GATEMAN

Posted in Recommended by - September 03, 2017
GATEMAN

Starring: Ruth Kadiri, Bolanle Ninalowo, Genny Uzoma, Benedict Johnson

Synopsis:
The son of a retiring business owner is set to take over the family business but decides to work his way up, starting from the position of gateman.

Review:
Chief James (Chris Akwarandu) had been running a successful business for years and the time came to hand the company over to his son, Daniel (Bolanle Ninalowo). The employees weren’t familiar with Daniel so he decided to start his employment incognito, from the bottom up, in order to learn the business.

Day one came and he got his first rude awakening when he was instantly treated like sh*t by the supervising gateman. But things looked up when Francis (Ruth Kadiri), the Human Resources Manager, took an interest in him. She overlooked that he was her subordinate and she instead focused on the “hot” guy beneath the uniform. Conflict set in when her ex-boyfriend learned of her attraction to Daniel and decided to make his life miserable.

Let’s Talk. This is a drama that wreaked of sexual tension and office politics. It’s reminiscent of the Hollywood series titled “Undercover Boss” where company executives pretend they’re employees in order to mingle with staff and learn of flaws in the operation. 

During the scheme Daniel (Bolanle Ninalowo) got quite an earful and even experienced physical abuse during his shift. The HR Manager flirted with him which could have resulted in sexual harassment charges but his equal interest in her aborted any such accusation.

Unfortunately, there were a few flaws. First off, the fact that Daniel, a new employee, avoided normal procedures and presumably wasn’t interviewed by the HR department should have been a red flag to Francis, the HR Manager and love interest. If Daniel wasn’t hired through HR then she should have questioned how he got the job.

Secondly, Daniel, as security guard, never buttoned his shirt all the way up. That was unprofessional and simply a way for the actor showcase his buff body. Look the part! Better direction was needed in those scenes. There was even a time when he took his shirt off to wash a car. Really? Half naked at work? Of course, this played into the intentional sexual aura of the movie but it would have been more acceptable if his shirt was buttoned in the other scenes.

The one thing I would have liked to have seen was when Daniel and Francis met for the first time instead of cutting to a scene where they had apparently already met. Seeing their eyes lock for the first time, setting off sparks for a potential romance would have been enticing.

There were other issues such as physical abuse which, required instant termination. One of the scenes suffered distracting noise when utensils scraped against plates as the family ate dinner. The constant “clanking” noises obstructed the dialogue. Maybe plastic forks should be considered in dining scenes because sound is often an issue in African movies. 

Regardless of a few drawbacks, the story was captivating. We had the day-to-day dealings of an office sprinkled with a little romance. Ruth’s character was blessed with the perception to see past a uniform while Bolanle’s character put the brakes on a possible love affair in order to complete his mission.

But at the core of it all was prejudice. The gateman job is a low-ranked position that equates to a lack of respect, education, and skill. The writer set out to dispel the stereotype with gatemen that had valid reasons for accepting the job other than ineptitude.

Casting was perfection. Ruth Kadiri was just adorable as she embodied her character in a way that was appealing. Although Bolanle gave a smooth performance he seemed to rely on his body to sell the character instead of allowing himself to be corny when the role called for it.

Video and audio were adequate. In terms of locations, a more corporate environment was desired, especially because the business was supposed to be successful enough to employ a personnel department.

In the real world, will gatemen garner respect as a result of this movie? Probably not. But the story was a gratifying watch that roped nepotism, lust, and office politics into a storyline we don’t normally see. RECOMMEND

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