Whenever you take your precious time to support the Nollywood industry, you feel like taking out a pen five minutes after to ask questions about why the production company thought it was nice to waste everybody’s time with a repeat story but with a different set of characters.
“Before Valentine’s” is a typical example.
Title: "Before Valentine's" Running Time: 1 hour 51 minutes Director: Michelle Bello Writers: Lani Aisida, Temitope Bolade, Diche Enunwa Release date: February 11, 2022
The Plot – “Before Valentine’s”
“Before Valentine” begins with what is supposed to be a narration, a podcast, or a segment on a radio show. In between that is Sugar (Uche Nwaefuna) walking away from a gate she obviously did not open or close to a parked car.
It is a story set on Valentine’s eve and follows different people’s lives in a salon as they pass through the chaos – some call it love experience – that is usually valentine’s day.
It is a mix of wannabe-ing, the realities of the lives of Lagos residents, and the consequences of a lying life. It ends happily ever after – after all, what is love without a good ending?
What we think
We are literally tired of picking out individual performances of characters and trying to avoid conversations on the presentation of the story – if there are any at all.
Besides the copycat intentions of the writers, we are drawn to a story for 18- (read under-18) high school students who yet understand the concept of love and romantic relationships.
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In between the attempt to produce what is supposed to be a valentine story, the writers insert pseudo-comic-reliefs that may raise more questions than we already have. This is besides a string of boring dialogues that have no substance (as is always the case with Nollywood movies), even though it is supposed to be a love story and can be poetic.
In contrast, you would argue that the movie is pure entertainment, but ‘awwwn’ and ‘ehyaa’ and ‘yaasss’ is not enough to keep people for almost two hours looking for the salt in the soup, make dem come realise say dem no add salt.
“Before Valentine’s” is colourful, just like a usual valentine’s story would look like and introduces subtle speaks about how a man should treat a woman. It also teaches the consequences of living fake lives and how it has become a norm in a mega city like Lagos.
The characters do what you may call a good job, but then, we see a character like Philo (Ben Lugo Touitou) who wants to teach the audience that a feminine-acting man is not necessarily queer. So, he is doing all he can to work a way around with his girlfriend, who eventually moves to Lagos from Jos. Not necessary. Focus, please.
Then, in the end, we see a picture of two people and are still lost in thoughts about who those people may be.
Stream or skip?
Oh please! We intend to leave out this part in our reviews. I mean, who are we to tell you what to do with your time?
“Before Valentine’s”, however, is not worth all of the running time and would have easily been a short film without all the unnecessary cameos from Shaffy Bello, Dr Sid, DJ Sosa, and most of the rest of it.
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