Described as the golden age, the attainment of fifty is crowning is many instances. Very absorbing and engaging are some of the intricacies life bears on many people. For women, the date perhaps signifies when many things are ‘south’ bound. It is scary for some women. And Fifty, a new movie written and produced by Mo Abudu, founder of Ebony Life TV and Ebony Life Films, captures that angst as it follows four Lagos-based women in characters that show braveness, weakness and forgiveness amongst others.
Detailing the relationships between four Nigerian women – Tola (Dakore Egbuson), Elizabeth (Ireti Doyle), Maria (Omoni Oboli) and Kate (Nse Ikpe Etim) – and how they grapple the multiple challenges life throws at them as they inch towards 50, Abudu, in her debut as a writer has crafted a story that one hardly notices amidst the bustle of city life. Yet, it is very common place.
In Fifty, Tola, a big time TV host is planning her 50th birthday. Kate, her friend, is also her event planner. Maria is dating Kunle (Wale Ojo), Tola’s husband, and even gets pregnant for him but refuses to disclose who is responsible, even to her friend, Elizabeth, who is also a renowned gynaecologist. Meanwhile, Elizabeth enjoys frolicking with younger men. This fact also distances her from her daughter, who is also working with Tola to plan her birthday party.
From the temperamental Tola to vivacious Elizabeth and from the prayerful Kate to the pragmatic Maria, the story unfolds. All through the movie, sections of the everyday life of the average and upper-class Lagos women is documented.
But as Tola’s birthday nears, various secrets spill out, perhaps, the gravest being that from Tola’s father (Taiwo Obileye), breaking the normalcy. Who is responsible for Maria’s baby strikes a more than a chord? What is the true relationship between Tola and her ‘brother’? What devastating news is really responsible for Kate’s sullen dispensation? And would Elizabeth and her daughter’s squabble ever mend? These questions keep the twists going in Fifty.
The movie also aims to show the beautiful sides of Lagos, unlike some other movies. Outdoor scenes also showcase various landmarks in Lagos, especially the Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge and other popular sites within the affluent metropolis. Fifty, directed by Biyi Bandele who is making a sophomoric outing after his directorial debut with Half Of A Yellow Sun, does this without sacrificing the cinematographic excellence. Also, the technical aspects of the movie are top-notch, with the sound and lighting on a world-class standard.
Fifty also gets a dose of quality live musical performances from King Sunny Ade, Waje, Nneka and Tiwa Savage. The song of Evi Edna Ogholi also features on the movie.
Set to officially premiere in Nigeria on December 13 and go into the cinemas by December 18, the movie is already enjoying support from the Lagos State government and getting positive reviews globally.
While Abudu is making her debut as film writer and producer, she also exposes some of the anxieties, insecurities and fears felt by women around attaining the golden age. Abudu, who was 51 in September, might have indeed succeeded in making a film she’s not only convinced of, but which she relates to. But surely, Fifty is a story that anyone who empathises with women can connect to.
On: November 09, 2015