Xplore Reviews; Rebecca
Director: Shirley Frimpong-Manso
Producers: Shirley Frimpong-Manso & Ken Attoh
Cast: Joseph Benjamin and Yvonne Okoro
Writer: Shirley Frimpong-Manso
Clifford has to keep to a promise he made his old mother and marry Rebecca, whom he is betrothed to. He is the perfect man, he keeps to time, everything has to be done right, yet his car stops in the middle of a bush. The film starts that way.
He is sitting with Rebecca in a Range Rover and his driver has gone to get help. For the first essential minutes of the film, almost twenty, Clifford speaks to Rebecca, she does not respond. He makes calls, uses his laptop but there is a human being in the car, she is reluctant to talk to Clifford, and she just listens to him. Later in the film, we understand her silence and we understand Rebecca.
In 2015, “Love or Something Like That” was Shirley’s powerful offering and Rebecca is her first for the year. It is still getting the media rounds and this film is not all over the place because it is not your average film. It is a labour of deep thinking and a resolve towards taking an unconventional risk, by Frimpong Manso. Can you watch a film with a single location and two characters that take you through a journey with their conversation? That is what Rebecca does. Not everybody will understand why, she insists on two characters and a location but Shirley’s aim was to tell a story. She takes us back in time, to the time that marriages were contracted and yet they lasted a lifetime. Clifford and Rebecca got betrothed, no dating, and no courtship and yet they get married, and when they are left stranded, they choose to know each other.
Shirley’s decision to re-unite with Joseph Benjamin and Yvonne is no coincidence. They gave an excellent offering in “The Contract”, so why not! Only excellent actors can take you through a 90 minutes film without killing you with sheer boredom. The location will not bore you, because the actor’s make-up for that and this is more than the celebrity-packed films we see all the time. Two acts do the job and they do it excellently.
There are other elements of a film that matter, there is of course, sound, cinematography, make-up, music and so much more and Shirley has never taken this for granted. The soft images that accompany Rebecca deserve commendation. It takes you back in time, yet does not take you all the way. It is a signification of balance. She is telling a story of what used to happen and she is doing this with couples not from that time, but couples adopting the lifestyle and so she strikes the balance by using the soft colours, we get when we watch Rebecca.
The only accompanying sound aside from Clifford’s voice and then the conversation between Rebecca and Clifford is the crisp sound from the bird and that helps with the atmosphere. When we don’t hear Clifford and Rebecca, we hear the bird. Whether computer generated or not, it set the atmosphere and that is important.
Rebecca has two directors, while Shirley Frimpong writes and is the main director; it also credits Senanu Gbedawo as an assistant director. It is a complex film, yet it appears easy and smooth to us. Rebecca expects reflection to understand the film better and it is an excellent effort that many will not understand but the few that do, will appreciate the work for its daring nature.
It gets a 9/10 from Xplore.
Rejoice a movie enthusiast, who feels Art is inspiring, it makes her think and she believes it is the way forward. You can check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/joicesamuelabutsa