The reason for writing a common review for these 3 films is because they have glaring similarities. Firstly, two of the scripts were written by Omoni Oboli: she rewrote Brother’s Keeper and wrote Being Mrs. Elliott, which is also her first effort at directing. Secondly, Majid Michel is the lead male in the three films and, thirdly, the 3 stories are almost the same.
In Darima’s Dilemma, Dise reluctantly agrees to hold the fort for her sister, Darima, in Darima’s matrimonial home while Darima goes off with her former boyfriend on a rendezvous. Darima loses her life in the process and Dise is almost stuck, trying to wriggle out of the situation.
In Brother’s Keeper, Mena loses her husband, Chude, and son, David, the same day, but her husband’s twin brother, Chidi, (the twins are played by Michel) pretends to be Chude, leading to a lot of incidents.
Being Mrs. Elliottreminds one of Face Off (John Travolta, Nicholas Cage). Two women, Lara (Oboli) and Fisayo (Uru Eke) are involved in a ghastly motor accident. Fisayo needs reconstructive surgery and her face is mistakenly recreated to look like Lara’s. It is drama all the way …
In fact, there is a feeling of déjà vu when you see the three films one after the other. Oboli should take a dispassionate look at the two films, whose screenplays she wrote and be informed that being derivative (writing screenplays with stories that have been told repeatedly) is counterproductive.
Majid Michel should know better than acting in 3 films that basically tell the same story as it raises questions of credibility! There are countless stories that remain unexplored. Why then do film-makers and actors keep making very similar films like Darima’s Dilemma, Brother’s Keeper and Being Mrs. Elliot?
In both Darima’s Dilemma and Brother’s Keeper, one of the twins dies, causing untold sorrow or so it seems (as in Brother’s Keeper) for those they left behind. Both films are, to put it mildly, contrived. There is no way a man or woman will not notice a slight difference between the bodies of his wife or her husband and someone else given that the person’s behaviour might have changed, owing to grief.
Being Mrs. Elliot is the most plausible of the 3 films. A near fatal accident, coupled with plastic surgery can change an individual’s anatomy considerably.
There are great moments in Being Mrs. Elliot. For instance, the exchange between Lara and the driver (Ime Umoh):
Lara: Did you ‘fart’?
Driver: No, I am slim.
The taxi driver makes the following statement when they are bargaining price with him.
Driver: I go sleep hotel, eat … carry woman.
Efe’s (Seun Akindele) proposal to Fisayo is quite creative. Isawuru (AY) and the character played by Lepacious Bose add flavour to the flick with their comedy. Isawuru asks: Who wants to get married to a whole community? He uses that the ‘entire community’ to represent the woman’s enormous size; funny.
However, there were observable flaws in Being Mrs. Elliot. The subtitle in a certain exchange in Pidgin English is not subtitled. Fisayo should have removed her scarf while taking off from the scene of her fiancé’s murder. Changing her clothes, but leaving the scarf, still makes her easy to identify.
Fisayo is not believable as one does not understand how a woman who just lost her fiancé will engage in a trivial conversation with a driver instead of being pensive, mourning her man, after her escape from the murderers.
Ime Umoh should not speak in the same way in all his films. It is monotonous. Nonye (Sylvia Oluchi) could not pronounce ‘clothes’ appropriately. She calls it ‘çloze’ several times.
Nonye: ‘Get out of your ‘cloze’. I can’t give you a massage with your ‘cloze’ on … out of your ‘cloze’ or I change my mind.’
Someone says in this film: ‘We learn to do things in our stride.’ No, that idiomatic expression is actually … ‘taking things in one’s stride’.
One hopes that the other film, which Omoni made alongside Being Mrs. Elliot and of course her subsequent films, will be thoroughly captivating.
Reviewed by Amarchukwu Iwuala