Director: Emeka Madu
Producer: Emeka Madu
Cast: Kunle Remi, Chelsea Eze, Jibola Dabo, Angel Samuda
There are too many stories in Nollywood that explore older men in relationships with younger women. Most of them end up with the women seeking sexual adventure with younger men, eventually. “Anna” is not different from any of those features, but Emeka Madu’s approach to the narrative is quite fresh and exciting to watch.
Annabel (Chelsea Eze) is given off in marriage, by her father, to an older man. The intention is to use her to pay off debts that her father has incurred from doing business with the man she is forced to marry. She accepts the union and is quite relaxed in the marriage until her cousin Yvonne (Kemigisha Harriet) shows up. Yvonne plays a part to pressuring Anna to look for sexual satisfaction with younger men. Annabel does not consider this until she realizes her husband is incapable of sexually satisfying her.
She starts out with the intention of seducing her family driver and when it fails, she decides to be a faithful wife. Yvonne continues with the pressure until Annabel meets the dashing Harris (Kunle Remi). Harris has had a tumultuous past with relationships. He is a cheat and has been unable to sustain past relationships. When he meets Annabel, there is a connection. This connection eventually grows and gives us a reason to remember “Anna” as being different from the pile of similarities in Nollywood.
You will enjoy this movie but you will also ask questions; like, why Yvonne has to remind Annabel that her man is not fulfilling his duties in the bedroom all the time. Also, in the last 7 minutes of this feature, your questions will get even more tasking. The film mixes the good and bad in the last seven minutes, but it manages to come out with a little good.
If past features prove anything, Nollywood filmmakers make films for enjoyment and if they are able to sell the chemistry between Kunle and Chelsea, then voila… a film has been made. “Anna” wins on the chemistry part because there are very few films that match compatible actors this feature succeeds in this regard.
“Anna” ends with an exploration of maturity and forgiveness, but it is a clear effort to satisfy the mass audience that will rather be satisfied with romance tales.
“Anna” despite offering a little difference could have gone an extra length to establish a number of topics, including the fact that Annabel is forced into a marriage to pay off debt. Nollywood continuously invests in romance tales even when there are deeper narratives to explore.
Emeka Madu, however, does a good job of making his film look and feel different. The combination of Chelsea Eze and Kunle Remi in lead roles also help. Chelsea gives good performances consistently and having her as Annabel is a reason “Anna” was enjoyable.
The writer’s layered approach to the relationship between both characters is commendable.