Director: Femi Odugbemi

Cast: Gideon Okeke, Hauwa Allahbura, Lepacious Bose, Daniel Lloyd, Bukky Wright, Tina Mba, Nancy Isime

Running Time: 103 minutes

One word. Disappointing.

When the film first came out in June, I had somehow missed the chance to see it. Imagine my excitement when I saw it on the films lined-up to screen at the Lights Camera Africa!!! film festival. We all sat in silence as the lights went out, and projector lit up with the film’s montage. I was excited to hear Aduke’s song ‘Lagos’ as the soundtrack and thought it to be a good sign. Before long, my excitement had waned to become impatience. Here is why…

The film opens with scenes of the biggest market in Lagos – Idumota. Here a girl’s bag is snatched and prince charming decides to live up to his fairy tale responsibility by being a knight, only that this one was without armour. He chases the thief and somehow retrieves her bag. This is how Akin (Gideon Okeke) and Nkem (Hauwa Allahbura) meet.

Yes, romantic comedies are fated to somehow tow this line – boy meets girl, girl fronts for boy, the boy persists, girl gives in, trouble in paradise brought about by a villain, the villain is vanquished, and they lived happily ever after. Are you beginning to get the picture?

As cliché as this is, there is a reason this theme is being tirelessly explored, especially in Hollywood. It makes for a good laugh, it allows a young girl to dream and may allow for a lad to aspire but not with ‘Gidi Blues’.

The film is centered on a ‘money bag’ playboy whose mother manipulates to give in to her whims by simply blocking his access to her money. Why? she wants a grandchild. She wants him to settle down.

‘Gidi Blues’ is a love story on Akin who finds love with Nkem amidst stilt structures in Makoko. There was nothing surprising in between. The story lacked logic in some scenes, had continuity issues and a weak dialogue that were tedious to follow.

However, Femi Odugbemi was amazing with the cinematography. The picture quality and shots were perfect with refreshing establishing shots of Lagos. You could tell that this director loves Lagos and he clearly showed us how much. The cinematography was literally giddy like ‘Gidi’. This was one of the best things about the film – not that there are many.

Still, it is about time filmmakers paid as much attention to their storyline and dialogue as they do with cinematography because it seems cinematography is what most Nigerian filmmakers care about these days and you will agree that a good film is much more.

For instance, Hauwa is not an actress I look forward to watching again; not even for a supporting role. If she’s a good actress, this movie did not show it. Her character was as forceful as the way of life she forced down Akin’s throat, so that she came off as self-righteous rather than inspiring. Nancy Isime, on the other hand, who played the role of a pastor’s daughter, an ideal daughter-in-law to Akin’s mother, made the watch worth it with her good-girl-gone-bad character. She seized the opportunity to be the star of the movie making the scenes quite memorable.

‘Gidi Blues’ is a mediocre attempt at a romcom but worth the try. Better details should be taken into account when writing for a Nigerian audience. No Nigerian man will catch a grenade or cross the ocean for anybody. Leave that to the likes of Bruno Mars and Monica to sing about. There are many more practical things, equally convincing that Nigerian men are bound to do to prove their love.

Cheers to ‘Gidi’ but with this movie, I will not be drinking to love.