Nollywood meets Bollywood, we have the best of both worlds. This movie is the best storytelling I have seen in a long time, fusing both Indian and Nigerian values, while also creating awareness on violence against women. It is really mind blowing. YOU WISH! Ha-ha, THIS MOVIE SUCKS, THEN BLOWS THEN SUCKS AGAIN.
I can imagine that my opening lines were the highlights of the movie’s treatment, the writer seemingly had discovered gold. A movie that will sell in two countries in the Top 7 most populous.
The movie will feature RMD, Hon. Aunty Joke Silva and screen darlings- Ini Dima & Osas Ighodaro, this is the Titanic of movies, unsinkable, unfloppable. There is so much wrong with the movie, it’s hard writing a review. I guess I just have to take a stab at it.
1. The Title: Quoting this awesome dictionary on my phone, Namaste means
Interjection; literally “I bow to you”; used as a greeting or acknowledgement of equality of all, which pays honor to the sacredness of all.
Wahala means trouble; ergo, Namaste Wahala means I bow to you Wahala (Bonkers right?) or to attempt to get into the head of the movie namer, The trouble in acknowledging the equality of all or honoring the sacredness of all. Even before the movie starts, the title leaves you with an itchy head, a great start.
2. The Dancing: My cringeometer is broken, thanks to Raj and Didi for an embarassing attempt at adding “fun” to the story. Indian movie dancing is mostly talked about on comedy stages, it implies that people really love to make fun of them not that they really love them (save it’s Jaaneman or All-Is-Well). It is something you have to deal with if you are watching a 3 hour Bollywood flick and would gladly cut off if given the chance (there is always the fast forward button).
It is embarassing that this scene was taken too seriously, it should have been done FOR FUN, with Didi waking up from “the dream.” This movie leaves the audience to the horrible thought that “Raj & Didi” had this dance in real time. Nonso Diobi’s “Ka anyi welu High-Five” Indian dance is a much better watch. Raj out there looking like an advert prop.
3. Emma: I’d keep this real short, next time hire Ikechukwu-the rapper. The script didn’t let Emma do much of the supporting, but Ikechukwu who has a stellar reputation as a supporting actor would have surely aced this.
4. Other supporting cast: Angie did okay, surely there is a girl in Nigeria who would feel she is watching herself. Preemo was a disaster, this is what you get when you hand a lawyer role to someone who has seen too much Olivia Pope, Jessica Pearson and Annalise Keating. Osas tried too hard to deliver La femme Harvey Spectre, over acting is a kind word for it.
Raj’s cousin (Hamisha Daryani Ahuja) was a badly operated robot on screen, zero acting. Imagine my shock to see that she was the director, explained a lot at the end. It’s no wonder she missed the golden opportunity to use the Igbo language to devastating effect when Raj meets Papa Ernest (RMD); “Ara o na acha gi? (Are you going mad?)” substituting “You bring me an Indian?”
5. Story straying: The writer or director wanted to tell all her truth in one go. This was advertised as a boy-meets-girl-family-acceptance-wahala rom-com but ended up being an expose into Lady Hamisha’s passions.
They were so invested in showing the violence against women story, that at some point in the movie, it left the boundaries of a sub plot to challenge the romance kini for bragging rights as main storyline.
The secret admirer bit felt like something out of a primary school play, “That time, she na received flowers.” It was so unnecessary.
6. Product Placement: You have to imagine that Coca-Cola’s CEO is a member of the Corloene family, no other way to explain the strict adherence to on screen product placement. These things are usually done in a subtle manner but the Godfather would not accept anything less when he has paid you to do him this service. I will suggest the use of Coca-Cola T-shirts and wrist bands next time or how about Raj being an executive at Coca-Cola eh?
This story will long be used as reference when self proclaimed brilliant writers submit their movie treatments to studio executives.
“YOU CAN HAVE THE BEST STORY IN THE WORLD BUT A DIRECTOR HAS THE ULTIMATE POWER TO KILL OR IMMORTALIZE IT.”
My verdict? Namaste Wahala is not exactly a waste of time, I mean we have seen worse in our sleep right? And we wouldn’t call sleeping a waste of time eh. It is a case of giving yourself a headache. Why bother?
Don’t take my word for it. I mean if I really couldn’t stand it, I wouldn’t have watched to the end, right? Log on to Netflix, search Namaste Wahala, enjoy the ride!