“Disconnect: The Wedding Planner” is underwhelming and fails in the attempt to unite cultures

Omoleye Omoruyi
Disconnect: The Wedding Planner
Disconnect: The Wedding Planner on Netflix

When you see a title like “Disconnect; The Wedding Planner,” you’re excited, thinking you are about to see a possible marriage of cultures (in this case, Kenyan and Nigerian) and the flamboyance that comes with it. David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga makes a considerable attempt.

We saw it, and without spoilers, we want to talk about it.

Title: Disconnect: The Wedding Planner
Release: January 13, 2023 (Netflix)
Running time: 1 hour, 47 minutes
Directors: David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga

The Plot – “Disconnect: The Wedding Planner”

The title has too many storylines going on, but this is it.

“Disconnect: The Wedding Planner” begins with a scam. First, a love scam which we realise after the “what are we?” question. “I thought we were keeping things casual. You help me, I help you,” is the response. But, I mean, it’s only passé pseudo-inquisitive cats that still ask that.

Disconnect: the wedding planner
Disconnect: The Wedding Planner

The ‘story’ progresses to a wedding planner scam, and a wedding has to happen.

Otis (Pascal Tokodi) eavesdrops on a conversation his friend, Dele (Tope Tedela), is having with his wife-to-be, Rita (Meg Otanwa), about their wedding and suggests a destination traditional wedding at a resort in Kenya.

At this time, Otis is having a conversation with Dele about the latter investing in his company, and the invitation was for him to converse with Dele and seal the deal physically. However, the wedding conversation overwhelms that, and Otis gets to work but is hornswoggled too easily.

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner
Otis in Netflix’ Disconnect: The Wedding Planner

He runs to his friends to help him prepare for the wedding, and your mouth may be left aghast at the ‘Yoruba traditional wedding’ that Gitonga made us watch.

In between the wedding preparations, we are inundated in the chaos that characterizes relationships these days – sex, supposedly spiced by love and relationship.

Read also: “Battle on Buka Street” is a wholesome story but how far does it go?

What we think

TK (Catherine Kamau) says something that somewhat encapsulates our thoughts: “I see fear in your eyes.”

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner
TK in Disconnect: The Wedding Planner

Africa Movie Academy’s Best Director Award-nominated Gitonga held onto too many materials that would have seen a merger of cultures in a world where globalisation (African Union, for this conversation) is beginning to look like a scam itself, and the word is just thrown around, so capitalism thrives.

It is not solely his or the writer’s job to unite cultures. Still, they had an opportunity, and all we saw is Otis rallying women to his bed, friends betraying each other for an orgasm, and a couple who had no idea what they wanted in a relationship – in that order.

Although you realise that’s the intended direction midway into the movie, it falls short in writing and fails to establish any real emotions on screen. Literally, everyone in the movie is going through some emotional pain, but the director fails to allow the audience to see this. You will thank Judy for attempting, though.

“Disconnect: The Wedding Planner” lacks the depth to draw the audience into any kind of emotional experience. The title shoots but does not aim.

You would think that the wedding would lift spirits and put a smile on our faces at least, but Rita and Dele’s insistence on a traditional Yoruba wedding must have caused sighs when the wedding eventually took place. All you would see is Dele and another person wearing agbada and gbam! Gitonga thought he had given a Yoruba wedding. “That is a Yoruba wedding?” And how come they went in that direction? The bride is Igbo.

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner

Besides that, the characterisation is drab, and you wonder if they really wanted to be part of it. You will see Otis all about the screen, though, making attempts at comedy. The therapist, too, is an interesting character with a pesky ringtone – a witch, you would say, if you are African.

Ultimately, we thought Celine and Richard had resolved their issues, but they are back at the therapists and almost screaming at themselves again. At this time, Richard had proposed.

The only impressive feature of the movie is its cinematography. But storytelling is more than that.

“Disconnect: The Wedding Planner” is a light comedy that could work as a sitcom that although isn’t rhythmically a comedy, is also a little more serious, a little less serious and has a tone that does not connect with anything.

But are there issues raised? None we could think of. Except maybe when Otis teaches a policeman to respect rights and not take bribes.

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner

Stream or skip?

When you have exhausted other titles you sense may be worth your time, you can pick up “Disconnect: The Wedding Planner”.

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