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

GC Staff

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Commenting Guidelines & Rules

yehni says:

I think Checkmate was far below the standard of a Sting in the tale,
or even the perfect picture!!
The quality of the picture was great, the story was good, the actors were handsome and the actresses beautiful, but the cocktail wasn’t digest, for me.
The end of this movie was a very big mistake! It was so fake, so unbelievable, I think she gave this part to somebody else to write and direct it, because she was pregnant!!!

I really think so, otherwise I’ll be disappointed!!!

Anyway, I liked the underwater seen abd she has a very descent way to present s*x scenes!!!!

From Abidjan

Alicia A. says:


TheChuckylee says:

I totally agree with flint. The underwater scenes is not the first in an African as far as I’m concerned.The nigerian movie the battle of love and it’s sequel across the niger shot about 4 to 5 years ago had more impressive and longer underwater scenes than this one. That notwithstanding Shirley is still the best film maker in Ghana and one of Africa’s best. The likes of Socrates Safo and Abdul Salaam have nothing to offer apart from that p*rn nonsense. I will definitely watch dis movie bcos it’s from Shirley

Alicia A. says:

i totally agree with Flint

maame yaa says:

i really wanna see it

dozie says:

That underwater sceneis not that impressive
but its a plus for Ghanaian movies
we will take it one step at a tym
Shirley is really doin her part to improve Ghana’s movie industry 
n now Leila is also on the scene doin good work
hopefully dey will inspire more ppl to get n2 da industry n make Ghana proud
as for this movie being oscar worthy u must be a big idiot to think that but 
by Ghana standards its a gr8 movie
winnin an oscar entails a lot 
she can get der smoeday but not wif dis
she still has more room 4 improvement.

flint says:

Ebenezer Anangfio Jnr who told you that an underwater scene has not been shot in africa before, please speak for yourself, go and watch the hit nigerian movie across the niger and i assure you the underwater scene is far better than the one in checkmate. One thing i would like to note here is that why do we africans don’t believe that what we have is the best unless the white man says so, what is so big about the oscars that we can’t believe in ourselves, why can’t the ama awards be seen just like the oscars, why can’t we africans see the the ama awards as our hihest highest accolade, we always stoop low and let the whites tell us if we did well or not, the oscars these african film makers are striving to win is not even a world award at least if it was then i wouldn’t be complanining, all the do is just to bring out one category for best foreign movie and thier own movies don’t participate in that category (kind of sending a message like lets leave this category for these wannbes) then the rest is for them, if this is so why do our african film makers still want to bellitle themselves by wanting to win such awards, let the oscars be made a world award were films from hollywood and other parts of the world are nominated in the same category including best director and best picture. When these film makers hustle to win the oscars it kind of sends a message that the whites are superior to us and believe me the whites love to recieve such message

Jack Jones says:

Drockia! one question. Do you have any aspirations in life? one sec err i dont think so. you might as well drop dead now. if some one is doing her best and believes she can do better and aspire to go to a place where many from our part of the world havnt, what you should do is encourage her and hope she makes it. you know what just drp dead. you make me sick.

Drockla says:

Lol oscar?? Does she even know the f*cking requirement for ADR in foreign picture please. You guys just funny! You this good picture and some water scene sequence is what its takes to win an oscar. I like her courage thou. Keep making that second hand films and dream of Oscar. Lol

adwubi says:

shirley has done it again, have seen the movie tthriler and so far its somefin good to write home about, how many of our ghanain movie producers and writers are women , so far she is doing a realy good job and i am soo proud of her, especially with a new baby on board. kudos shirley, congrats

Henry says:

It’ s the likes of Babba who give the saying ‘women are their own enemies’ credence. So your fellow woman has done something and the only thing you do is criticize her? wow some women are really ‘mamewaters’ Babba or whatever your real name is learn to give credit where is due in the same way u wud like if you did something too. I haven’t seen the movie but I’ll be slow to pour all of that judgment on it. oh my God maybe your beef is totally about something different. i have read ur comments a few times (if u r the same Baaba/Babba) ur comments are ever so negative about everything. Are u that unhappy or u haven’t had some for a while. Get some gal and see life in a more positive way.

babba says:

10 out of 10? no movie can be that good my friends.tweaa.
with that staged underwater scene? how can Nadia stop and actually stop before the boy comes to push her under the water. you are being chased, whats the hesitation because the 3 second underwater scene was staged. shirley needs to become original, she is a great director but for oscars, you must be original. no amalaa staging takes you to oscars.

you ghana people sef. small small tings dey fool una waaa.

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