Friday, January 15, 2010

Movie Review: Silent Scandals.

Title: Silent Scandal

Starring: Genevieve Nnaji, Majid Michel, Uche Jumbo, Ebele Okaro, Chelsea Eze

Producer(s): Vivian Ejike

Screen play: Vivian Ejike

Director: TK Falope

Year of production: 2009

Country: Nigeria.

Genre: Drama/Romance

Language: English

Preamble: I watched this movie fully expecting to hate it. See I had seen Vivian Ejike’s “When the heart lies” her first movie I think, and I was totally, completely shocked by how bad it was. So I was not expecting anything good from her. In fact, although I had been aware of it for months before it come out, I refused to hype it because I was very skeptical of anything good coming out from her stable.
I have to very happily eat humble pie. She has exceeded my expectations quite honestly. I am happily surprised! This movie has its faults, but it is a million times better than when the Heart lies. A marked improvement on her first effort I must say. Very good job.

Trailer: (I must note that the trailer strongly undersells the movie!)

Summary: Genevieve Nnaji is Jessica, an uptight, though very successful single mother. Her daughter Ella (played by Chelsea Eze) is driving her crazy. The girl is totally out of control and Jessica does not know what to do. Eventually, when Ella is arrested for theft, Jessica surmises that she cannot cope with her daughter, and she banishes her to live with her father and his wife in England. Around the time that Ella leaves, Jessica’s driver also quits, and so Ella is forced to hire the very handsome Naeto (Majid Michel) who used to date Ella (unknown to her) and desperately needs a job because he is facing tough financial times at home. When Jessica has political ambitions, she makes Naeto an offer he cannot refuse, and it leads to serious consequences for them all.

Review :
Positives: I was actually very, very, very surprised by how much I liked this. Although, I have to start by saying that this was a convoluted rip off of Tyler Perry’s “Daddy’s little girls”. The night club scene, the drunken bedroom scene , the mouthy chauffeur, those scenes were copied almost verbatim from that movie. We have to acknowledge the abuse of intellectual property inherent in some scenes in this movie. However, after that, the movie moves on to the love triangle plot, which was interesting and I hope original, so it was not a total copy.

The acting from the main acts was very impressive. Genevieve! Genny! I love that girl, honestly. She can play the cold chick in her sleep meeen. The first time Naeto walks into her office, she gave him a look – it was perfect. And Majid, dude is just sexy jo, abi what can we say? Ebele Okaro played the overly permissive grandmother so beautifully. And Chelsea (who played Ella) was a revelation. She was not perfect, but she was good. She was really good as the spoilt brat, turned good supermodel. And Ms. Uche Jombo – the crazy over enthusiastic best friend, larger than life, yet ever loyal! I salute!! She was just perfect for the role. I also enjoyed the way the story flowed – particularly in part 1 – gripped my attention almost from the beginning. And the modeling and party scenes were so tastefully done. Ms. Ejike went above and beyond in putting together the crowd scenes. I was impressed. Bravo – good job!!

Negatives:Much as I applaud Ms. Ejike for all the hard work she put into this movie, it was obvious that she went cheap for some of the extras and waka pass actors. For instance, the dude who played Jessica’s cheating boyfriend was just bad. No other way to describe it – baaaad. When they said I love you to each other, I rolled my eyes. No chemistry what so ever. None, nada, zip. And Genny was magnificent in every scene, while the dude was just – cold toast!! Not as bad, but still underwhelming was Naeto’s best friend – played by Paul Frank. He has improved since Guilty pleasures actually, but he still has some ways to go. I wasn’t impressed with him either.

There were also some important scenes where you could not hear what was being said because the background music was too loud. Why we are having those kinds of problems in 2009 is beyond me.

I had two major substantive issues with this movies : unresolved plots and that totally unsatisfactory ending. First the plots – why bring up Alhaji if you won’t tell us what happened to him? How did Majid’s character resolve his relationship with his parents? What happened to his father in the midst of the illness? There were quite a few unresolved subplots and cheap plot creations to get to a desired end – having the driver quit so that she could hire Majid for instance. And how come Jessica, as a proud mother, did not have a single picture of Ella in the house? NOT ONE?

But nothing they did during the movie was as outrageous as the ending of that movie. Nothing. Made absolutely no sense. Unless they are planning a part 3. I was like – worraheck was that?

Bottomline: Despite all the faults and the copying, I still liked it. A pretty good movie by Naija standards

Worldview: Life is complicated; things are not always black and white, plenty of shades of gray. And love can find you in the most unexpected of times and places. Always be ready to recognize it. You need somebody in your life who believes in you and will stand by you no matter what you have done. And never settle when it comes to love. When eventually you find what you really want, things can get messy!

Rating: 8/10

More reviews: here and here

Availability: Its available here and here


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This website is devoted to fans of African movies who want to know which ones are worth watching. We only review above average movies on this site. The purpose is to give props to the actors, producers and directors who have squeezed water out of rocks and created decent entertainment against all odds. If you want to review a movie for us, please email We would be happy to feature all good african film, regardless of age, or origin. Thanks for stopping by