Monday, January 10, 2011

Movie Review: Mind Game

Title: Mind Game
Starring: Van Vicker, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Reginald Lubin, Carlin Kenol
Story: Darlene Cobham
Producer: Samuel Ameyaw, John Uche
Executive Producer: Samuel Ameyaw and John Uche
Director: John Uche
Year of production: 2010
Country: Nigeria, Ghana, Haiti
Language: English
Genre: Religious Drama

This movie was initially hyped here as a Nolly-Golly-Belly combo that I was really looking forward to. It’s been out for a while, but I never found the time to watch it until over the Christmas break. Even though  I was hesitant because all reviews that I had seen were pretty lukewarm, I felt that I owed it to my readers to review it after hyping it, so I  tried it out over the Christmas break. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Betty (Omotola) is a very pretty Christian girl who attracts a lot of male attention, particularly from Patrick, one of her male coworkers (Reginald Lubin). She falls in love with and marries Richie (Van Vicker), a successful Christian man. They are the perfect couple, very good looking. She starts to live her worst nightmare when after their wedding Richie refuses to touch his wife. For three months, they play cat and mouse with each other, with Richie coming up with every excuse in the book to avoid intimacy. One day, Betty comes home early and accidentally discovers the reason for Richie’s refusal to perform his marital duties. What does she see, and what does she do about it?

Click here for trailer and Review

Review:  Reading all past reviews, I thought this would be very bad, but to be honest, it was better than I thought. Omotola – my girl!! OmoT killed it again. One of the most expressive faces in Nollywood. I love her. I am a HUGE fan. She was excellent as the heartbroken Christian wife trying to save her man from himself. She was pretty and demure and yet classy and sophisticated. She is really coming into her own.
I have never, ever been a Van Vicker fan, because I have been disappointed so many times by so many of his movies (Friday Night anyone? Urgh!!).  However, I have to admit that he has improved tremendously. He is not on the Ramsey Nouah level at all o, but he has grown. He was not bad as the dude who was struggling with being on the down low. I also enjoyed Reginald Lubin as the love starved coworker and and Carlin Kenol as Linda, Betty’s best friend. They were the Haitian additions to the movie. Omotola was the obvious star acting wise, but everyone else performed their roles adequately. I was not falling off my chair in amazement, but they did good. Also, it was in just one part – yaaay!

After watching it, I understood why this movie got so many negative reviews. You are either pleasantly surprised by the twist at the end, or you roll your eyes and say whatever!! And the twist at the end is surprising, unexpected but overused!! Waaay overused! Its time to retire it. LOL.  The movie is also preachy and does a lot of moralizing about a pertinent societal issue. Depending on your viewpoint, that may or may not work for you. There were some scenes that stood out though – like when Betty made her life altering discovery about what her man was up to – the confrontation on the stairs: I was loving it! Great scene- emotional without being overly dramatic.

What did I not like? While I don’t know much about the technical aspect of making movies, there was just something about the look and feel of the movie that did not feel very movie-like. Although the picture and sound quality were excellent, but there was a missing movie ambiance so to speak. Some of the camera work also just felt weird. They had cameras all up in people’s faces and it just did not look good. In addition,some of the scenes were pretty cheesy. Not too many people have learned the art of adding scripture to a movie without laying on the cheese.  After the twist is revealed, the rest of the movie is cheese, cheese, cheese and more cheese. I just kept rolling my eyes, like really? Urgh!! I liked the final scene though, it was pretty cute.

Bottomline: Its not my favorite movie of 2010, but I liked it. It’s hard to review it without revealing the twist at the end, which was pretty unexpected, so I won’t talk about it too much. I have learned my lesson again from this movie though – watch a movie and judge it for yourself. It may not be as bad as others say. I certainly liked it.

Worldview/Philosophy/Important lessons: Particularly with regards to this movie – nothing is ever as it seems. Take nothing and no one at face value. Always dig deeper into the relationships and circumstances in which you find yourself. And like one of the movie characters says “Guard your heart with all diligence because out of it flows the issues of life”(source).

Rating: 6.5/10. Like I said, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it did it for me.

Availability: Big three


Anonymous said...

Hmm...all of Darlene Cobham's movies are about men not touching their wives?

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Nolly-Golly-Belly!!! That totally cracked me up! Thanks for the review!

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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