So today I got to watch the much talked about movie ''The stalker'' which features Nse Ikpe-Etim, Jim Iyke, Caroline Ekanem-Danjuma. You see, the movie which was directed by Moses Iwang is actually interesting but the beginning is simple a copy and paste version of''The Perfect Guy'' 2015 which featured Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy.....while the concluding part is that of''Obsessed'' 2009 which featured Beyonce and Idris Elba.
To an unsuspecting viewer, Stalker is an intense movie about love; very well done. Entertaining, it leads viewers through various emotions with the lead actress, Kaylah: from fear to surprise, laughter, heartbreak and love.
Stalker tells the story of a man first in love and his elaborate attempts to woo his beloved. Though his attempts are later defined as coincidental, it is actually stalking. And stalking is scary. I mean, I love to be wooed by a man who wants me, but stalking can flip any hitherto positive feeling towards him in a split second. Kaylah Lawal (Nse Ikpe Etim) shares similar feelings. In love with a man who seems to her the perfect gentleman, she spares no thought for Micheal (Jim Iyke) who saves her life in the toughest of circumstances and comes back with professions of love. And in fact, it is disturbing that he manages to be in almost the same places as her at the same time! But things will change (ironically so) and she will crave the attention she once despised when her relationship packs up. However, the man, Micheal, is no longer emotionally available to her when her feeling towards and perception of him changes.
That is when the thrill of the movie sets in. Tables turn and Kaylah becomes the stalker. Nse is a brilliant actress; depicting moods that give the movie an edge. Sexy, sloppy, psychotic and sane at once, she becomes a manipulative woman that is in love and wants to win back the love of a man who once loved her in a very sensational manner.
All of this is beautiful. And trust me, this movie would have been absolutely a blockbuster, where it not a copy and paste of two Hollywood movies; Obsessed and The Perfect Guy.
So the unsuspecting viewer is deceived, for want of a better word, into believing that this fusion is an original creation; Nollywood or even otherwise. They let themselves get wowed and blown; commending how much our movie industry has grown. And it is a shame because what this movie shows me is that we are still settling for bread crumbs off the table of Hollywood. There is absolutely no way copying and pasting and further grafting two distinct movies into one makes the end result original. Or creative.
Absolutely no way!
There were attempts to localise Stalker within the tenets of the Nigerian reality. Say, in the opening scene. The way the thugs on Micheal’s street beat him up, among others. However, they are not strong enough to erase the feeling that you have seen the stories elsewhere; that they are showing up in this movie is not totally coincidental. While I acknowledge and appreciate the feelings and empathy the opening scene aroused in me, it could have been very easily replaced with anything else, even if it is cliché. I mean, the entire movie itself is already cliché. You have seen it all before; a girl falls for the wrong guy while the “right” guy tries to get her attention. Unreciprocated, he stalks her. And then she realises her mistake and goes after the right guy who has also moved on, with the same ending as Obsessed.
But for all it is worth, Nse Ikpe Etim does not deliver anything less than a stunning performance. Through her actions the movie does come alive and ultimately she is that woman in love but rejected and scheming to win the attention of the man she loves who now loves someone else. For Jim Ikye, had he not embodied his character the way he did, the movie would have been flat and lifeless. He is pretty much in control of his character and strong. He knew when to be vulnerable, clueless and decisive. On her part, Caroline Danjuma playing Nse’s rival is good. Her character embodies and gives face to the “dumbass” woman. The lights, sound and effects worked too like the good acting. So yes, good cinematography!
But, it is difficult to dismiss the feeling of being scammed when I think in the overall about this movie, Stalker, particular because I had to deal with the obvious enjoyment of other cinema goers and the conflicting reality that this was a copy and paste job. I am very careful to call this end result an adaption even.
So, in fairness, I am going to say to the producers of this movie, keep trying. Maybe one day you will happen on a movie that we will not only absolutely love, but also find original and creative.
Best of luck!
Review by Yvonne Chinyere Anoruo