiving from the attention. It is really selfish of her as that is the minimum sort of attention she is sued to on a daily basis and still she plots to kill her joy.
You could tell that Mama loved and cared for Catherine but a lot of the time I think that she was not fully aware of the damage that her words could cause. She would tell Catherine that she is beautiful but then at the same time put her down. On one occasion Debbie reports to Mama that Catherine was smiling whilst working on the recharge card stand. When Catherine arrives home she confronts her,
“Are you a mad girl? One who smiles at nothing?
I was thinking to myself, why shouldn’t she smile? People recoil at the sight of her every day. People would rather wait in a queue and get served by her sister rather than be served straight away by her, relatives actually come and more or less ignore her and celebrate her sister. Why shouldn’t she smile? What a nonsense question? Mama did not ask it like a simple query but rather took what should have been something beautiful and made it ugly by insulting Catherine.
There is also another scene where Mama goes to tell Catherine that Omar is looking for her, when Catherine asks why she retorts,
“I don’t know. Maybe he is looking for a house girl.”
Catherine has to tell her mother, “What if he just likes me or is fond of me. I am a good person?”
Catherine did well to remain sane, I mean, and what hope would you have if your own family are so focused on looks?
It is inconceivable to both Debbie and Mama that a man would want to talk to Catherine unless it is to berate her or turn her into a maid. It is a learning curve and eventually Mama does seem to realise that her daughter can still be a beautiful person be wanted by a man. Debbie on the other hand will not accept that fact and for her everything is superficial and based in physical appearance.
People can be so ignorant, as if they can “catch” a lame foot or facial disfigurement. What harm would it do to simply treat the girl as if she is a human being; after all she is a human being.
I didn’t like the fact that Omar only went for Cathy because she was the opposite of beautiful and the whole rebound storyline. When he betrayed her my heart sunk. In his loving her it was proved that it is what is inside that counts and in him rejecting her that theory was disproved.
With regards to the reconstructive surgery I found it a bit fake that her face was so flawless afterwards. If you have just had those big growths cut off you face there will at least be some scarring. There was not even the slightest hint that she had had extensive reconstructive work carried out on her face, which I found too fairytale like. A bit more realism was needed in that department!
It was nice that Catherine found love in the end with the doctor, so in a way it showed that you can find someone to love you for who you are. However I couldn’t help but feel that by having her have the reconstructive surgery it was sending out the message that perhaps looks are more important than character, personality and virtue. Why can’t there ever be a movie where someone can be loved blind, or lame, or burnt and there not be a miracle cure and they still be loved anyway, after all that is what happens in real life.
I liked this movie a lot it will make you question the way you treat others as well as the concept of beauty. Is beauty skin deep? Does the surface matter? What the importance of physical attraction in finding a life partner? Omotola, Majid and Tonto did an excellent job in portraying their characters. Despite my disappointment in the turn the story took it is thought provoking and well worth watching. Thumbs up! Nollywood Production, Nigerian Movie, African Movie, Ghanaian Actor, Nigerian Cinema, Nigerian Actresses