Ghanaian filmmaker-Shirley Frimpong-Manso has succeeded in coalescing two paradoxical stories, of love and chaos, into her latest film-‘Us in Between’. What seems like an obvious departure from her kind of stories still takes with it her years of perfection in romcom—serving chops of comedy and love, alongside recounting the international and local events following the outbreak of coronavirus.
The film which is produced by Ken Attoh and Shirley Frimpong-Manso is written and directed by Shirley Frimpong-Manso.
Set in Ghana, the film opens with a vivacious Wulomei song, and captures a usual vibrant Accra—with market women going about their business. Soon, we are introduced to Emily (played by Lydia Forson), the spirited nurse whose professional curiosity and somewhat trepidation of the unpreparedness of the hospital she works at, captures the state of ignorance and unpreparedness that were at play in all parts of the world, especially in Ghana, when the virus first broke out in China.
What would have been a fascinating love-story of Emily and her then boyfriend-Oscar (played by John Dumelo) or her other love interest-Gene (played by Senanu Gbedawo) was swiftly overtaken by a virus outbreak far in China which progressively engulfs the world and takes centre stage in Ghana.
Just as different parts of our lives were impacted, the film in its account of events leading to Ghana’s lockdown brilliantly features diverse lives, including parenting, relationships and work—and showcases the struggles faced by frontline workers, and the drastic instantaneous adjustments that had to be made by everyone on the back of little information and the then hovering misconceptions.
An otherwise intense film, lightens things up with chops of comedy built around the many misconstructions and false information that were locally prevalent about the infectiousness of the virus.
Despite its limited intrusion into the politics of the time, the film highlights the local political resolve and the instituted protocols by the government, as the nation juggled things to avoid a disastrous outbreak. In this quarter, it also showcases what seemed like a disconnect between the political focus and that of the real front liners, with the latter ostensibly suggesting that the government was not doing enough at the onset.
Notwithstanding the film being themed on the coronavirus pandemic, it brilliantly tells a love-story from its genesis to a happy-ending, probably to further highlight the fact that in the midst of even a chaotic pandemic and struggles to stay alive, love can be brewed—and that’s the reality of life.
The film features Lydia Forson, Senanu Gbedawo , David Dontoh, Adjetey Anang , Mary Yirenkyi, Gloria Sarfo, Oscar Provencal, Michelle Attoh, Nikki Samonas, John Dumelo and others.