Movie Review: Shirley Frimpong Manso’s CHECK MATE

When I did a story about Shirley Frimpong Manso’s ‘A Sting In A Tale’ being voted as the best audience favourite feature film at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF). I thought I had seen the best movie from her.

If some of  you also  think you have seen the best from the stables of Sparrow Productions masterminded by Shirley Frimpong Manso, then better wait till you watch the latest addition to the family ‘CHECK MATE’.

Shirley is not only good at making movies, she is equally good at being a pace setter, this is evident in her movies. Like she’s done to all her movies, a website has yet been created purposely for the movie

There are two acting personalities criticised for not showing  emotions in movies, Nadia Buari and Van Vicker. Some of us still hold a view that Nadia Buari is not a better actress without emotions. When I heard she is featuring in Shirley’s movie, I screamed “What is Shirley up to? Nadia don’t show emotions, period”, but she melted a heart with the role in Check Mate as s*xy Caroline. This should tell you that with a director like Shirley, who aims at the Oscars, everything is possible. For now I will eat my humble pie.

Underwater scenes in an African movie? Wow, that particular scene caught my attention. I would have said Shirley got balls but since she is a lady and pregnant, I would say she just got the guts to try new things. Shirley really has the penchant for innovation. Having been on this earth for over two decades, I am yet to see any underwater scenes in any Ghanaian or African movie, I don’t believe there is any though ( I stand to be corrected if there is).

CHECK MATE comes with a theme “play smart or lose everything” in a story of a Kwame Asante (Senanu Gbedawo), who has made all the right moves in his life; a good job, a beautiful devoted wife, an adorable child, and an impending promotion as a senior customs officer at the airport.

His ambition to become the Member of Parliament (MP) for his village drove him into politics. Getting in contact with Kiki Newton (Ekow Blankson), a drug lord with a Real Estates Agent as over-overing business. He saved Kwame Asante from disgrace when it appeared, he (Kwame) had bought a fuel and mistakenly misplaced his wallet in his own car. They then exchanged pleasantries.

Kiki didn’t know who Kwame was at the filling station; his Custom Officer’s uniform gave him up. It was later discovered that Kwame was the missing link to make the drug business more successful. Though he was reluctant to contact Kiki, pressures from his wife made Kwame get in touch with Kiki.

But what seems like a typical guys hang out on a weekend away from home in the company of his new friend and mentor, Kiki, turns out to be the one wrong move Kwame makes. After losing a game of Chess, he succumbs to a bet to seduce the attractive, s*xy Caroline.

A few weeks later, the consequences of a dirty forgotten weekend pops up in Kwame’s life threatening to destroy everything he so dearly loves. But the games are just beginning when he realizes that Caroline’s demand for his love is nothing compared to the demands of a drug lord who will do anything to get Kwame’s assistance in smuggling drugs out of the country.

Kwame must try to win the game or risk losing everything. The only low point in the movie was when Kwame having breakfast with his family at the comfort of his home, yet he had his cap on. I know it was an oversight from the director but it doesn’t really change anything in the movie. Its must watch movie because the plot was just perfect.

As usual due to anticipated numbers and public request the movie will show twice on the grand premiere day first at 6:00pm and then 9:00pm on Thursday 1st April, 2010.

“CHECK MATE” is written and directed by Shirley Frimpong Manso and produced by Ken Attoh for Sparrow Productions. The movie stars Nadia Buari, Ekow Blankson, Naa Ashorkor Mensah Doku and introducing Senanu Gbedawo.

When you watch the movie you will understand why Shirley is targeting an Oscar. I will give this movie 10 stars out of 10. Shirley has nailed it again and says Bravo!!

Show Times Below:

Date:            Thursday, April 1st 2010.
Time:            6:00 pm & 9:00pm
Venue:                    National Theatre, Accra.
Ticket:                    GH¢ 20.00 available at Koala, Airport Shell


From Friday 2nd April, 2010.

Showing Throughout April.

Call 021 823 270 For Time


Date:            Friday 2nd April, 2010

Venue:                    Banquet Hall, Hotel Georgia

Time:            7:00 Pm & 9:00 Pm


Date:            Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th April, 2010

Time:            6:00 pm & 8:00 pm on both Days


Date:            Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th April, 2010.

Other locations and cities to be announced later

Click Here For Pictures Of CheckMate’s Press Screening

By Ebenezer Anangfio Jnr./ Ghana

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