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
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
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