Life AND LIVING IT, a film written, produced and directed by Shirley Frimpong- Manso. As a movie fanatic, I was elated after watching it. For well over ten years I have not been able to sit through a Ghanaian movie. Barely 2 minutes into them and one can tell how the movie will end. This one was so unghanawood. The trauma, agony and self imposed ordeal one goes through for the crime of watching a Ghanaian movie fortunately were absent by good story line although normal, very good casting, great sound track choice, excellent locations and a thump up directing.
I criticize top movies of all forms on variant platforms and always not proud to disclose my identity as Ghanaian because of the embarrassment produced here in the name of movies. I cannot condescend to mention them even by way of criticizing. Some are not even up to the standard of high school sketches. Their production crews hide under the shameful excuse cover of low budget and commit such movie abominations and atrocities. How can a supposed seasoned actor be stealing glances at the camera and be blamed at the lack of money?
This movie is about four great male friends, each different in their own perspectives of life and living it with variant career and dreams. Naturally they have different problems and life hurdles to jump. Starring (main casts) Brew Riverson Jnr (as Kente, an aspiring musician), Adjetey Anang (as Jerry Klevor, a doctor), Chris Attoh (Ray Austin, the bad boy dancer) and Nana Kwame Osei (as Ato Yawson, an advertising manager).
Brew Riverson indisputably one of our finest did not exactly fit into the character and he was trying too hard to act it with some very dry jokes. His long absence might have soured him but he was ok except for the awful attempt at singing and playing the piano which should have been properly orchestrated employing the numerous movie tricks. The director failed him there.
Adjetey Anang and Chris Attoh did very good but most outstanding almost flawless acting surprisingly was by Nana Kwame Osei. He was so natural. Two thumps up. Chris certainly could have done better at dancing for a dance teacher.
The supporting actors were all good relatively but Fritz Baffour and Bibie Brew were spectacular. Fritz's breaking half sweat, short laughter and facial expression suggested exactly the character he was playing; an unhappy restless successful man. Bibie Brew was great even super but again bad directing and substandard editing amputated her excellence when she said “you can't have your own cake and eat it” and it was overlooked. Well unless there is something else to do with a piece of cake?
Irene Opare (as Fiona) was like the too much salt to what should have been a good soup. She brought to the set all the Ghanawood style we are trying to get rid of. The rest of the minor casts can just pass.
Sweet Lailah (Deconte Thompson) looked like a 15 years old girl when she was supposed to be 24.
The most unpardonable appalling directing by Shirley (for someone coveting Oscar awards) was- Jerry knocking on the door 2 seconds after Karen had peeped Ato leaving the house through the window. He obviously came with his car, Ato also left in a car and Shirley miraculously had them miss each other. Or Jerry was hiding in the house waiting for Ato to leave? A typical Ghanawood style leaving the audience to suppose.
If Karen and Ato have been married for only two years and Ato last saw Lailah at 21 obviously just before the marriage, how come Ray( Jerry's supposed best friend ) has never met Lailah ( Jerry's little sister he is so fond of) or seen her picture? I know it can be thought of and ironed then explained but it is too compressed. Might not be easily processed by dull heads like mine.
I have sampled opinions already on Shirley's next movie SCORNNED. 1 out 20 liked it over Life AND LIVING IT. I just bought a copy and am yet to watch it.
My acknowledgements to Shirley and her entire crew.