Movie Review: The Housewife
Screenplay: Jay Franklyn Jituboh
Director: Jay Franklyn Jituboh
Producer: Jay Franklyn Jituboh
Cast: Blossom Chukwujekwu, Kiki Omeili, Kachi Nnochiri
Ndani TV’s latest short pays tribute to the overburdened housewife. The new short film “The Housewife” does many things, including capturing a story that is peculiar to a number of women that have chosen to be housewives.
Mr. Donald (Blossom Chukwujekwu) maintains a highly satisfying job as a bank manager. It brings him 10.8 Million every year and he does not stress about paying his children’s fees, taking them to school or even catering to the house chores. His wife is there to do it all. Donald assumes that this is not enough work and so he castigates her for it when we meet him in the Doctor’s office. Donald visits the doctor to complain of anxiety. Ordinarily, a doctor should re-direct him to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but this doctor does not.
Donald is anxious and we feel it in his body movement when we first meet him. He is stressed and thinks the problem is from home. He is exhausted with the lifestyle at home and he complains to his doctor about it.
When we explore Donald’s home through a series of shots that connect us to his wife and kids, we see a dedicated woman that has sacrificed another life for the one she now lives. The new life expects that she provides for her husband and her kids at the home front. She lives by this lifestyle and her husband does not see the effort in it. It is why he goes to the hospital to complain because he sees more importance in what he does, to what she does. He does not see her contribution as necessary to his career success. He loathes it.
“The Housewife” explores the lack of appreciation that comes from the choices our female lead makes. It is important to capture the thousand original stories that come out of Nigeria, through the film. Jay Franklyn Jituboh does that with “The Housewife”. We hardly hear Donald’s wife say a word and it is symbolic to the essence of the film.
Donald’s wife lives by the clock. It guides her and her dedication to catering to her husband and the kids eventually leads to a break-down. The writer sends an important memo to men and society in general with his short film.
Whilst, this movie contributes to the conversation on stay-at-home mums, there are a lot of irregularities that trail this production.
The Housewife is a short film and there is not enough time to explain why Donald chooses to see some medical personnel and not a psychologist/psychiatrist for his problem with anxiety. A film is an archive of information and it was important to differentiate between a medical doctor and a psychiatrist. In this case, the doctor intrudes into the life of his patient, he wants to know if Donald has a girlfriend, how much he gives his girlfriend and how differently Donald treats his girlfriend from his wife. For anyone that chooses to look beyond the surface of the story, this is a problem.
The doctor is not under any type of oath to guide the information that Donald shares with him. The questions asked by the doctor are not relevant to the treatment of Donald in any way. If this was set up with a psychiatrist/ psychologist, it would fall into place.
Despite this glitch, we must commend the team for the attention to colour grading.
“The Housewife” is a compelling and insightful contribution to the conversation about the relationship between the typical working man and his stay-at-home wife.