Shirley Frimpong-Manso has decided to dare her audience with an unexpected radical shift in her style of story-telling—seemingly temporal but the fact remains; ‘Rebecca’ is nothing like any of the movies we’ve seen from the multiple award-winning filmmaker.
Considering Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s scenery and costume strength, it surely must have been a film-making escapade to forgo her strong holds and forge forward to tell a story this way; which she brilliantly delivers but would require a certain level of broad attentiveness to fully appreciate the film.
‘Rebecca’ opens with a scene of two people sitting at the back of a Range Rover in a middle of no where, and for the entire duration of the film, that’s the location—it’s one of those odd two actors’ movies with mostly everything taking place at one location.
At the back of the Range Rover sat Clifford (played by Nollywood star-Joseph Benjamin) and Rebecca (played by Yvonne Okoro), a newly wedded couple whose struggle leaped from the fact that the two were betrothed by their parents when they were young to the huge disparity in their lifestyles and conflicting conception of love.
For the first twenty minutes of the film, Clifford takes his audience on a journey of brick development, through a perfect layout of rants: sometimes trying to get her travelling companion and wife-Rebecca to respond, until he somewhat concluded that his new wife could not speak a word of English.
This twenty minutes of Clifford talking to himself serves as a narrative, setting the much needed background for the story—and eventually when Rebecca gave in, the dialogue thickens and the conundrum as to how the two ended up together gets deciphered.
The film upsets the serene atmosphere of singing birds with an initial incident that leaves Clifford helpless, to the mercy of his wife and in-between the conversation about love, purpose and aspirations, a near attack succeeds in bonding the two non-loving couple together.
While Clifford and Rebecca seemed to have come to a consensus that they did not have much of a choice in the decision to be together, albeit both did not strongly protest their union because of the uniqueness of the events that set forth their marriage, it turned out that Rebecca was a little mischievous than anyone would have imagined.
It should be mentioned that the film is slow, with little visual movements—therefore, the essence and substance of the film is ingrained in the rich dialogue between the two characters, the fuel on which the entire story runs.
Despite it being almost a two cast film with a single location, it’s nothing like the popular 2002 two actors’desert set film-Gerry. If anything at all, it shares similar motive of discovery and connection as depicted in the 2011 two cast film-Madrid, 1987—except that this time, the two characters mainly explore the dynamics of love, and not politics or intellectualism as was done in Madrid, 1987.
‘Rebecca’ is presented in such a way that you could close your eyes for the entire duration of the film and just listen to the voices; and you would fully appreciate the story—for its beauty dwells in the voices, and the flawlessly captured ambience sound serves as a great interlude.
Apart from the fact that ‘Rebecca’ is a complete departure from the Shirley Frimpong-Manso’ signature films, it seems like it was shot on a low budget—probably, the single location and two actors just make it seem so.
Nevertheless, it’s a beautifully told story, great acting—peaceful to follow and it awakes your thoughtfulness; leaving you with more answers than questions about this thing called ‘Love.’
In an entertaining way, the film depicts the beauty of honest conversation—especially when there ought to be a relationship and shows that people could actually be more than we envisage.
For Clifford and ‘Rebecca’, they turned what on the face of it seemed like a fuel shortage, a travel disaster, to the wheel on which their ‘betrothed’ marriage coalesced into something totally different.
‘Rebecca‘ will be screened at the 2016 Sparrow Entertainment Festival in Accra on 8th and 9th January, 2016 at the SilverBird Cinema, Accra Mall.
And it will be premiered in London on 22nd January, 2016 at Odeon Cinema, Greenwich | For exclusive invitation to the invite-only premiere, CLICK HERE to Secure an INVITE.