Genre: Nigerian romantic drama
Producer: Emem Isong
Director: Desmond Elliott
Script: Bola Aduwo
Cast: Monalisa Chinda, Uche Jumbo, Alex Ekubo, Daniella Chioma Okeke,
Uche Jumbo, Monalisa Chinda and Daniella Okeke star as three fulfilled single women in their 40’s seeking fun. While Uche Jumbo (Aret) frolics with the young men Lagos has to offer, Monalisa Chinda (Elsie) and Daniella Okeke (Joke) think they can avoid the ‘cougar business’ until they fall in love and discover they can’t.
Since this movie premiered at the Silverbird Galleria, Dec 3rd, a lot has been said about it, while some think it’s clichéd and predictable, others think it’s awesome. This is just another exclusive from Emem Isong just like ‘Reloaded’ and ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ were nation wide block-busters.
Looks like Desmond Elliott is becoming good as a director but he could have done better particularly to help Daniella Okeke in her career. It seemed to me like she was ‘forming’ her role or was only given the script minutes before recording. Sean Faqua did a good job though. He and Monalisa stood out in their acting.
The narrative is creative. Kudos to Bola Aduwo for the script even if it was a tad hard to connect with Jite (Bobby Michaels) and his girlfriend. Although the script is riddled with Nollywood clichés, it was genius. Having Elsie who disdains what her friend, Aret does but then decided to give it a try and has a one night stand with a boy young enough to be her son and she falls for him. Turns out he was her son’s mate indeed even his best friend.
The sound for this movie was perfect since I was able to hear the characters clearly but then, even the use of sound effects and sound tracks were appropriate. That’s a thumbs up. Camera angles/ shots were good too but the conversation between Alex Ekubo and Diana Yekini in a scene earlier in the movie was slightly one sided as Alex’s head was cut off for most of that scene (since Diana is lacking some height).
The costume of Daniella and Uche Jumbo though Nigerian, took away one’s attention from the characters to their bodies thereby disrupting the connection between the audience and these women. Set building is a tough job especially since it involves details but the props and background were so good that I have to hand it to the guys who structured it.
After all these, I must say, the editor did well. The shots lasted long enough for one to have the dramatic experience going on. The camera angles? Perfect enough make one feel like they’re in the scene. The transitions, lighting, all were fair enough.
Watching this movie gave me a different perspective on Nigerian movies. While the photography is not as awesome as one would hope, I cannot disagree that the screenplay is Nigerian. The environment depicts how ‘senior babes’ in Lagos catch their fun despite being scared of society to settle for men from younger age brackets (just as the name, Lagos Cougars suggests).
But most importantly, the techniques, hilarious characters, mise-en-scene made my experience worth it. In spite of the criticism, I would recommend this movie to a friend and that coming from someone who dislikes Nigerian movies, you gotta trust me and give Lagos Cougars a chance.