Producer – Biola Alabi
Director – Tosin Coker
Writers – John-Arthur Ingram, Kay I. Jegede, Pearl Osibu
Cast – Kemi Lala Akindoju, Shaffy Bello, Chioma Chukwuka, Chinedu Ikedieze, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, Uche Jombo, Seyi Shay
Genre – Romance
Year – 2018
After a long hiatus from Nigerian movies for the year 2018, I decided to take that leap and check out Biola Alabi’s production “Lara and the Beat” and lets just say, I left there with a tight chest, a sigh of relief and a battling feeling like what were they thinking!
Lara and the Beat follows the grace to grass story of Lara and Dara Giwa who lose their parents media empire to sheer negligence, lack of business acumen and trust in family as against a business system that their folks must have paid hard money on.
Lara who takes the lead is played by Seyi Shay, who is the older of the two ladies. She’s determined to make a career from singing even though it seems she can’t sing to save her life. While it’s applaudable that Seyi would like to spread her tentacles and try acting, in my opinion and due to kind of production Mrs. Alabi is trying to portray, the role should have been handled by an actress with 2 or 3 movies to her credit.
Seyi tries hard (extremely hard, actually) to convince us she is a spoilt brat finding it difficult to settle with her current situation of no light, no driver or help to bend to her every whim! She does immediately find her ability to write songs (what do they say about necessity being the mother of invention) and begins to search for the producer and studio that will work on her project.
In comes, her leading man, played be Vector (side-eye). Watching Vector for the first time, was a painful pill to swallow. While he comes across as focused and definitely heading somewhere, when he actually has his lines, it does not really add up. Where are his lines, why doesn’t he seem convincing, why doesn’t he deliver some home truths to his lover to grow up and act her age as against the tantrums, why doesn’t he even take charge, load knows I was weak and in dire need of the feel good this movie was meant to deliver as it did not come through as comedy, drama or dramedy.
The supporting cast did do their best to keep the story alive. From Somkele to Lala to Chioma to Uche, I watched in horror as the casting director just added cast after cast, after cast for some scenes that I feel didn’t necessarily have to be there or roles that they could have done without.
Cinematography is taking center stage in the industry as this cannot be faulted much, but was I the only one feeling dizzy at the beginning of the movie with the camera panning left and right as well as the 360 move? I mean, some of us enjoy the camera movements, especially when there are reactions that you do not want to miss or add a significant aspect to the movie but this seemed a tad too much with the shots close-up and then long-shot at will.
The story and the plot take the major blame in this production. While the story feels very similar to the 2006 ‘Material Girls’ (in fact too similar, check out the plot on Wikipedia here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_Girls ) staring Hillary Duff and her sister Haylie. I imagined the likes of Cuppy Otedola and her sister and to my mind, I do not feel like if they lose all their fathers wealth, they would not be able to bounce back or still maintain a level of sanity in their lives. In other words, the story was not relatable. Then in comes the unnecessary disjointed scenes that one would wonder if there was an editor at all. Left to me, the movie would have been done is 60mins.
While I can’t say much for the remaining Nigerian movies making their ways to the cinema this August, I do say, that Lara and the beat dropped the beat on this one and it wasn’t in a good way.
Verdict: Lara and the Beat earns a 3/10
From Xplorenollywood’s poll on Instagram 50% thought is what a no(not worth it) while 50% thought it as yes (worth it)!
What do you think, have you seen “Lara and the Beat”?