VALERIE

Posted in Eject by - July 04, 2017
VALERIE

Starring: Ivie Okujaye, Ken Erics, Happy Julian Uchendu

Synopsis:
The mysterious death of Valerie’s father left behind a bankrupt company, sibling rivalry, and a secret. 

Review:
The story opened up to Valerie (Happy Julien Uchendu) internally mourning the death of her father. She was in charge of his business and she was difficult to deal with.

Making matters worse, Valerie was surprised by Joe (Ken Erics), the new Director of Operations. It was a position her father arranged before he died. Joe made a huge investment in the company and he expected the same level of power as Valerie, and of course, they butted heads.

Meanwhile, Valerie had friction with her sister, Freida (Ivie Okujaye). They were half sisters that shared the same father and apparently when Freida’s mother became ill, their father, a wealthy man, didn’t offer financial support.

Freida’s mother eventually died which caused her resentment toward her father. While the sisters tried to mend fences, it opened the door to the players in their father’s death and also to a secret that Valerie was hiding.

Let’s Talk. Sigh…I really don’t know where to begin with this review but it’s not looking good. First of all the name of the movie is “Valerie” so it has connotations of a character that was either prominent, outlandish, or funny. Not the case.

Actually, the movie stated that Valerie was strong, valiant, and feminine but she turned out to be one-dimensional and uninteresting. The character was a disappointment based on expectations projected by the title.

Furthermore, the story dragged on lifelessly thanks to poor story execution. Overall, it was 95% bland with a 5% uptick when the root of the story was revealed.

At the heart, the story wasn’t really about Valerie; it was about the death of her father and the reasons behind it. Supposedly the movie was based on a true story but sometimes true stories have to be fictionalized for a dramatic effect. This may or may not have been done at the writing level but ultimately, not all life events should be turned into movies. In this case a newspaper article would have sufficed.

In addition to its sedative nature, there’s a scene where Freida was admiring Valerie’s hair and while doing so she slid Valerie’s wig off. I mean, who does that? What woman would dare to take another woman’s wig off unless they want to get slapped? And then in a subsequent scene, Joe asked Valerie to take her wig off. Huh?? Surely, the writer could have found a better way to convey what was going on with Valerie’s hair. This is a prime example of when to fictionalize for believability and story purposes.

Performances. Let’s just say that when it comes to a lead role much is expected. People shouldn’t be cast in starring roles if they’re not ready for primetime. Seasoned actors are necessary to drive movies, especially in lead roles because a drab story coupled with unskilled acting is always a recipe for disaster. 

Ivie Okujaye was the one to watch. She has an engaging presence along with the ability to display organic emotions. 

Video quality was okay. Sound could have been better, as usual…

I can appreciate the core of the story and God bless the storyteller for sharing the experience but the truth is that “Valerie” is yet another snooze fest from the African movie industry. EJECT

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