Tag Archives: Darlene Benson Cobham

Obscure Motives

Obscure Motives

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Obscure Motives ~ 2009
Story – Rukky Sanda
Screenplay – Rukky Sanda, Darlene Benson Cobham
Director – Ikechukwu Onyeka

Starring:
Bimbo Akintola – Narrator
Jackie Appiah – Debbie
Ramsey Noah – Robert
Rukky Sanda – Remi
Susan Peters – Mary
Cassandra Odita – Albert’s Sister
Yemi Blaq – Albert
Peaciman Akpata – John
Chris Abamba – James
Jemila Amaegbe – Lawyer
Bisi Ajayi – Doctor
Temitayo Ojekunle – Nurse

Themes:
Jealousy
Revenge

My Rating: 76%

Robert and Debbie have been together for 4 years and it is only during their anniversary lunch that Debbie summons the courage to speak to Ramsey about ending their relationship. She has come to the realisation that even though she cares a lot for Rob, she is no longer in love with him. It turns out that he feels the same way and so they agree to separate in terms of their romantic relationship, but to still live together as friends and flatmates. They also both begin dating again.

Early on Ramsey meets Remi and falls in love with her. Jackie on the other hand is a dating disaster. We see her on a date with a man who even answers the phone during their date and answers the phone, “hey honey.” It turns out he is married and never even thought to mention the fact. Her luck changes when she meets Albert who turns out to be Robert’s good friend from university. He comes to the house but their initial interaction appears tense like there has been bad blood between them.

Very soon the two couples are inseparable. They are all the best of friends and any hint towards the tension that was initially apparent dissolves.

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

Bimbo Akintola is very good as the narrator, but I personally did not see the benefit or the point in having a narrator. It did not necessarily hinder the story but it did not enhance it either.

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I loved the concept of the movie. It started out as a beautiful portrayal of support, friendships and relationships. Although it descended into madness and chaos and a complete breakdown of the relationships, the original message still stood strong for me. It showed that the end of a romantic relationship has not always got to be heartbreaking or represent the end of an era, but on the contrary it can represent a good learning experience and the beginning of a new era. It also shows that (to an extent) males and females can have a platonic relationship when the boundaries are drawn.

The twists in the movie were unpredictable. It was this unpredictability that kept you glued to the screen, guessing as to what would happen next and getting it wrong. In the end we discover the true reason for the initial animosity between the two through a series of flashbacks. It is amazing that Rob pretended to be best friends with Albert for so many years, only for the purpose of wreaking revenge against him for an offence Albert committed against him during their school days. Debbie was only a means to an end and his love for Remi not strong enough to battle his hate for Albert.

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The chemistry between Yemi Blaq and Jackie Appiah was flat. She looked like she didn’t even like him much, so it was a shock to me in the movie when I thought she was going to break up with him when in face she was mustering courage to tell him that she was pregnant. The lack of chemistry may well have been intentional to show how she was not really over Rob, even though it had been a mutual decision to break up.

I liked the way that the character of Robert was developed. All too often we see a character like Robert in Nollywood that is one dimensional. He will either be a fully bad guy and we won’t see any good side to his character. This never makes sense as how will he be able to have these women adore him and he has no good side? Then we get the character that is all good that turns all bad just like that, with no transition. There is no reasoning behind their actions and we cannot empathise with them because there is nothing about their manner, behaviour or actions come across realistic. With Robert even though he did a bad thing we can empathise with him because we see how Albert’s betrayal affected him. We also see that he was essentially a good guy that just never got over a bad thing that happened to him and most of us can relate to that because we have been there. We may have not hired hit men, but we may have had crazy thoughts that we never brought to fruition.

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I would definitely recommend this movie. I thought this was a good solid effort from Rukky Sanda. I didn’t know what to expect with the slating of Lethal woman, and the accusations of full plagiarism of Martin Lawrence’s A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. However, I must say that I was impressed. Even the title matched the film perfectly. Until the very end of the movie when Rob is confronted by armed robbers his motives are completely obscure to us, the viewer. The one thing that worked against the movie were the long dialogue scenes that were interspersed throughout. They were entirely too long. There is absolutely no need for a whole 4 minutes of watching people sitting round a table mouthing words against the backdrop of loud background music. It is boring, and doesn’t tell us anything more than you could have interpreted in 30 seconds or less. Other than that… was lovin it!

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Sweet Pain

Sweet Pain

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Sweet Pain ~ 2008
Repackaged as END OF THE GAME
Story/ Screenplay – Darlene Benson Cobham and Emem Isong
Director – Osita Okoli

Starring:
Chidi Mokeme – Jake
Stephanie Okereke – Josephine
Justus Esiri – Josephine’s Father
Uche Jombo – Lillian
Enyinna Nwigwe – Philip
Esther Ifyibio – Paula
Ohaira Mcwizu – Isioma
Umoh Weeks – Ben
Ihuoma Nnadi – Mary
Lukeman Adewuyi – Policeman
Sylvester Coker – Doc

Themes Explored:
Unrequited Love
Humility
Justice
Kidnap

My Rating – 68%

Josephine is the apple of her widower father’s eye but the relationship between the two becomes strained when her father gets engaged to Lillian, her best friend. This development also sparks a rift between the best friends. Josephine believes that her friend is digging for gold and her friend maintains that she has always preferred older men and has found true love.

Josephine is angry on two accounts, the first that her best friend has been “stolen” away from her and the second, the embarrassment that her father is after a woman young enough to be his daughter.

Josephine takes her career very seriously and especially her role as CEO of her father’s company, so much so that her boyfriend barely gets time to see her and her employees are miserable and fed up of being maltreated by her. Lillian makes attempts to make peace with Josephine with no success, and at the same time she breaks up with her boyfriend for questioning her nasty attitude.

The more Josephine’s personal life falls into disarray the more she takes out on her anger and frustrations on employees at work. She fires a girl for calling in missing a day due to crippling period pains. When another employee’s (Jake’s) father dies she is highly unsympathetic and refuses to give him the requested 14 days to bury his father.

No one at work likes her, she has just dumped her boyfriend and is on bad terms with both her best friend and father when she is kidnapped. The question is WHO DUN IT?

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

Love Emem bad but hated the drawn out singing scene at the beginning of the movie. It seemed pointless like she was just trying to do Darlene a favour by showcasing her *yawn* singing. We see Darlene at a garden party singing, but yet there is a full backing track with ad libs, so the whole scene is not even based in reality and resembles a music video. I felt that if Emem and Darlene (since she also was involved in the script) wanted to promote Darlene’s music, then the beginning of the movie was not the place to do it. If it absolutely HAD to be in the movie they should have saved it for the end credits where we can all just switch off if we choose to.

The whole singing thing was kinda reminiscent of the drawn out Stella singing in a nightclub scenes in Behind Closed Doors (Oh yeah where on earth is Part 3?) except that was more appropriate because she was a main character and she was playing a club singer.

The sound in this movie is horrible… The soundtrack is much louder than the dialogue which means that your finger has to be constantly on the volume button if you don’t want your neighbours to come and smash your windows in revenge for noise pollution.

The dramatic and gripping scenes between Stephanie and Chidi made up for most of the movies flaws, and when they were locked in the room together we didn’t have to hear any overbearing brash soundtrack music. It was a very passionate convincing performance by Stephanie and an above average performance by Chidi.

The character development was good. We see a slow change in attitude from both Jake and Josephnie and exactly how it comes about. Jospehine is being broken down by Jake and even though she shows a vulnerable side she still has that tough attitude that does not completely leave her. At the same time we see Jake softening towards her when he sees her vulnerable side. Very often in Nollywood we see a character go from one extreme to another and no idea how it happened, so kudos to Emem and Darlene for the characterisation.

We see Jake try and break down Jospehine’s defences and expose her human side, through a series of “lessons.” When she gives him attitude we see him slap her across the face and tell her that she “needs to be greatful to god for [your] wealth and comfortable life.” This was funny to me… a kidnapper and woman beater telling someone about god. Na wa o!

QUESTIONS THAT I ASKED IN MY HEAD?

Where does Josephine urinate when she is in that room for days and days? Jake is pumping her full of water and still no weeing, no bucket or even a mention of it.

Why does Jake carry out the kidnapping with the girl he had the one night stand with? He was supposed to be distancing himself from her. He knew that she wanted more with him and it could only turn out badly in the end.

At the end we see Daddy and Lillian together on an opposite sofa where Jake and Josphine are sitting. What Nigerian girl in Nigeria would be French kissing her man like that in front of her daddy? Not a peck full tongues? Eiwoooo!

I would recommend the film. The characterisation was good and there was a good build up of tension and suspense particularly in the scene where Jospehine first runs away from captivity. On the downside the film was kind of predictable that from the very beginning it was obvious that Jake and Josephine were going to be drawn together somehow some way. There were also too many fast forward moments, scenes in restaurants with music playing and no dialogue were common place and unnecessary.

**419 WARNING**

My film was sold as two parts when in fact on closer inspection it was a one part film split up and (Disc 1 and Disc 2) sold in separate packaging. Don’t fall prey to these tactics like I did. You have been warned!

Has anyone seen this film before? I would love to know. The back cover said 2008 but it didn’t feel like a new film to me. I have a feeling it is an old film that has being repackaged and sold under a different title. If anyone can confirm this please do!