Movie Review: “At Your Service” is how you squash a re-occurring stereotype in Nollywood!

Producer: Emem Isong

Director:  Sobe Charles

Script: Rita C. Onwurah

Cast: Alex Ekubo, Monalisa Chinda, Ebenezer Eno, Williams Uche Mba

Year: 2017

A struggling chef and restaurant attendant, Tony (Alex Ekubo) seems to work hard to impress his girlfriend. When we first meet them, we think they are a married couple, they live together, and she makes outrageous demands, and takes half of his salary. The case is different, they are only dating and co-habiting.  Maimuna (Ebenezer Eno) meets a former classmate, Ifeanyi (Williams Uche Mba) who impresses her with his wealth. She goes after him and they start a relationship, while she dumps Tony. A severely heartbroken Tony meets Evelyn (Monalisa Chinda) a successful woman who loves her lunch from their restaurant. He serves her grudgingly once, and she encourages him. The next time they meet she is cracking her head to have a successful marketing schedule for work, Tony helps and they develop a friendship.

Rita Onwurah does really well with the romance genre and this time around she seems to give greedy girls a sip from their coffee. Maimuna is a shameful character who hops from the managing guy to the comfortable guy because she needs someone to satisfy her demands. We do not see her raise a finger to work. She only makes demands. It is interesting to watch Rita shame her with really interesting lines from Ifeanyi. The writing is enjoyable and the dialogue is inspiring and quite exceptional. For example, Evelyn’s character gives some inspiring nuggets on redemption, and in a particular scene, she says “Redemption needs to be accepted by the receiver, not forced by the giver”, it speaks to our society and the idea of forgiveness that we have. The scene is not the only one that carries strong dialogue that speaks to our society, there are many more.

The writing is also impressive because such movies usually insist on women at that age having sexual relationships with younger men. The same producers have pushed stories that make it seem like older women cannot have a respectful relationship with young men; it is a stereotype that both Monalisa Chinda and Alex Ekubo have fallen prey to as actors. They have performed in such roles before and so looking at the film poster, the first thought is, “
oh, they are at it again”.  The name of the film is tricky too, until you watch it and see it takes a new perspective on older women and younger boys having a relationship that is respectable.

“At your Service” is totally an impressive experience that refuses to bend into the cougar excitement but give a refreshing side on ambition and the blessings of being hard working.

Monalisa Chinda and Alex Ekubo have an established chemistry that makes their job easy. They have a good time on screen, and this is one of those roles that Alex Ekubo actually does a really good job. Former child actor, Williams Uche Mba, returns. He is aggressive and his mannerism here incites quite the laughter.

The filmmakers paid attention to details here and it is a commendable job.

“At Your Service” earns a 7/10 from Xplore

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