At the recently held second edition of 2017 drama minister’s power night, Mount Zion’s latest movie, Stalker was premiered.
In my review of Haunted (read haunted review here), I talked about the similarity between Haunting Shadows and Haunted. Well, Stalker makes it three. All three movies are similar in that dark elements of the past creep up on the respective protagonists, but they also have their individual resemblances to one another. Stalker, just like Haunted explores how to break free from the fetters of yesterday and walk in the freedom of Christ. But while Haunted takes it from the action, thriller perspective, Stalker comes from emotions, psychology and takes on darker themes. This is were the similarity between Stalker and Haunting Shadows come in, they both have emotions at their foci. But each story goes about its execution in different ways and even the plots are not in any way repetitive.
Stalker tells the story of two lovers, Adesewa and Abayomi and the battles they face in their young marriage through a completely unique way. Their story is told via a script in the movie.
The movie starts with Pastor Abayomi Gboyega holding a press conference aimed at giving publicity to his yet-to-be-released book, ‘Hidden Truth’. After the conference that was almost a disaster due to the meddling of a journalist into his failed marriage, a script writer approaches Abayomi, greets him and asks if he’s gone through the script he’d been sending to his mail. Abayomi hadn’t, he’s been busy. He tells Emma, the writer that he won’t have the time to. Emma implores him to read just the first two scenes. We think he says that because he’s confident of the power his story has to snag the attention of the reader but as it turns out, he’s sure Abayomi will read till the end because it’s the entire truth about his marriage and life!
Because watching Abayomi read out the script would really be laborious, the writer cum producer, Damilola Mike-Bamiloye, chooses to have the story acted out as Abayomi reads. So that we have two casts for each character on Stalker.
We’re shown Sewa and Yomi’s wedding. Everything goes on well until Sewa sees a roguish looking guy in the audience and her smile ebbs. Your guess is right. He’s an unrelenting ex. She receives an anonymous letter through her chief bride’s maid (Aanu Kolade), there are no words in it, just three dots of blood sitting at the corners of an imaginary triangle. She’s unnerved.
Eddie, the ex, (Imonikoko Augustine) plants those dots of blood around Sewa and Yomi’s new home and when he meets up with her, he reminds her of all they shared back on campus before he was sent off to prison, he taunts her with the three abortions she’s had for him and blackmails her to have sex with him or he spills the beans.
She’s unusually cold, she’s having nightmares and illusions and Yomi is sure something more than fever is amiss. He tries to reach out to her in every way he can, but she can’t let him in. And when she finally does, he can’t stand her any more!
The real stalker, as revealed by the movie isn’t Eddie, but the unconfessed sin. Stalker establishes the fact that sin is only powerful when under cover on the premise of the scripture that says ‘whosoever covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’
Mosiko Remilekun gives a tear-jerking performance as Sewa. She soaks herself into the character so that we can palpate her pain, discomfort and anxieties. Damilola Mike-Bamiloye plays Yomi and the power of his role play isn’t in his lines but in the poignant nuances he shows.
I like the fact that the actors on Stalker harness showing more than telling. We are not given the cliche soliloquies or voice over introspections but we don’t miss anything, all we need to know is said without words.
Despite the seemingly glum tone of the movie, it’s not devoid of humour.
The plot doesn’t meander, it goes straight on and hits the nail right on the head quickly and effectively. I didn’t keep tabs on the duration but I don’t think it’s more than 1 hour.
Albeit beautiful, Stalker isn’t without faults. First of all when Abayomi starts reading the script, he says ‘scene one, exterior…’ meanwhile it’s an interior scene. While the attention paid to making the two casts for each character as similar as possible and the attention paid to continuity doesn’t go unnoticed, some ends are still left fraying. Eddie in the script has a habit of peering at Sewa over the rim of his shades and blowing her a kiss, but this part of him disappears when we meet Edward (Kolo Peters). There is an obvious canyon between the ages of the Uncle Emma we have in the script, played by Victor Olukoju and the real Emma, played by Fiyinfolu Okedare. The names of the characters in the script is the shortened form of their real names, a smart way to create a distinction. But at a point one of the characters, I guess Sewa’s Mum calls her Adesewa.
Owojori Kayode and Tokunbo Jarret play Yomi’s parents while Oreniyi Tunde and Folashade Airebam play Sewa’s parents and they all take their roles seriously. Emmanuela Evbuoma gives a sassy debut as Adesewa. How Abayomi bristles, shoves Emma’s laptop to the floor and pins him to the wall in one languid move is something to see. Gbenga Ayoola delivers Abayomi well.
Props must be given to Joshua Mike-Bamiloye for the editing and graphics. From the creative montage, to the fluid segueing of the scenes and the magic of baddas editing he gives with that bleeding, squealing doll in Sewa’s illusion (man, I almost freaked.) Also for the background music and sound Fx.
The camerawork and sound quality are good. The make-up is fab, big ups to Nike Owah, ditto Babatola Johnson and Adedamola Salako for the beautiful set designs.
Director- Damilola Mike-Bamiloye
D.O.P- Joshua Mike-Bamiloye
Assistant director– Ayo Olaleye
Production manager- Tunde Owah
Sound- Oluyomi Odusina