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Turning Point

Ade is a playboy Nigerian-American investment banker working at a successful firm in New York City. He is in a relationship with keen-to-marry Stacey, an African-American. However, Ade’s mother back in Nigeria is determined to get Ade to dump “that girl with no traceable roots” in favour of a wife from within her social circle. – Movie blurb When you watch a movie, you want to think about it, maybe while it is on (helping the characters solve the mystery), and definitely after it is over (evaluating how good the movie was). When you watch a movie, you do not want to see the director, or feel like sending him a note right in the middle of the film; you want to forget there’s a human hand there. You want to forget it is all make believe and so you are shocked, scared, happy or enraged, right along with the players. But when you see Turning Point, you will want to go online and search for the director’s email address to give him a piece of your mind. Before I rant; the movie is about Ade (Igoni Archibong), a playboy, whose mother (Patience Ozokwor) ignores the existence of his African American fiancée (K.D. Aubert) and fights tooth and nail to get him to marry a daughter of the soil, Grace (Jackie Appiah), who she handpicked for her beloved first son. The major challenge in the movie is how he handles this problem, and how the consequences of his decision play out. Set mostly in America, the major theme running through the movie is discrimination. Whites discriminate against non-whites (blacks, and other races); the non-whites themselves discriminate against each other and fight back at the whites; and then more interestingly, the rich blacks discriminate against the poor blacks; and the poor blacks fight back. A vicious cycle. And a very good message for us; no matter how far and wide you go, always remember that there’s no place like home. My best scene: the fight/ shootout scene. We watched that part play out with bated breath, up to the part where the bodies fell and we determined the collateral damage. From there, I didn’t like the rest of the scene. But just there, just there was the best! I’d give the director a hi-five for that one. I liked the idea behind the script, and for the first 30+ minutes, I was very interested in how the story was going to play out, I enjoyed some of the acting, and since a lot of the African actors had to adopt American accents, it was rather hilarious listening to them nearly bite their tongues. In all, the movie was just okay. And there lies the problem. Now I rant: Dear director, how could you let actors make grammatical errors like that? What happened to ‘Cut? Let’s take that again’? Is it laziness? We didn’t hear all the things that the actors murmured, maybe we weren’t supposed to. The movie opens with this scene of a boy searching for his girlfriend (Grace) who has dumped him for a rich man.  By the time the final credits roll you wonder, ‘How did that scene tie in with the rest of the movie?’ What kind of inane prologue was that? If the person in the car had been referred to as a woman, the scene would have been well utilised (see movie for better understanding).  Plus, that scene paints Grace as a baddie, but when the movie starts unfolding, she seems like a good girl who goes bad from the influence of her streetwise friend Ebun/Ebony. Disconnect. There is another stand-alone scene of a police officer rushing in and grabbing a box. Is that for another movie? Then the end… The end… I have never gone to see a movie that ended amidst so much hissing! The end was not satisfying; the climax scenes did not make sense at all. The dénouement could not cure the malaise. As for the acting, Ade’s acting was not super impressive until his life changed. He seemed so stiff and uncomfortable at the beginning of the movie, but later on when he had lost so much, he was in his element. In an early scene he came home to see his mother and a younger child said; ‘Uncle Ade, did you bring my ipad?’ And Uncle Ade seemed to just look at her and ignore her. Director! That was a scene in dire need of a retake. Some more scenes I had issues with: the breakfast with the fiancée’s family- just odd, the message there could have been passed far better with or without using the brother; the hair brushing scene- that scene would have better suited a mother and a little child, most times adults offer to help other adults before brushing their hair, there was time to put that in because it is odd for adults to just sit and be brushing grown women’s hair, mature female bonding is best done in the salon or kitchen, if in front of the mirror, they are applying makeup, not combing hair. Scripting and directing aside, the movie was okay. And I am willing to change my opinion of the movie if you can see it and convince me (with detailed facts) that I was wrong, and that you were pleased with the outcome. Go on, it’s in cinemas now. Starring: Igoni Archibong, Patience Ozokwor, Enyinna Nwigwe, Ebbe Bassey, Oge Okoye, Todd Bridges, Joe Estevez, Ernie Hudson, Cynda Williams Director: Niyi Towolawi Running Time: 1h 42m

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This article was first published on 8th June 2013

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