Spirit Of Love – GUEST REVIEW

SPIRIT OF LOVE 2

This Review is brought to you by Miss Jaye!

Spirit Of Love~ 2006
Director – Charles Inojie
Producer – Sylvester Obadigie

Starring:
Rita Dominic -  Udoka
Pat Attah (I forget his name)
MonaLisa Chinda – Anastasia
Bruno Iwuoha – Pat’s Dad
Maureen Ihua
Stella Ikwuegbe

Themes:
Love
Village Life
Tradition
Gender Roles

My Rating – 40%

I watched Spirit of Love today and I was fuming.

I was meant to be writing a review of an utterly atrocious movie, when I watched ANOTHER utterly atrocious movie. Well, I just can’t hold it in anymore, and I hope Nolly will be kind enough to put this up instead of the movie review.  Whether you like it or not, movies are not just entertainment.They represent imaginations come to life, artistry and the ideals of society. Most importantly movies teach us how to be men and women and are a helpful tool for navigating our place in society.  SO movies are important. They are more than just “if you don’t like it don’t watch it, it’s just a movie.” Movies remain with us. That is why we complain about pornography and idiocy – it just won’t stay with the person who watches it, its consequences will reverberate in the society at large.

So the silly parts of movies (like the whole princess Tyra thing) are fun, but they always have a moral. We learn that what goes around comes around, that social class doesn’t matter (as if),  that love is supreme. Fair enough. NOW MY PROBLEM:

Here’s the storyline. Boy goes to the UK to study. His parents go and visit him and ask him if he wants to marry the daughter of his mom’s childhood friend. Boy says yes because he knows the girl, but he says yes to get the parents off his back. His parents, though, are dead serious and go ahead to treat the girl as their daughter in law. Girl wants to marry boy, so she starts going and cooking at her ‘in-laws’ place, rejecting suitors, and basically parading around like she’s already married (which is normal  - you’ve been promised). Well boy comes back, doesn’t want to marry girl because he has a girlfriend abroad. Boy basically disgraces girl, telling his parents he doesn’t want to marry her. Parents are more worried about being shamed in the community, so they harangue boy to marry girl and refuse any abroad daughter in law. Boy moves out as a result of this trouble. Boy’s parents bring girl from the village to live with boy by force. Boy yells at girl, tells her he doesn’t want to marry her, and treats her horribly. Idiot girl is too worried about being shamed that she refuses to go back to the village…. Fast forward to when abroad girlfriend comes back to Naija – she is the rudest, horriblest persone ever – oh and she smokes. Here is where I get FURIOUS!

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

Are you kidding me? How  many Ghanaians and Nigerians live abroad? How many of us do not retain values of respect and dignity. Are we all rude and disrespectful? Do you seriously think Ghanaian or Nigerian parents will raise idiot kids in any country?  HELLO?! And please, I’ve met children who were raised here with Gh and Naija parents and they are even better behaved than those of us who were raised in the ‘motherland’. So that is insult number one.  Besides – which self-respecting Nigerian or Ghanaian man would marry such a woman? We all know that generally, men raised in our countries are raised to think they are kings – their word is law. Which one of them would get with who doesn’t treat him like so? Exactly.

LET ME ASK YOU? WHY DO OUR MOVIES CONSTANTLY TEACH US THAT WOMEN ARE NOTHING BUT DOORMATS FOR MEN?!  Rita Dominic’s character made HER WHOLE LIFE out of a fantasy man! Village girl – don’t go to university because boyfriend will come and marry me and take me to England. Fine, no school, there’re so many other things to do. She won’t get into business (even petty trading to help her mother supplement their small income) or make something of her life while she waits. No, she spends the days running errands and cooking for her so-called in-laws. Are you kidding me? Is that all women are supposed to do? Cook and clean for your in-laws and husband? No dreams? No hopes? NO GOALS? This girl did NOTHING but cook and clean for this idiot and his family.

PLEASE TELL ME? Women are supposed to be doormats? This girl let her boyfriend/husband/whatever he was talk to her anyway anyhow. Why the hell should you stay somewhere where you are CLEARLY not wanted and are badly treated? Why should you stay pining for a man who loves another? But of course, how could she leave – he was her whole life.  Why should a movie paint this scenario as acceptable just because in the end he’ll realize what he has and come back to you? Why is this kind of thinking acceptable?

_____________

A final thought that struck me when the movie ended. So what if that girl Pat Atta’s character met in the UK was the sweetest, most loving girl ever? What will Udoka have done? I refuse to watch the part two, but I know how it will end. Presumably this idiot boy will come to his senses and ask Udoka for forgiveness? Please, tell me – what kind of an ending is that? This girl’s life will be put on hold until the boy DECIDES he wants her. Oh, and why does he want her? Because she cooks and cleans, doesn’t talk back until she’s spoken to, and will cater to every single whim of his, and will agree with everything he says (abi that is how our society raised us to be women and raised men to expect that of their women). Note – he won’t come back because he loves her, because he values her mind and her opinions, or because he has seen her as she is. He will come back because she is a DOORMAT! That is not to say quiet passive people are doormats, but Udoka fits our society’s idea of a perfect woman – ie doormat!

Let me ask another question so what if Udoka could cook and clean with the best of them but she had a quick temper and was opinionated and always spoke her own mind? Will she no longer be the epitome of a good woman? Idiocy.

It’s ridiculous. I see this storyline in so many movies about love. Stay with your husband because you love him, even though he’s slept with tens of women and could probably give you an std, put up with insane abuse because you love him and love conquers all, spend your life waiting for an idiot to come to his senses and realize that you are the ONLY one for him (hah!). Plus the women are also always just dull, lifeless, colorless.  No opinion. Always quiet. Always gentle. Always good cooks. Are all Ghanaian and Nigerian women like that? Is that the kind of wife men want? Wife or slave? It’s high time we stopped that idiocy.

When will there be a movie about a woman who is rejected, soldiers on through the pain and finds love? When will there be a movie about a girl who refuses to wait for her husband to come and marry her but instead goes to school? When will there be a movie about a girl who can’t go to school, so runs a small business in her village? When will there be a movie about a woman who is strong enough to leave that profligate husband and continue with her life (and before you jump on me, God himself gives you the right to leave if your husband cheats with just ONE woman – so how much more tens of hundreds of women?) Love doesn’t conquer all.  Love is from God, and God doesn’t deal with idiocy, so love won’t conquer foolishness.  This tomfoolery needs to stop.

_____________

In short I would not recommend this movie. I was very disappointed. Knowing what I do now about the importance of media, I don’t just watch movies now; I have to critique them properly. And I don’t just believe love conquers all. This movie pissed me off because it doesn’t give women dignity. And it basically tells you that a man can do whatever foolishness he wants, and a woman will still be there when he decides to come to his senses. My rant is over. Thanks to Nolly for posting, and thanks for taking the time to read.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tell Us What You Think!

comments

Comments

  1. ipraise says:

    Good review. I remember watching part of this movie and not finishing it because it was too boring lol. But you bring up some really good issues that I think need to be addressed in Nollywood cinema.

  2. Nolly says:

    I agree you do bring up some very important points about the portrayal of women and what is seen to be a perfect woman in Nollywood… And I agree with your points, HOWEVER I remember watching this movie a couple of years back and really enjoying it. I didn't find it boring at all like ipraise.

  3. Bibi says:

    I must confess I watched this movie when it was released and I liked it. Thank you for pointing these flaws out because I didn't bother to really analyse the movie. Now that you mention it I agree with you on ALL points. Especially the stereotype view that those of us raised or schooling in the 'west' loose our morales, values and lack home training. I also agree with you on the depiction of the role of women in our society.

    However just to play Devil's advocate if you think about it, to be fair the story isn't that far-fetched. Fact is this story does depict what happens back home in some families (not all just some). We may not like it but we can't deny that to a certain degree this is our reality now whether or not it should be is another matter entirely.

    On the other hand (the writers could have at least allowed Ritter's character to have a full education). I think it just tries to show that just because you are raised in the 'West'(the land of opportunities bla bla bla) it does not necessarily mean that you are better than those raised back home. Which is a complex a lot of people have (Before my head is bitten off not all ooo but a number of people).

    In some ways it could be called a Cinderella story (just badly written). The village girl with a modest background who has never set foot beyond the borders of her town, triumphs over the the rich girl with worldly exposure. Or the battle between cultures in this case our Nigerian culture triumps over the western Culture (I'm referring to the duties of a wife and not her lack of education or being a doormat- that is not our culture in my opinion).

    I think the writers just need to find a balance between writing and producing movies that are about the obvious reality. Which I think leads to awareness, making people realise that things can be and should be done better and differently which is where the role of movies or soaps or tv series come in.

    Fanks for the review !!!!!!

  4. Betty Boop/Lady Jaye says:

    @ Nolly – the movie wasn't bad at all. It did hold my attention and I was not bored throughout. I was just very annoyed with the storyline.

    @Bibi: it's true that the scenario in the movie is not far-fetched. IT just bothered me because the movie seems to be endorsing it. It's like watching a movie where a man is horribly abusive to his wife, and the movie justifies the abuse – it's unacceptable.

    • Nolly says:

      If I had reviewed it I would have given it at leat 70% because I really like Rita and Mona Lisa in it. I felt horribly sorry for Rita and Mona Lisa had me cracking up acting like a spoilt brat.

  5. TheChuckylee says:

    I agree wit all of u on about the flawed storyline but come 2 think of it,is not true dat such things happen in our typical african societies. I guess it's bcos dat kind of storyline has been overused dats why people are complaining.But overall I enjoyed dis movie 2 the fullest.Rita did very well in her role,Pat Attah was okay,Monalisa 2 me gave a standout performance(She made me laugh throughout).I've always wondered why people say she's a terrible actress,well maybe they don't like her personality.I've seen her in dis same role in other movies like Sound of love/Rhythm of love and The Wrong Woman by Emem Isong and she was such a clown in those ones too.She might not be as gud as Genevieve or Omotola bt she's just ok.The movie wasn't boring at all,infact I'm about 2 watch it again 4 laughs only.

  6. Nonso says:

    Hahaha…..nolly this movie has to be rated 10 but you have given out 40 lucky it..

  7. Nonso reading is fundamental… It is called a Guest Review because I didn't review the movie. I personally would have given it a 75 or so…

    As for 10 I can see u have been smoking indian hemp again mscheeeew… Next u will be telling me that The Shepherd and Sexy Girls are the best movies ever made. Nonsense.

  8. cynthia says:

    i don't agree with ur review. i watched this movie wen it came out and it was really good. the rating is too low. i understand what u r saying about the portrayal of children abroad but it does happen, more often than u think. but it's not rampant. abeg o this film was good and i think every other person agrees. at least it shud get an 80 not 40.

  9. I agree with u Cynthia… I remember this film fondly lol

  10. barbarellanoir says:

    I watched this movie sometime ago, and rewatched it when I was given the VCD from Nigeria. I agree that the storyline is far from original, However, many things come into consideration before I pan/zero a movie. At least Rita did not dissappoint in her delivery. I've said before that I have not always liked Rita's role selection, but I can NOT be dissappointed in her ability as an actress….and these days her role selections are for the most part on point. The same cannot be said for Mona Lisa. She would fare well if she stayed away from the spoiled overseas brat roles, with the forced accent. I don't think they show her abilities well. The first time I saw her as an actress was when she played a poor young lady in the "Sound of Poverty". Pat Attah, with his handsome looks is still as they say in the US "resting on pretty"…he needs something/someone and epiphany for him to be believable as something more than eye candy.

    I'd put this movie in the "watchable" category.

    • Nolly says:

      I agree with you Barbarellanoir and I love that movie too sound of Poverty. Ufuoma should have been getting far more roles after that.

  11. barbarellanoir says:

    Also, the veterans in the movie delivered…..definitely watchable.

  12. Betty Boop says:

    Good acting and all, the movie was still meh for me. It was like having a very beautiully garnished meal put in front of you only for it to taste like sand. The storyline left a bad taste in my mouth. The acting was great, the movie was not boring. The substance of the movie was unacceptable.

  13. Dee says:

    While I agree with some of the points made in the review I can't but ask who the reviewer is angry with, Nigerian women or movie makers. Because, some women really do behave the way they were portrayed in this movie. I have watched the movie and I did find it an ok movie. Better organisation and some creativity would have made it a splendid movie.

    Guys are attracted to women for several reason which may include the fact that she is educated, foreign, strong or has class etc. The fact that the guy was attracted to the "mannerless" gf is believable.

    The main problem I have with nollywood movies are the cliche scenes, actors and storylines. Some times actor "over-act" there charater. We need novel, organised, realistic movies with unique storylines. For me this movie is miles away from this feat but a step in the right direction.

    Lastly, what is Nolly doing to promote this site. I believe this a good platform for viewers to contribute to the Nollywood industry and let producers know what they are doing wrong.

    • Nolly says:

      I agree with elements of the review but I actually thought the movie was really well done and would have given it a much higher rating. I agree that the behaviour displayed was steeped in realism. I have met guys that go for a woman based on what it looks like on paper and not what the woman is. One guy I met was dating this woman who acted like a prostitute. He kept insisting she was a good woman because she was educated and comes from a good family. I could not unerstand how that could take prescedence over the fact that she was rude, greedy, used his phone to text other guys as well as occasionally running off with other guys. Nigeria is the sort of place where "what seems to be" as opposed to what actually IS, is everything.

  14. KGNU says:

    Fantastic Review!! I applaud u for your explicit eye opening review. I also feel the same for some of these nollywood movies, and how they poorly view women as domestic slaves with out a voice of her own. and how they have exploited the concept that love conquers all, especially when yr bfriend or husband cheats on u several times and that u have to stand by idly and watch…..i prefer nollywood movies with an unpredictable ending.

  15. Afrostyle says:

    I liked the review, and I agree with some parts of the things u stated. But some aspects of the movies can be true today. There are some parents living abroad who spoils their children immensly, just there are some parents living in nigeria or ghana doing the exact same thing.

    All I think is that if we continue to analyse a movie so thoroughly, we might just throw away all movies we have. Because most of the movies that are being made these days are showing women as sex symboles and also weaker links. While men are looked upon as the stronger ones, who always save the day, and knows how to handle a woman according to their desire.

    yes, the movie has it's flaws here and there. And I do understand where you are heading, but still the movie was good… and love does conqour all. Because God is love, and his love is what sustains.

    If God can love us so much that he forgives us for our sins. Then why can't a woman give her husband a second chance if she loves him. Love is not greedy nor is it quick in anger.

    It is patience and kind.. it also forgives :D

  16. Emma says:

    I bought a movie called "Chase" about five months ago and it is still sitting on top of my computer desk half unwatched. Can anyone tell me if it is worth finish watching it? I started to watch it and the first 10 minutes were people running shooting and destroying everything on their way for no good reason. Then they moved to other scenes where people were talking nonsense I got confused and turned off and stopped watching it.

Speak Your Mind


8 − = seven