On 3rd August, 2012, the much talked about and well media hyped movie written, directed and produced by Van Vicker was premiered at the Silverbird Cinema. Ghanasuperstars.com was there to cover for your reading pleasures. Read the review.
Two sisters, Dantee (Nadia Buari) and Phyll (Phoebe Ewuraye) got separated when a wealthy man adopted Phyll as his only child. He willed everything he had including his multinational insurance company to her on his dying bed. Kwabena (Kofi Adjorlolo), the husband of Phyll was aware of her father’s wealth and had his own plans. Years after her stepfather’s death, Phyll decided to search for her elder sister (Dantee) but the search led to her death. Dantee on the other hand is gifted with seeing visions; she could not meet her kid sister after twenty years of separation but knew who killed her. She decided to avenge her sister’s death.
The story is intriguing but had a weak plotting. The telling of the story is a clear manifestation of an amateur screenwriter. In screenplay, one mistake that kills the story is when the writer joggles with genres. If a writer is narrating a story with comedy as its genre, the hook of the story or the first 10 scenes should inform the audience so. Not that you introduce comedy, then action, then mysticism, then adventure then back to comedy. You can never get audience attention for such stories.
The writer introduced a nice mystic hook with a mystic character, suggesting the genre; mysticism and supernatural. From the end of the beginning to the beginning of the middle of the story, then we see pure comedy, then getting to the end of the story, mysticism is brought back mixed with action, adventure and comedy. That is bad storytelling. The plotting blunt the forte of the story. I recommend Jurgen Wolff’s book “10 THINGS THAT CAN KILL YOUR SCRIPT, 2011 edition” to the writer.
Directing was poor. The director failed to pay attention to a lot of production errors. It’s obvious the plotting of the story was weak but the director also failed to add life to it. I have lots of respect for Van Vicker. He’s talented, looks appealing and has a great charisma but scripting or storytelling and directing is not his upper hand. His strength lies in acting. I recommend he gives whatever story he perceives to good storytellers to tell and the right directors to interpret.
THE MAKING OF THE MOVIE
Camera works, costumes, lightning and locations were excellent. Editing was sharp and precise. The cuttings, swiping and in some instances the scene synchronizations were simply on point. The only problem that needs to be rechecked at editing bench is sound. The sound kept drowning and rising in many scenes. For instance in the scene Kofi Adjorlolo’s wife, Phyll, came to meet him on their date at the hotel, the sound was very poor. As for make up, I don’t know if Nadia Buari is turning white or it is the make-up or the lightning or it is my eyes.
She looked too blanch on the screen. If she is bleaching, then she should stop. From the study of Cinematography, Africa has a naturally dim environment so our lightning set for movies is different from the Western world. She should check it because it could affect her career over time. If indeed she is bleaching then she should perhaps relocate to Hollywood because a time will come that when light reflects on her on set, she will appear on screen like a ghost. A word to the wise…….
First, one character called Sly wore one suit from the beginning of the movie till the end. In some scenes, some of the characters asked him why the constant apparel. He had a funny story about his dressing choice that dates as far back as 1953. He repeated 1953 as the date. In another scene, he then says 1923. 1953 is not synonymous to 1923 so what was he thinking about? And where was the director’s attention? Film shooting is not a live program so I can’t pardon the director for such an error. He could have cut and retake.
Secondly, all the phone calling scenes in the movie are wrong. If a person uses a phone to call a person, it is on the receiver’s phone we the audience should hear the phone ringing and not from the caller’s phone. The only scenario we should hear the ringing from the caller’s phone is if the caller puts the phone on loud speaker. This is the normal thing. In the movie, characters call other characters and we hear ringing sounds or sometimes; “the number you’re calling cannot be reached”, from the phone of the calling character (when the phone is not on loud speaker). No boom mike can do this magic. Not even in Hollywood. The editor should revisit those scenes and edit those sounds he placed on the phone calling scenes with alacrity.
Thirdly, the manner RLG was advertised in the movie was way too boring. There’s nothing wrong if a corporate body sponsors your work so you give them advert placement but the way it was done in this movie looked “too over prearranged” and banal! Almost every scene showed RLG. For instance in one night club scene, we see Van Vicker operating his lap top simply because they want us to see RLG. Do we go to a night club with a laptop? Even that scene was totally irrelevant to the plot.
Fourthly, Phyll died and her sister Nadia Buari married her (Phyll) husband to take revenge. We did not see Phyll’s soul incarnate Nadia so what was it for when Nadia’s face changed into Phyll when she was killing Sly? What kind of effect was that?
ORIENTATION TO CHANGE
The resounding orientation to change in the movie is to eschew promiscuity especially by men but the revenge aspect is what I don’t endorse because vengeance is a social ill and must be corrected with literary works like movies and not strengthened.
The conclusion of the movie is subjective. As a writer, I will personally never write a story that preaches vengeance because vengeance is a social ill and must be corrected with literary works like movies and not strengthened. If am telling a true or real life story where someone took revenge, that is a different scenario but to tell a fiction story that promotes evil for evil, is a big no to me. The Hands of Time is a fiction feature. So I repeat the resolution of the story is subjective, depending on your orientation as a story teller or philosopher.
The Hands Of Times is not a movie worth yearning to watch. It is one of those movies you may decide to watch only if you chance on it being shown on screen and have no serious engagement on hand. On a score of 10, I give it 5. As I advised earlier, Van Vicker may have to concentrate on acting and leave directing and scripting to other equally dabs. On behalf of management of Van Vicker’s Sky Orange production team, Management of Flex Newspaper say kudos to RLG communication and Baileys as well as all the media partners; Metro, E TV, Citi fm, Hello, News One, Ameyaw Debrah, Ghanasuperstars.com, Ghanamovie.net, Ghanacelebrities, Peace fm, Ink it for their respective supports. I look forward to expecting a new masterpiece from Van Vicker. Until then….MOTWUM!!