Just Not Married (by Lani Aisida) had us blown away. It’s new faces and original story felt like a breath of fresh air. Sadly, any repeat of that movie experience was lost in Stormy Hearts.
Co-written by Brenda Ogbuka (Oxford Gardens), the film centers around Ella (Christiana Martin), a prostitute working for Gold Digger (Kelechi Udegbe). After an assignment with a major customer (Fred Amata as Mr Bako), she quietly steals his money and makes a run for it. To avoid Gold Digger she finds a new place to stay as quickly as it takes to check into a hotel. Her new neighbors, Lekan (Tomiwa Kukoyi) and the nail-biting Kosi (Greg Ojefua), came nowhere close to the comedy they tried to pull off. A third neighbor and music producer, the heart-broken Bassey (Eddie Watson), meets Ella at an audition and later at his place. They get close and set things off. By the time Gold-digger would find her, she’d marshalled a small army of stool-wielding supporters.
Kenneth Okolie (Meet The In-Laws) played Johnson, a more successful producer. In his bid to spite Bassey, he signed Kachi (Theresa Edem). Kachi was Bassey’s pride and major artiste. The Johnson-Kachi story was an excuse for a plot I saw no need for. In a scene, Kachi walks in on a philandering Johnson. She gets mad and wants to leave, he tries to stop her but she falls. How it turned into a head injury that left her unconscious was not clear. Johnson was never seen in his studio. His scenes were mostly in his room. Camera shots at night and in the club were good but the angles weren’t satisfactory. The actors were audible and audio clarity gets a plus. Except for a plastic bottle of gin and lots of smoke, Gold Digger in his many chains failed to carry or brandish any weapon. In A Soldier’s Story, Daniel K. Daniel and his gang (Sambasa and Emem) went around with guns as real as the recession. Fred Amata made his appearance early in the film with a performance that left me wanting more. Why wasn’t he raving angry after he’d been robbed? Let’s not talk of the fact he was pleading for the thief.
Editing wasn’t impressive either. In a scene, Kenneth Okolie and Theresa Edem (Trapped) were leaving Eddie Watson’s place when Christiana Martin (Mid Life Blues) hurried past and shut the door. Too much time had passed for her to be recaptured (in the next scene) entering her destination to shut the same door again. For a music drama there had to be some singing, and Bassey’s rendition (somewhere close to the end) wasn’t moving, nor soulful, nor deep. Christiana Martin’s Bibanke sample, during her singing audition, nearly tore my eardrums. Her stage skills weren’t worth the applause from the beer crowd.
This film is a good story with the wrong execution. The intention for a comedy-thriller is perceived, welcome and appreciated, but sadly it doesn’t cut the cake.
Directed by Tope Alake, Stormy Hearts is a tale on heartbreak and reformation with no moral lessons against a ho-job.
The film is rated 5/10.