Writer– Emem Isong, screenplay Uduak Isong oguamanam
Cast-Majid Michel, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Adesua Etomi, and Ini Edo
Knocking on Heaven’s Door from the stables of the Royal Arts Academy tells the story of a musically talented young woman and church goer married to an insecure and selfish brutish man. From the synopsis, I’m guessing that you guys already feel you know how it would end, I thought that way too, but I was in for a surprise (please note, it wasn’t a pleasant one).
Casting seemed well thought out as they had a somewhat newbie in the production as the female lead. Debbie played by Adesuwa Etomi (Gidi Up, Brave, Make We Waka) handled the timid, obedient and humble wife role well. In fact so well, that I felt like I should shake the bejesus out of her for the way she played. Now even though I was totally into the character, I wasn’t convince, there were scenes that I didn’t feel like she was too afraid or totally defeated/shoulders fallen. Also it felt like pure fiction, not relatable at all as I wasn’t convinced that there are real people like that in this world, but we aren’t talking about that right? Kudos to her, I loved the monologue scene and her slowing becoming senile.
For the lead male, Mr. Chukwujekwu who played her husband and manager was spot on. Acting is all about trying other characters and Blossom did himself a service by taking this role. It does need some more work to be able to carry on with ease, especially if it’s not one’s nature but as a psychotic angry maniac, selfish and insecure character, he handled it well. Did I mention it’s a musical? Well it is! The singing part of this movie was horrible, hands down. Adesuwa was more believable as a singer than Blossom as a singer and piano player *sigh*! I cannot but stress the importance of getting into character, but if you are going to sing, there has to be a better way of syncing the voices with the actual characters.
Majid played a role in this production and even though we won’t like to admit it, Majid is slowly taking over from our main Nigerian characters. This year alone he has been in 8 Nigerian and Ghanian productions! As for playing Tom, he had his moments. Didn’t get the eclectic behavior, or his going around with an entourage of babes, he played a music producers not a pimp (ah well). For Ini, she was Ini and left to me, didn’t need to be in this production, not saying the role wasn’t significant, just wondering why she had to play to be the one to play it.
Production was pretty clean. More editing was necessary, the Pastors scenes, the dancing scene, the long opening scene that we truly didn’t need and the list goes on. I was beginning to settle into the script, believing it was just okay until I heard this from Adesuwa’s character “I would go to bed alive and wake up dead”! (WTH). Like I mentioned, it was a musical, sound track *smh* was somewhat okay. There were some okay songs, so I must hand it to George Nathaniel as the songs were cool although they were melodies we have heard before, they could grow on one and probably won’t be bad as an album. Also the duet would have been awesome if they were truly singing and not miming or better still lip syncing.
Directing was as is, nothing out of the ordinary. Is Desmond losing his grip on things, or was this just business as usually to him. Some attention needs to go into choreography and dying scenes, in our movies and in this production, it falls directly under his purview.
“Knocking on Heavens Door” provided nothing new under the sun, neither did it spark any empathy to the real situation it was trying to portray. From Xplore it gets a 3.5/10