Oh damn damn damn. I guess I spoke too soon. Shirley Frimpong Manso had to let me eat my words with her movie “A Sting in a Tale” which I just finished watching. It was released nationwide in Ghana today (Dec 14 2009).
I thought I was sealing the year (2009) with Vivian Ejike’s great movie “Silent Scandal” which I absolutely loved just as much as I also loved Guilty Pleasures and Reloaded, but then after watching a Sting in a Tale, I can’t even choose. I never imagined the year will end so great with such great movies considering the many crap we endured to while away time.
Once again I challenge the men in Nollywood movie production (Ghana & Nigeria) – and I ask again, why are you all making the ladies take you the cleaners like that – they’re beating you every time – I mean it’s really embarrassing especially when some of the ladies just got in the game and you guys are suppose to be veterans at this – We challenge you to do something greater in the New Year 2010.
These ladies OWNED 2009 bar none, and you are nowhere near them – the name of the game is “QUALITY and not “QUANTITY”. I mean you walk out of a theatre watching movies such as this A Sting in a Tale, Silent Scandal, Guilty Pleasures and Reloaded, and you can’t help but smile - money well spent and not just the usual recycled nonsense put out on the market always.
EMEM ISONG, SHIRLEY FRIMPONG MANSO AND VIVIAN EJIKE once again I salute you – the 3 of you deserve a standing ovation for making Africa Proud (maybe many of the guys could take lessons from you – I don’t want to embarrass you guys, (clear my throat) – You know who you are – the mediocre movies need to stop in 2010 – come correct.
You ladies made us all proud. Damn!! You all are good – I love you more than you can imagine – all of you. You make me smile from ear to ear every time I am un-wrapping a new movie from you.
Adjetey Anang as Kuuku
Majid Michel as Nii Aryee
Lydia Forson as Frema
Doris Sackitey as Auntie Tamara (Frema’s Mother)
Joselyn C Dumas as Esi (Nii Aryee’s Girlfriend)
Abeiku Acquah as Rocker (aka Mr. Never Ending Investment Ideas to no avail)
WRITTEN & DIRECTED
Shirley Frimpong Manso
(A very creative and well written movie – very interesting)
A twisted tale of two unemployed graduates who embark on a journey to make it in a world where you need more than what you have to get what you want. Kuuku is overwhelmed with the urgency to succeed and frantically searches for a reward to his several years of school. Frustrated and constantly reminded of his failure by the presence of his girlfriend (Frema); Kuuku will do anything to make the odds work in his favor.
Nii Aryee, (Kuuku’s abstemious looking friend) is more positive about the future until the rejection letters begin to mound and his landlord comes to town. Driven by the fear of poverty these two friends go in search of a destiny that take them to the most obscure places.
In a tale where the unexpected is always lurking in the shadows, from the natural to the supernatural in a rather bizarre ending. NOTHING PREPARES YOU FOR THE STING.
MUSIC & SOUND SCORE:
The music and sound score of the movie was just perfect – I just loved it. Beautiful sound score and good music including some Ghanaian music hip life.
Now you all know on my blog I hardly give away great movies because I don’t want to spoil it for you (I’ll comment on a scenes here and there but never give out the whole thing) – and this is a typical example of a movie I definitely cannot give away at all, cos If I do it will surely mess it up for you. Let’s just say I never imagined it to turn out the way it did. It was just excellent. Watch it for yourself and don’t dig out the whole story beforehand. You will not enjoy it if you do. This is a movie you can definitely enjoy with your family and guest after Christmas dinner, as well as Reloaded, Guilty Pleasures and Silent Scandal.
This is a movie you watch from beginning to end to truly understand the mystery and suspense of it all. The storyline and/or synopsis are the best I can do to at least give you an idea of what it’s about. I however suggest you BUY this movie ASAP and watch it, buy a couple (as I also mentioned in the Silent Scandal review) plus Guilty Pleasures, Reloaded and Silent Scandal and gift wrap it for your friends and family this Christmas. They will Love you more – I promise.
One thing that makes me proud of Shirley Frimpong Manso is the fact that she showcases our true Ghanaian stuff – the names used for the characters (e.g. Kuuku, Nii Aryee, Frema, Esi etc), the customs (e.g. Fufu pounding) the sometimes local dialect, pidgin or languages intertwined in the movie (to give it a mixture) and most of all her usage of the most beautiful picturesque postcard-ish sceneries of Ghana (not just the city of Accra). Love it Love it Love it.
Unlike Abdul Mumuni and Frank Arase and their Royal Theme- use of American Singers names or Soft Porn nonsense, Shirley is all about true quality and I love the RESPECT she has for the art of movies and what she delivers – I mean for one to do a movie where there are enormous grammatical errors noticed in the beginnning and ending rolling credits (i mean if u do this movie making thing FULL TIME then u should take time to edit) - this clearly shows the producer doesn’t respect the art of movies nor given the audience quality entertainment, they just want to make their profit and quick. No time for editing. Once again thank you Emem, Vivian and Shirley for respecting the art. Your efforts are well recognized.
Tis better to release 2 QUALITY movies in a year than 10 CRAP movies in a year – and that’s what Emem and Shirley does. What made me fell in love with Tchidi Chikere movies from back in the day with his village set movies were how he really showcased his Igbo culture that outsiders like myself being Ghanaian appreciated and learned from (and lawd knows I have learn plenty from Tchidi’s movies – especially the village set/traditional movies – the Igbo customs and culture to be precise).
Adjetey Anang who plays Kuuku is an actor whom Shirley has used in all of her past movies. Great actor who truly is challenged and shines in this role than he has ever in any of his other characters in Shirley’s other movies. Award winning performance and truly convincing – Watching the movie, I felt his frustration, his anger, his desperation and best of all his acting when he heard the tragic news. That scene was so touching. As part of an audience this is all we ask for, we don’t ask for much. Just act well and make the character believable so much so that I am able to forget am watching a movie and believe this is real. I got 1 min attention span for nonsensical movies and this is not one of them.
Majid was excellent as usual playing Kuuku’s friend Nii Aryee and I also felt his character especially when his friend got a job and he hadn’t. I could also feel his frustration. He was a good friend to Kuuku. He also played a truly convincing heart wrenching scene when he witness tragedy in the end scene.
This is the first time Majid has worked with Shirley and I suggest they do this again sometime soon. I mean they have to – no question. I have watched this movie twice already and pay real good attention to Majid every lil detail in every lil scene, and I swear this dude deserves an award for facial expression in whatever scene to suit it well. The only critique I have for Majid’s acting is when he sometimes speak too fast, I mean I get him and here him perfectly, but I have had one or two ppl say they did not hear what he said. Apart from that – I really can’t pinpoint any other flaws with his phenomenal acting. Bear in mind he hasn’t been in the game for too long, yet he is this good. Can you imagine 5 years from now after he has grown a lot professionally? Many our called, but few our chosen as they say, but Majid is definitely one of the chosen few – he has the IT factor
Majid “Ofai neh, ha ma bibo sa Nay fio” (please let me ask you a lil question) – “After watching this great movie I ask you, “Why the heck do you keep working with such producers such as Nonso Ekene Okonkow (His movies which you starred in 2009 including Stubborn Prince, Gangster Prince, Kiss of a Venom and all that B.S) I mean I don’t know if you watch your movies and critique yourself – but watching a movie you are in which was produced/directed by Nonso and his crew versus watching a movie produced and/or directed by the likes of Shirley, Vivian Emem and Vivian – to me it’s like night and day.
Majid just be selective. Just sit down and analyze your whole list of work for 2009. Guilty Pleasures,Silent Scandal and A Sting in a Tale is by far your best movie to date and specifically for this year 2009. Make it part of your New Year resolution to stick to quality and not quantity (unlike some ppl I won’t mention). I don’t care how much money you are being offered just be selective (I have been saying it since I first saw you in Crime to Christ in Nov 2007 that the sky is the limit for this gentlemen if and only if he is selective with the roles he plays which makes him shine. Don’t work with producers whom it’s evident your talent clearly surpassed their level of producing and direction and what this does is leaves you directing yourself. Choose producers and directors who can challenge you and make you shine. You are the one of the best that Ghana has and I wish you nothing but the best.
Other memorable scenes include the character of Rocker (played by Abeiku Acquah)– the imaginary Investor always making never ending suggestions of some new deal or get rich quick schemes that will make them get out of poverty. He was just hilarious. There is also the character of James the con man suggesting “Evangelism” as a way out of poverty. He said “Apparently almost all of their mates are doing very well in that business” – I almost died laughing when he said that.
The one scene that made me choke of laughter, when they were trying to find their ex school mate 419 con man friend (James) who had swindled them out of money. So Kuuku and Nii Aryee take some secondary school days photograph they had which included them and James, to a local artist (NINTEKO ART – “he morm he get sign board :lol:) for him to sketch a better photo of the dude (I guess to give to the police to find him), after sitting hours on end they ask to see how far the artist had gotten with the sketch – the dude shows them a sketch and saids “Ber Ebe am??”as in (this is it right?”).
The photo he had sketched was of footballer Michael Essien. I almost died laughing. I am laughing again right now as I type this. I was laughing because of two reasons.
The lady who plays Majid’s girlfriend Esi (her real name is Jocelyn Dumas) is also pretty good just as much as Lydia Forson who plays Kuuku’s girlfriend.
Also if you want to experience real Ghanaian pigeon English spoken – watch this movie. You will see the difference between ours and the originators (naija’s) – there is a slight difference to it. Its spoken in several scenes of the movie – in the scene where they sat down with the roadside sketch artist as well as in the scene where the two janitorial guys were cleaning the toilet and speaking about “rituals”. The reason why I emphasize is that I have met several naija’s who are a tad surprise when they see young Ghanaians speaking fluent pigeon. Well it’s widely spoken amongst the youth in the city (Accra) if inquiring minds need to know. I have 5 brothers – that’s all I heard growing up in the house.
We the ladies don’t speak it as much as our guys do however this is the type of slang the ladies speak amongst ourselves sometimes (at least my friends and I do) – like intertwining and mixing up the English with local dialect, eg.
-“I have to shuh” or “the rice has biined” as in the “the rice is cooked” or
-“why has he chaird like that” as in “why has he taken so long” or
-“As for me I didn’t like that koraa ohh” – as in “Personally I did not like that at all”.
In one funny scene
When Kuuku said “As for me I have to shuhh oooh”
(I laughed so hard - Ask any Ghanaian who grew up in Accra – “what does “I have to sha mean”?:lolJ - )
Kuuku said to Nii Aryee: – “then that means one of us have to stay back
Nii Aryee responded: – “No No No me u know say I no fit hold my own koraa ohhh”
(am like Majid ohe ye mhlor, you are too funny)
Also in the movie Shirley showcases one of Accra’s new and finest nightclub/lounge, popularly known as Citizen Kofi located in Osu RE. Every year there is something new, last Christmas it was Rhapsody Lounge (at Accra Mall) and Xcel at Airport Residential, this year we got Citizen Kofi – to anyone visiting Ghana this will be the place to visit before you leave. I actually went there when I arrived last 2 weeks to see what the fuss is about and I must say I was impressed – and it’s an excellent location. I plan on visiting again with my friends but I choose to go at a non peak times to avoid birds :lol: too many of them. Very nice place.
In conclusion – this movie “A Sting in a Tale” is a great and phenomenal movie and I suggest you all go and BUY it. It’s funny, it’s intriguing, its heart wrenching in some scenes and the suspense is great. LOVE IT.
You know I watch great movies like this and I get pissed for the $20 I wasted in August 2009, when my friend in Atlanta kept going on and on about how some Ghanaian movie made the SUNDANCE festival and that she hears it’s a must watch. I kept asking her the title of the movie and she said she forgot, so anyway we decide to meet in downtown Atlanta at the Civic Center, to watch this movie, bear in mind it was a rainy night (I could’ve been cuddled in my sofa watching a good Emem, Tchidi or Shirley movie on my HD) – so anyway I struggled to get there (I hate driving in downtown Atlanta – too many damn Peachtree streets), finally got there parked for $10 and get to the box office to get my ticket with my friend (whom I met there) and I ask “what is the title of the movie” and was told “Run Baby Run”.
“Am like “Aaaaaahh Ewuradi Yesu” what kind nonsense is this?, I told my friend “ You drag me here for this? I couldn’t even watch 10mins of this movie when it first came out a year ago and now I have to pay money to see this in a theatre on a big screen?” Anyway my friend still wanted to see it so I sat through almost two hours of pure torture of CRAP (in between the movie was cutting and they had to rewind it) it (I thought that only happened in Africa). So to get to my point, all am saying is I don’t know who makes the final decision or whether there is a consensus decision on movies that make it to reputable film festivals, but either way, this is the type of feel good movie that needs to make it to a film festival such as Sundance. My damn $20 coulda purchased two or three of this great movie instead, which I coulda gift wrapped for family and/or friends this Christmas. Catch my Drift????
Ps: Shirley the only thing I got to say is the end credits as it rolled were too tiny in font to read. Please could you make it a tad bigger next time, bloggers such as us need to see every detail in order to review accurately using as to who did what to come to end results of such a great movie. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Oh and please consider writing a nice good script with our homemade aspire Yvonne Okoro in mind. I think she may have potential. Yvonne is one of the few Ghanaian actresses I got my eye on as potential to be great depending on script, producer and director who can challenge her and make her shine on screen – our great talents need to be saved from wrong hands. Also an autobiographical movie of one of a legendary greats such as Yaa Asantewaa will be so excellent. I trust you to do great justice to such a phenomenal historical and biographical story.
PS: The end of this movie where the 3 of them were running after each other reminded me of a guy called Perry (alias “Ghostay”) from Motown (Achimota Secondary School). Anyone who is an alum from the early 90s from Motown School and truly knows Perry – knows “how” he got that nickname “Ghostay” :lol: Funny story as hell.