Movie Review: Potato Potahto

Producer: Shirley Frimpong- Manso and Sarah Inya-Lawal

Director: Shirley Frimpong-Manso

Screenplay: Shirley Frimpong-Manso

Cast: Joselyn Dumas, O.C Ukeji, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Joke Silva, Chris Attoh, Lala Akindoju

Year: 2017

Image result for potato potahto movie

There are very few screenwriters, especially in Nollywood, that create resilient images of women in film. Many of our films are an extension of the patriarchy that is spread in our society, and also, women are created in the way society wants them to act.

For Shirley Frimpong-Manso (who is Ghanaian) she has made an effort to create resilient women, and most of the time, these women prove that you can combine it all and win. In Manso’s narratives: If the woman is naïve, she will end up being the strength of the narrative. If he cheats on her, she will square up. If she wants a career, she will have it and keep it balanced. There is something about Manso’s productions; it is always a pleasure watching whatever she creates. This time, she creates Potato Potahto, the film demystifies stereotypes on divorce, while also creating humor out of it.  The theme of marriage which is also a regular for Manso inspires the story in “Potato Potahto.” While the story is not new to us, Manso’s execution is a delight to watch.

The perfectionist, Lulu (Joselyn Dumas) and Tony (O.C Ukeji) are a married couple. They are going through a divorce because they hate each other enough to let go. The divorce means that they would co-habit in their dream house, with extreme rules. The house is divided for both.  Lulu serves most of the drama. She hammers Tony with abusive words whenever he makes a slight mistake. To get some help around the house, Tony hires a beautiful maid. The foul-mouthed Lulu cannot stand this and so she hires her own help. Lulu’s help comes in the body of Chris Attoh, who further complicates their hope at reconciliation.

To further complicate the narrative, Lulu’s mother (Mrs. Lawson) pays the couple a visit. She is sharp-tongued and with her presence, we get to the foundation of the couple’s relationship.

In “Love or Something Like That” Joselyn Dumas and O.C Ukeje are paired as ex-lovers. The pairing was good enough to have Shirley re-unite the actors for this production. Her witty script positions O.C Ukeje as the meek husband eager to make his marriage work, while Joselyn Dumas does most of the lashing.

“Potato Potahto” will remain memorable for its strong dialogue and impressive use of spectacular actors. Unfortunately, there are moments the story is overstretched and even the comedy that runs smoothly for the better part of the film begins to feel forced. Shirley, however, redeems the film by creating a resolution that crowns her effort.

“Potato Potahto” will make you laugh and deepen whatever appreciation you have for Joselyn Dumas who plays Lulu. This is not the first time the actress has proven that she is capable of leading big films. Another character that will impress you is Joke Silva as Mrs. Wilson, but there is also Chris Attoh who is not just the buffy young man here but offers convincing humor as the help.

“Potato Potahto” does well with the use of limited scenes and characters. Ken Attoh (Cinematographer) delivers excellent emotions with shots that communicate what we cannot get with dialogue. From close-up shots that depict the rage coming from Lulu, then the bond when Mrs. Wilson arrives, Potato Potahto’ is a film of variety.

‘Potato Potahto’ is currently showing in cinemas in Nigeria and Ghana.

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