CHAMPAGNE

Posted in Recommended by - June 14, 2015
CHAMPAGNE

Title: CHAMPAGNE (Full Story)

Starring: Alexx Ekubo, Majid Michel, Rosemary Zimu, Tana Adelana

Synopsis:

A couple that made a living from duping the wealthy embarked on a victim that was unforgiving.

Review:

Champagne and Tare (Rosemary Zimu & Alexx Ekubo) were joined together in holy matrimony but they had an open marriage. The union was flexible in that Tare was allowed to sleep with rich women for the sole purpose of paying their bills. But when one of his lovers appeared at their home and discovered that he was married, his wife realized it was time to end the charade.

Tare agreed to give up the game while Champagne interviewed for a job. The job was only available if she slept with the boss but she refused to go that route. The rent was due and bills were mounting so Tare nudged her to spend some time with Douglas (Majid Michel), a successful man that they met at a museum. She was reluctant at first but then found herself smitten with Douglas when he expressed a genuine interested in her and topped it off with ten thousand dollars.

Tare encouraged Champagne to sleep with Douglas and when she did, feelings ensued. Douglas had a girlfriend in New York but decided that Champagne was the woman for him and he popped the question. It was then that Champagne admitted that she was already married but Douglas didn’t take the news very well.

Let’s Talk. This movie had me at hello. Its display of art, museums, and wealth, piqued my interest from the onset. Shortly after, the main characters, Champagne and Tare, were presented as hustlers that made their living in an unconventional manner. 

The movie’s acceleration was nimble but dipped in and out of momentum. The first nosedive was when Champagne came home with ten thousand dollars from Douglas. She had not slept with him at that point and because the filmmakers didn’t reveal how she maneuvered that kind of money from a man she barely knew, that scene was hard to accept.

The editing was a little off in that there were times when they “cut to” the next scene and neglected transition. There was also a level of predictability in that it was obvious that feelings would develop between Douglas and Champagne and that he wouldn’t be the usual sucker.

The movie’s climax had a contradictory effect. It’s a shame because the potential was there for it to be an “edge of your seat” moment. Instead, it turned out to be an ineptly choreographed fight scene.

What’s commendable is that the story was a change from the normal theatrics – no village poverty or friends sleeping with their friends’ lovers. Even a title like “Champagne” was intriguing because it’s vague yet inviting.

At the core, we had a couple that engaged in consensual infidelity but had radically different experiences. While Tare was able to dip and dive without emotional attachment, Champagne popped the cork and got giddy over Douglas.

She would slide out of bed to accept his late night calls and she even brushed off sex with her husband. This is where the movie efficiently demonstrated that, for the most part, women are wired differently. And this isn’t news but it’s art mimicking life quite accurately.

Speaking of being wired differently, one of Tare’s lovers was an older woman that was emotionally unavailable. When he tried to break the news to her about his marital status she replied, “I don’t care about your sh*t; just control it.” Holla!! Now that’s the epitome of a cougar. Of all of Tare’s affairs, she was his best relationship because what they wanted from each other was upfront and on the table. No gimmicks. 

One of the points that the story touched on is how women hold onto men because of the amount of time invested in the relationship as opposed to staying because he’s the right man. Many women fear starting over while men, as shown in this story, have no problem pursuing another.

The movie also shed light on open marriages, which, used to be an underground trend. These relationships explore sexual variety but oddly, it was about money for our main couple. It appears that the traditional marriage is slowly being abandoned as we now have gay marriage, open marriages, and God knows what’s next. I can’t wrap my head around swinging marriages but the one good thing that came out of it for Tare and Champagne was that when she didn’t come home, he knew exactly where to find her.

The movie raises a few questions regarding the ramifications of a wife that cheats. Is a relationship ever the same afterward? Also, is this type of honesty really the best policy?

As for performances, Alexx Ekubo’s role as Tare wasn’t exactly demanding. It was easy to roll with his character until the moment he decided to pimp his wife. Majid put the thrill in thriller when his loony side surfaced while newcomer, Rosemary Zimu, was brimming with star quality. The cast consisted of good-looking actors that were very compatible. Great casting.

When it came to technical issues, the sound was not aligned properly with the dialogue. It was reminiscent of those old Chinese karate movies where you hear the dialogue first and then the lips move seconds later. I’m not sure if I got a defective DVD or if the movie was released this way to the world.

“Champagne” does have its flaws but it doesn’t completely fizzle out. It’s an attractive movie with a mainstream appeal that didn’t lose sight of its African culture. RECOMMEND 

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