Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Soldier's story

When you first hear the title of the movie, what comes to mind?  For over a week, DSTV Box Office has not displayed any interesting movie.  But a few days back when I tuned into Box Office, I saw some fresh release.

One of the recent ones is “A soldier’s story”.  Incase you’ve not heard the name before, you can be pardoned.  It’s one of the earliest movies featuring Denzel Washington.  And unlike him, he’s a villain.  I think this is the first movie he played a villain role.  I also remember Training Day as well.

 You probably don’t know where I’m coming from.  There’s another movie titled, “A soldier’s” story.  But this time around, it’s the Nollywood version.
For goodness sake what were the makers of the movie thinking ? Where’s the originality?  Ok let’s assume it’s a coincidence the movie bears that name.  After all, you probably have met someone of people who are your namesake as well.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Despite the flaw, I decided to watch the movie myself.  So I rented it for N400 (Naira ) from Box office.  The casts are relatively new faces, which is good.  The main protagonist is Major Egan, played by Tope Tedela.  Regina is another interesting character played by Linda Ejiofor.

Major Egan is a soldier and a doctor in the Nigerian Army.  Less than one week into his marriage, his boss informs him that his service is needed in a peacekeeping mission.  Well, I don’t know how realistic this is but going to was just after 5 days of marriage is cruel.  May be those in the Army will know better.
On the day of his departure, the major sneaks out of his bed and puts on his uniform but his wife is awake pretending to be asleep.  As he heads for the door, his wife stands up and starts complaining.  She tells him not to go and all the bla bla bla. While still displaying her drama, there’s a knock at the door. 

The door is opened and a Colonel walks in.  He’s the boss of the Major.  He sees that the wife is not happy and he decides to take the role of a marriage counselor.  He tells the wife that her husband is the best man for the job and he needs her support.  After much coaxing and cajoling, she allows her husband leave but not after sharing a passionate kiss.  The kiss I later came to find out is the most realistic act in the entire movie.  
The Major is posted to a war torn zone in Bosangwa, Wazts Republic.  Don’t even bother checking your map.  There’s no such place.  This is funny.  We don’t even know what part of Africa the Wazts republic is.  While the doctor is on the field, a supposed rebel fires a rocket propelled grenade at him.  He’s left for dead.  At this point, I’m appalled at the quality of special effects.  The gun shots were just too fake.  You’ll see sparks of light coming out from the nozzle of the gun like those you see in Tom and Jerry cartoon.

In the field there are many dead bodies on the ground and most of them are naked.  The bodies were blurred by the camera.  And I wondered if I’m watching a documentary or a movie.

Some days later, two ladies came to the field to scavenge from the dead. They find out that one of them is alive.  He’s the doctor.  So one of the ladies decides to take him home and nurture him.  As providence will have it, she’s a nurse. Her name is Regina.  They begin to love each other.

There’s a small group of rebels led by one notorious fellow fondly called Boss man.  He also likes the nurse and sometimes tends to her needs.  When he discovers a man in her home, he gets angry and makes his life a living hell.  The Boss man comes with his gangs from time to time and terrorizes the soldier.

In one of the fight scenes, between the Boss man and the Major, the latter receives more than ten hard punches to his head and face.  This Boss man is about the size of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Major is the size of David Beecham.  But surprisingly, the next day there were no bruises on his face except minor cuts.  But the greatest miracle of all is that after receiving those heavy poundings, he gains back his memory.  Boss Man escapes from the scene.  We don’t know what happened to him again.

After he gains back his memory, he tells his nurse/rescuer that he’s married.  She’s not happy to hear it.  Another drama begins.  The next day or so, he takes a flight to Lagos, Nigeria after reconciling with the nurse.  How he finds his way in a war torn city without any help remains a mystery to me.  He returns home only to realize that his wife has relocated (this itself is another twist).  He moves into a new apartment with the assistance of the Colonel.

To crown it all, his nurse/girlfriend is restless after his departure. Her friend advises her to follow her heart.  So she leaves Bosangwa town to Lagos.  And guess what?  She locates her prince charming in his new residence straight from the bus park.  Not only that, she arrives there on time to rescue him from an assassination attempt on his life.

I was short of words.  The storyline, the plot, the continuity are nothing to write home about.  I  suggest that the director focus his energy on simple stories or drama.  Don’t think of action movies when you can’t afford it.  To be generous, I score this movie two.
Remark: 2/10. 

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