THE DAMNED

Posted in Recommended by - July 30, 2017
THE DAMNED

Starring: Desmond Elliott, Enado Odigie, Cynthia Shalom

Synopsis:
A married couple experiencing difficulty in conceiving hits a bump in the road when infidelity produces a pregnancy outside of the marriage. 

Review:
James and Onyinye (Desmond Elliott & Enado Odigie) were a happy couple desiring a child. They hadn’t conceived during their three-year marriage and were in the midst of medical testing to determine the cause. A slip of the tongue revealed that Onyinye had an abortion when she was younger and James wasn’t happy that he was just finding out.

Anger led him to a sexual encounter with Imelda (Cynthia Shalom), a woman he believed to be eighteen. Imelda wouldn’t accept that the affair was over and after a series of fruitless calls and text messages, she not only announced she was pregnant, James learned she was seventeen and the daughter of his boss.

Let’s Talk. This is a love triangle layered with all sorts of conflict. We have a married man having sex with a seventeen year old girl who announced she was pregnant and then refused to have an abortion. James grew weary of her persistence but had to march to the beat of her drum in order to save his job and marriage.

Unfortunately, the story started off really slow with dry dialogue. The lovey-dovey scenes with James and his wife didn’t feel organic but then the stiff aspect of the story turned interesting. Underage girl, blackmail, job on the line, jealousy in the office, and the threat to James’ marriage, all took the movie from zero to one hundred. This is what I call putting a spin on things.

We’ve seen a thousand infidelity movies so it’s up to writers to spice up common storylines and present something fresh that anchors an audience to the story.  The movie’s title was so on point because the main character was damned on so many levels.   

But a few nips and tucks were needed. For instance, there’s a scene where Imelda showed up at James’ home and introduced herself to his wife as a co-worker. After she left their home, James asked his wife “did she tell you anything?” Why would he ask her that? Isn’t that giving himself away? His wife’s natural response should have been “anything like what?” but that didn’t happen. Obviously, his wife wasn’t upset and she actually proceeded to seduce him, so the question was unnecessary and didn’t translate as believable.

Also casting a shadow was that James would have unprotected sex with a complete stranger. Not necessarily because of sexually transmitted diseases but because he seemed to scorn his own wife when it came to female bodily functions so it was seemingly out of character for him to do. But regardless of a few kinks, the movie continued to tap into our curiosity as to how James would resolve his issues. 

The most significant question was when James asked Imelda, “what do you want from me?” It’s such a potent question and an honest answer would place any relationship into perspective. The problem here is that the “other woman” was a teenager and she wasn’t mature enough to really know what was best for her life. And this immaturity was undoubtedly reflected by the fast and hard fall of teenage love coupled with her impulsive decisions. 

My favorite scene was when Imelda got James to promise to do whatever she said. A seventeen year old girl pulling the strings. Lovely. And funny!

Performances? Desmond Elliott owned the movie. I had forgotten what a talented actor he is. Also worth a mention is Cynthia Shalom who played seventeen year old Imelda. If Nollywood is smart, they’ll cast her in more movies.

In terms of technical stuff, video quality sufficed. As for sound, I had to turn my volume all the way up. Sigh…

Sooo, to reiterate, it was a slow start with an abrupt ending but certainly worth a watch. RECOMMEND

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