Director: Leila Djansi
Screenplay: Leila Djansi
Cast: Ama K Abrese, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Yemi Blaq
Victimization, abuse, and instability are serious issues in marriage and these are the themes Leila Djansi takes on in Sinking Sand.
Pabi and Jimah are a couple deeply and madly in love until a domestic accident leaves them as different people. Jimah is left with a terrible scar that causes him deep insecurity and turns him into an abusive husband, while his wife Pabi whose modest dreams of becoming a school principal is at the receiving end of her husband’s insecurity. Guilt reduces her drastically; she caused the accident so it was easy to feel indebted to him.
On the storyline, abuse is the focal point in this film and scene after scene you will feel Pabi’s pain, an abused woman that goes through cycles of manipulation, and does not think of leaving the abuser. Pabi’s guilt makes her a victim. The theme of abuse is well captured and explored by Leila Djansi. Problem, is while she portrays such a powerful story of abuse and victimization, she also excuses it. Jimah’s abuse is portrayed as a coping mechanism. He is abusive, to cope with what he is going through. He cannot cope with staying in public places because he does not want people to be uncomfortable with his presence. He is conscious of his appearance and it translates in his interaction with his wife, who suffers from all of his changing emotions. When he hits her for the first time, we get that the abuse is going to happen again and again because from that point the story begins to go deep to its abuse theme.
Their acting, was solid in this film, the characters of Jimah and Pabi, transformed right before our eyes, from the happy, loving couple to the depressed couple. This is Ama K Abrese’s debut role and she communicates the story of the abused woman really well in some instances. There were times she was so good, she was totally believable and there were times she looked quite flashy for a woman that was suffering at the hands of an abusive man. Yemi Blaq plays the doctor and he took his character seriously, he was absolutely amazing. Jimmy Jean-Louis was so good in this. I did not notice the good acting because I was invested in hating him as Jimah, but if he was not so good, I wouldn’t hate him. He had a physical scarring that we saw, but we felt his emotional scarring through a powerful portrayal of the role of Jimah.
Sound and cinematography were good. Make-up was incredible; the second-degree burns on Jimah’s face was convincing. The make-up artists took time, to research and they did their job really well. There are scenes that were well crafted; there were those that fell flat. For example, the burial scene did nothing for the film, the aura is low, and usually for me, the first scene in a film speaks volume, if it starts low, there is a high probability I would lose interest and not follow the story well. Leila should have invested more time in some of the scenes. Each scene makes the complete film, it is distracting to move from one great scene to a scene that falls flat and then, back to a great scene. Sinking Sands was a good effort.
Sinking Sands was a good effort, and earns 6/10 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