The below review was submitted by an up-coming film-maker who attended the premiere of ‘Amakye & Dede’ in Accra on 25th March, 2016—and he prefers to remain a ghost writer.
‘Amakye and Dede’ marks the very first time I have seen a Ghanaian movie on its opening night.
Like some Silverbird cinema employees, I never thought the movie was going to sell as much as it did. Consequently; I didn’t book my ticket until the screening day- I got there at 8 pm for the 9 pm screen, and the place was disgustingly filled with people.
I got to the cashier , and I was told the 9pm was sold out , so I had to wait for 11:30pm.
Eight-Nine-Ten-Eleven– that is four hours! There was no way I was going to stay for four hours to watch a movie– well, that was what I thought, until I return to the escalator and found out that the placed was blocked. People had to form a cue to catch an elevator ride as well. It was massive and fascinating , so well , I waited — but was it worth it?
I grabbed a couple of drinks and ate some usual prawn source and shrimp fried rice at the Sizzlers which was on the same level as the cinema, in the building, just to murder time. Well , the food took over two hours-yes-2, before it got to me.
Sizzlers murdered me before I could even have a chance to kill time. But that’s another topic for another day.
Anyway, hours compressed into minutes and it was already 11:30. I went to the cinema hall, and I was surprised that people who went in at 9:30 were still in the cinemas. I wasn’t sure if they asked for a replay , or they were so glued that, they had to sit through the end credits.
An hour had past and they were still inside. I went to one of the cashier and asked what the problem was, and he openly told me the movie had restarted and they couldn’t forward it.
He went on the tell me, some of the cinemas were empty but the film format film makers in Ghana render their movies in isn’t compatible with some of their projectors, and it’s giving them problems. And that, they didn’t know the movie was going to sell this much, so there weren’t enough preparation.
Why am not surprised? We do not prepare for anything in this country! We like to waste time fixing problems instead of preventing them. However, film-makers in Ghana are supposed to bear the blame too.
I am an aspiring film maker , and I am yet to screen my first short film. Even so, I have dug into finding that, the best format for screening at cinemas is Digital Cinema Package, which is commonly known as DCP. Why the hell would a film maker – an experienced film maker-not render in this format for cinema, considering the picture quality it comes along with?
Let me not bore you with the technical part of film making, lets dive into why we are here.
After a while, we were told to go to cinema 3 for the show! We got to the gate and it was packed – people were shoving each other- causing problems, some were falling, others were arguing; all trying to get into a very little entrance.
It was so shameful that those people could not comport themselves. The “gateman” had to beg because he couldn’t hold the gate anymore. And guess what? People were still coming , like a bomb exploded behind us. It was very one hell of a crowd but would the film be really worth it?
I know the first ten minutes of every movie needs to be great to get people soaked into it. “Amekye and Dede” didn’t disappoint at all at this.
The opening arial scene was marvellous bringing us to Kalybus and Majid having a joyous ride. The quality of the movie was great, even though it wasn’t formatted in DCP. It would have been ten times better than that if it was. And imagine that result! It was still wonderful though, I must admit.
“Amekye and Dede” had some of the ingredients I’ve already planned on injecting into my own projects – mixing Kumawood actors with the rest, mixing dialects etc. Yaw Dabo, did splendid in this movie.
Honestly, I don’t always laugh at Kumawood’s actors theatrics because, they sometimes over do things (certainly not their fault), and they usually ain’t funny, aside Nkansah of course. However, that guy really made me laugh, when he found out that his car was being misused by ‘Majid and Kalybos’.
Their escape was even better to top things up. Even so , before that, some things just didn’t make sense. They met 2 girls and went a local chop bar with them. We didn’t see them pay for the food or excusing themselves from the ladies.
Well even if they made away, there should have been an inset, if not a scene, showing that. It was as if those girls were only used to just show their inflated butts – like a show off. It probably might work for some people, but I feel they could have had some more purpose, driving the story forward.
The story would have still carried on if they were eliminated, I mean. So that’s a waste of cash and a cheap show off. Their butts were massive though, I must confess.
It was a well written comedy. Technically, some things were brilliant – rule of thirds were applied to almost 70% of the scenes. Some, I felt the cinematographer was just lazying around and couldn’t get the right framing, unless they switched camera operators, or he simply wasn’t paid enough or the director just didn’t care or he wasn’t also paid enough or just lost interest.
Like the girls in the chop bar scene, some of the aerial shots were there to show off. Almost 90% of the aerial shots just didn’t have a purpose. They came on the screen, and most of the viewers were like wow! Well, it isn’t wow if it doesn’t drive the story forward.
Yes, it did give us an idea of where the next scene was to take place, but come on, it was just there to show off. The movie was flooded with meaningless aerial shots, which could have been replaced with a simple long shot of the location. It still wow’d people you might say, yes, but it wasn’t a music video . Every shot in a film needs to have a purpose.
You do not have drones than the production companies in Hollywood that do not have aerial shot in their movies. They only use them when they really need to. Come to think of it, I didn’t see the entrance of the mechanic shop from the exterior (unless I missed it). Whenever we were cut to that scene, We had an aerial shot, so I began to wonder if they use helicopter to go to work. I am sorry, but these little things matter in a movie.
As for the other actors, Kalybos was great. At some point his dialogue was boring , but I would still give him a nine out of ten.
Majid would get a seven because he isn’t fit for comedy, nonetheless, he did so well. We all know him to play other roles better. I think next time directors should give the jobs to people that deserve or it’s tailored for. I know some people might have done better.
Well, that brings me to Ahuofe Patricia. I will give her a 3 over 10.
First of all, that girl can’t act. She’s popular because Kalybos did a great job in their web series. Another girl would have done way better.
In the movie, for the first time when her car broke down, I was almost ashamed of her acting. She isn’t good. Directors should consider talent and passion over popularity or favors. Her make up at some point was terrible.
Oh, I almost left the kissing part out. I know some girls might even collapse if they were kissed by Majid. But come on, Patri was frigid and it was very unattractive when they kissed. That scene was just — dead.
Emelia Brobbey scored 6 out of ten for me even though her part could have been eliminated from the movie – It just didn’t make sense – no purpose, not a good anchor. But the rating was for her acting.
John Dumelo did great – 7/10.
The rest were just above 5.
Anyway, the story was great but it ended in the middle of the show. The last 30 minutes felt like it was forced. I mean, that last 30 minutes could have been eliminated. I wonder if it followed “the story structure”.
Well , I like the fact that some things were straight forward. It did eject some things out – not- the typical Ghanaian movie-exaggerations, which was good.
Overall, I would give it a 3/5.