Im starting 2 feel lyk a pest. I dnt knw y Im so worried. I knw ur ok. Call me pls.
Ok. Im drivin to ur house nw. I rilly nid 2 c u. R u ok!
Ur sister says ur nt in Lagos y dnt u tell me. And u left her alone. Im staying wit her.
Chris looked at the screen of the phone without really seeing it, mumbling the words to himself like a strange mantra. This Agnes wasn’t the one he’d known – wasn’t the Agnes he had dated, the one that had nearly driven him out of his mind. This Agnes was…
Waist creaking like the crank-arm of an old out-of-use generator, Chris walked to the refrigerator and took out the lone Stout bottle. He would need a refil soon enough – but he needed to clear his head.
A smile creased his sore lips at that thought. A drink to clear his head. Indeed.
But thinking about the past few days were hard. He knocked back a gulp of the icy Stout and winced as the frigid liquid seared his throat. And then it hit his belly – and a pleasant feeling unfurled in his limbs. Yes. So necessary.
His mind focused on Temi for a moment; bringing an unsavory taste to his mental buds – and he discarded the thought quickly. I’ll figure that one out when I need to; he thought.
But where does Agnes feature in this picture?
What does she want?
The vibrating motions of something in his right hand startled him – and he almost flung the BB away in fright. He smiled self-consciously and looked at the phone screen – and the smile slowly disappeared.
“Chris – ”
“Agnes…this is irritating. Why don’t you just tell me – what do you want?!”
“Oh Chris – ” her voice faltered. “You know, I’ve just been thinking…there are so many things I should have talked to you about…”
“And you want to talk – NOW?!” he could feel the familiar trembling begin in his hand, and he closed his fist around the Stout bottle. Lord help me.
“We don’t always know what to do, baby. I don’t…I didn’t have it all figured out.”
He sighed. “And you do now?”
“I think so…or at least I know more now than I did when we were together…”
“Agnes…what are you saying?”
“Come home, Chris. Rachel has been crying since – and me; well…I miss you.”
Her chuckle stirred something in his chest. “Come home, Chris.”
The connection ended.
A few minutes later, Chris had packed his bags and was heading to the bathroom before he realized he had done anything.
What am I doing?
I guess that part of me that remains largely skeptical about stuff – good stuff is usually right. It has been that way as far back as I can remember; and it will always be that way.
Or at least – that’s what I like to think.
Somewhere in my head I always feel – or felt – that this syrupy relationship wasn’t meant to last. It all felt too good to be true; but I was having so much fun I threw caution to the winds.
So this afternoon I leave work and head for her house. She’s been under the weather for a couple days – in fact, she just started feeling better. So I have been playing nursemaid – not a job I mind; I assure you. If I was going to be honest sef – I’d probably say I like feeding her, like wiping her mouth after she patiently swallows whatever morsel I am giving her in that moment.
She makes me feel so much –
Okay. I’m at the house, but things are not the way I expect them to be. For one thing – I can hear music and laughter coming from the living room. For another –
For another, I hear her voice. And ‘under the weather’ is no longer an accurate phrase with which I’d describe it.
I walk into the living room, and what meets my eyes is not what I expect at all.
She’s dressed up, looking really good even though she’s slightly pale. At the end of one hand is a wine bottle pouring into a long-stemmed glass. At the end of the other hand is a shoulder.
My eyes travel along the shoulder – and it’s like my worst fears have arrived.
Attached to the shoulder is a man.
A hand applying lipstick to thin lips stopped in their motion. A well-groomed eyebrow elevated itself, a slender neck turned and regarded the first speaker.
Standing in blue jeans and nothing else, he sounded just as confused as he looked. “Temi…what happens now?”
She faced the mirror again and continued the soft back and forth motion across her lips. Slowly she eased back and regarded her work, and then nodding slowly smacked her lips a couple of times.
Chris watched, blank as a door’s expression as Temi replaced the lipstick in her compact, put the compact back in her purse and, clasping it firmly stood up.
“That was – that was not too bad, but I did expect more from a guy who talked as rough as you. Well – isn’t that what you guys are like; all talk, little action?”
She walked towards him, swaying softly – a far cry from the woman who had been doing all kinds of stuff – the kind of stuff Chris had only seen in pornos up till the night before.
Temi got up to him, grabbed his chin and lowered his face to hers. “Chris, I hope I’ll see you back at work in a while – I hope you get whatever is bothering you straightened out before then. We’d hate to lose you.” She pushed her face against his and shoved her tongue in his mouth, bruising his lips and biting his tongue in a flurry of passion.
Chris grabbed her shoulders and pushed her away. ” Temi…” He hated the way his breath was coming out in short spurts, hated the too-obvious tent in front of his jeans. Temi pushed against him roughly – and then she laughed and pulled away, straightening her scattered hair with a sweeping hand.
“Best you ever had, right? See you soon, baby.”
She wiggled to the door – and opened it, turning once to kiss her fingers at him and then she disappeared, leaving the door half open.
Chris sighed and slumped on the bed, emotionally and physically empty. His mind wandered to he and Temi’s companion. The stranger – to him at least.
The lady in red.
From the way she and Temi flowed, it was obvious they had done it before. Their movements were so rehearsed, so in sync…
In spite of his still-trembling limbs, Chris rose and walked to the BlackBerry still lying a few metres away from the bed. Bending over, he picked it up and – holding his waist with his empty hand – winced and punched in the phone’s unlock code.
17 missed calls. Three text messages.
Two of the calls were from Rachael his sister – the rest and all the texts were from the same number.
Irritation gave way to intrigue. What does this woman really want?
He opened the messages – and what he read kept him sitting in the bed for a long time.
The hazy glow of the 2 am moon pierced the curtains, providing sufficient illumination for any observer to see through into the room – if there was such an observer. But the only people who would have any interest in the occupant of the room were already inside.
Chris sat up in bed and looked at the other occupants of the room – that is; the other occupants of the bed.
In sleep they looked like effigies carved out of ivory – except the soft rise and fall of their breasts were too real. They cuddled each other like siblings – the taller and lighter one holding onto the smaller and darker’s hips, while smaller laid her head on the other’s breasts. There was a light sheen of sweat dusting their shoulders, hips and so on – legs tangled in the aftermath of passion.
He looked at them – and sighed.
Rising, so as not to disturb them, he padded across the room on bare feet, opened the fridge – and winced as the door squealed, and then, softly continuing, he reached inside and pulled out a bottle of Stout. And then, still naked walked to the terrace of his room and, watching Calabar morning lights opened the bottle and took a huge swallow.
He needed to think.
He remembered the frenetic activities that had been occurring in the room for the better part of the night – and wondered how he ever thought Temi a prude. The girl he brought back to his room – or the girl that had dragged him back to his room was nothing like the Temi he had described as wore her clothes with as much aplomb as a clothes hangar. It was as though she had taken classes to compensate for her lack of –
And then; who was the girl in red and how did she figure in everything?
She had suddenly materialized beside him as he was trying to make Temi take a drink – materialized and grabbed his Star bottle – and staring right in his eyes, downed half the bottle. And then, without missing a beat, slammed the bottle on the table, grabbed him and kissed him.
From that moment, it had been a blur of skin, of flesh and other things. He had allowed himself wheeled along on a BRT ride of lust – not allowing himself a moment of rational thought – and the BRT had crashed abruptly.
He was drained.
Throwing back his head, Chris took another longer swallow of the liquid that seemed as dark as his thoughts, enjoying the feel of the predawn air as it caressed his naked body gently. He looked again over the distance – enjoying the slumbering beauty that was Calabar…
A familiar sound jerked him out of his mood and sent him scampering into the room he’d just come out of. It was his phone. Ringing from the pocket of the jeans he had discarded as though they were on fire some hours before. He hastily set the Stout on the fridge and grabbed his jeans, wincing at the volume of the ringing.
Indeed, the entire hotel would be awakened.
He grabbed the phone and put it on silent before he realized who was calling.
Agnes. He stood still in the midst of the room looking ridiculous, phone in on hand, trousers dangling from the other – moonlight streaming from the open terrace doors silhouetting him to perfection. He stood there and stared at the phone as though it was alive.
“It’s still several hours till morning, lover.” A raspy voice announced itself in his ear – the same time a pair of hands pawed at his uncovered behind aggressively. Chris jumped, and then turned to face Temi, intending to discourage her passion.
She grabbed his neck and buried her mouth in his in a hair-singeing kiss – a kiss that was as violating as the hands that seemed to be all over him. She cannot have so many hands was his last rational thought –
The Bold 5, forgotten, fell to the floor and continued its wailing – as ignored as the caller.
Sequels; especially sequels to massively successful movies – fairly or otherwise – have quite a standard to live up to – and then beat.
Even now and then; a for real ‘now and then’ – a sequel comes out that threatens to obliterate its predecessor, shattering box office records, winning awards and remaining in the annals of history for all time.
Em. Forgive me. I think that’s actually happened only once…
Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Anyways, that still does not change the fact that people; fans, actors, studios and so on expect sequels to do better than the original. Studios; especially. Else why would studios drop $110 million for the 300 sequel – which eventually grossed $331 million – as opposed to the original which grossed $456 million against a $65 million budget?
To the point – a movie which; interestingly, was written by the same mind that gave us the above 300 and it’s sequel Rise Of An Empire. Frank Miller.
Without further ado…
The original movie was a runaway hit, winning several awards and making movie history for its visual appeal and gritty story. It was fresh; genre-bending, mind blowing – it was something never seen before on screen; 2 or 3D. Flash forward nine years later – and the sequel, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For drops.
As with the first movie, there are two overarching stories that move the narrative along – the titular tale; A Dame To Kill For featuring Dwight Macarthy (Josh Brolin) and Ava Lord (Eva Green), and Nancy’s Last Dance featuring Nancy (Jessica Alba), Marv (Mickey Rourke) Senator Roarke (Powers Boothe). Two other stories complete the plot; Just Another Saturday Night featuring Marv and The Long Bad Night featuring Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Marcie (Julie Garner). Two of the stories are original; writing exclusively for the movie – Nancy’s Last Dance and The Long Bad Night while the other two are adaptations of the original comic book stories.
Stories that detail human emotions at their finest or most cruel; Sin City is a town that feeds the most vile of human lusts. The movie starts really slow – Marv, the lumbering giant hero who was framed and killed in the first movie story returns in a preceding story, regaining consciousness in a field surrounded by bodies and the wreck of two cars. Due to his memory issues, he cannot remember how he got there and starts to backtrack. Joseph Levitt is a young, cocky card-sharp who intends to take on the most powerful man in Sin City by beating him in a game of poker. He is arrogantly confident of his own abilities – and his arrogance is justified. But then – sometimes talent is not enough.
Ava Lord is the typical femme fatale; scheming, manipulating and murderous whenever it suits her. Her green eyes gleam with greed and impassioned ferocity, her red lips pulse with evil as she spouts self serving lines like: “This is the last time I make a living on my back.” No offense madam, but who send you?
Bruce Willis also shines as Hartigan’s ghost, seemingly trapped in this reality as a result of frustrated unconsummated love/lust between him and Jessica Alba’s character Nancy, a girl “young enough to be my granddaughter” in Hartigan’s own words. He lurks behind his love, speaking frustrated quotes in a voice as unemotional as his expressions. But somehow, seeing Bruce on screen always rocks – even if all he does is cock his head in that annoying way of his.
The creator and director; Frank Miller and his co-director Robert Rodriguez have come under fire severally for their poBut that is not the point. After all, the first movie was rife with such fare and it made for a palatable meal. So where did the sequel miss it?
First, the movie almost seems to not be clear on what it wants to achieve – rambling and stumbling in its own way just like Marv in the opening sequence. The visuals that were novel and riveting in the first movie felt jarringly glossy and unreal for the sequel – and the casting choices were misfires at times. For example – I thought too; that Josh Brolin would play pre-surgery Dwight and Clive Owen would just reprise his role from the original – post-surgery Dwight. They just added make up to his face – and they expected him to get away that easy?
Somehow, I didn’t buy the Eva Green – Ava Lord casting either; maybe because Angelina Jolie had been touted to play the evil woman who schemes and manipulates men as though they were pawns and life was her chessboard. She didn’t do too badly – but you know no female can top Jolie when it comes to playing bad ass females who suck men into their spider webs.
At least not yet.
PS: The following poster was banned by The Motion Picture Association of America because of the nudity. *clears throat*
I did find Dennis Haysbert charismatic as the two-eyed-then-one-eyed Manute, a role that came with high-expectations as he took over from the late-great Michael Clarke Duncan – but he nailed it to a T; including the gravelly voice. If Duncan is the standard, Haysbert is a comfortable replacement. Ray Liotta is brilliant as a rich businessman cheating on his wife – and several other talents make this piece decent. Another dear departed star – Brittany Murphy – who played bargirl Shellie in the first part had her part in the sequel written out – Miller preferred to do that rather than recast her. Minute’s part, however is too pivotal to the story to be given up.
I found the movie tedious, the violence was rather too over the top (I’d rather Rodriguez keep the gore for his progressively-ridiculous Machete series) but as someone stated:
” “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” doesn’t have the electricity of the original, mainly because we’ve seen it all once before. Nothing new is really revealed here, either through story or style. But Rodriguez and Miller are completely committed to their vision, such as it is, and its ferocity can’t be easily dismissed.”
And the verdict is…Not Bad.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For now showing in Silverbird Cinemas nationwide, Ozone Cinemas Yaba, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas too. I think.
My special someone asked me a question some days ago.
“At what point do you realize you’re an adult?”
I said something along the lines of ‘there’s no particular moment, you just grow into the role’, you know – the shoes are already there. You step into them – and grow as you go.
That’s what I think anyways, and that certainly applies to Being Mrs. Elliot, Omoni Oboli’s directorial debut.
The premise is not exactly ‘unique’; it’s been seen in several movies, read in several books – two women meet, are both involved in an accident, and through an error of oversight, switch lives.
Though not exactly.
Starring Omoni Oboli, Majid Michel, AY, Lepacious Bose, Uru Eke, Seun Akindele, Imeh Umoh and so on, Being Mrs Elliot is a movie guaranteed to take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. You actually get to know the characters; as in they introduce themselves to you without frills or pretense. They tell you ‘this is who we are’, and then allow you form your opinions.
From the beginning, the movie appears to be a little disjoint. First we get to meet the dissatisfied wife with fake friends. Then we meet the excited girlfriend; and right in front of the viewer becomes the fiance. Then we meet the overeager-to-please secretary, who also happened to take lessons in massage therapy – and the story sort of comes together.
Omoni Oboli is riveting as the leading lady, selfishly hoarding the spotlight to herself. Though if that’s her fault (as per director) or the fault of her co-stars remains an open debate. Lepacious Bose has spots of brilliance, giving the movie several of its laughter-evoking moments. Even AY, playing a role that comes with its own look and feel and gives little room for expression, is impressive enough to get a pass. Majid’s character, however, was more for sound than sight. If not for the fact that there’s usually a husband in a marriage – whether same sex or otherwise – we won’t have missed him.
The dialogue is engaging enough – even though some lines would have you cringing and clenching your teeth. At some point in the movie too, you would wonder if you were watching a movie or a TV commercial – considering the number of ads/shameless plugs that were thrown in. But hey, the sponsors have to get their due, right?
Slows down the movie dramatically, however.
There were several clichés – several pastiches we have come to associate with Nollywood movies, and the movie would have been more enjoyable if it had been reduced by at least twenty minutes – but on the scale of things, Being Mrs. Elliot will go down in Nollywood history as ‘One Of The Good Ones’. Omoni seems to have found herself wearing a new pair of shoes, that of director, and for the look of things, she will grow comfortably in them.
Not bad for a beginner.
Being Mrs Elliot now showing at Silverbird Cinemas Nationwide (I think), Ozone Cinemas and Genesis Deluxe Cinemas.
“Why are you calling, Agnes?”
There was a bit of static over the connection – and then her voice came back on again.
“Aw don’t be like that Chris. I’m just worried is all. You didn’t tell me what happened with Temi, and the girl herself can be quite the clam.”
“What do you care?”
He thought he heard her catch her breath sharply – but that didn’t sound like something Agnes would do. She didn’t have reason to.
Her next words confirmed his thoughts. “You’re right, I don’t. I just want some gossip. You know, office gist.”
“I’d rather not be fodder for your mouth, thank you. All you need to know is – I’m good, and I should be back at work in a week or so.”
Her sigh drifted down the line. “Okay baby. Take it easy, you hear?”
Irritation set his teeth on edge. “Again – what do you care?”
She was quiet. “Goodnight, Chris.”
The Bold 5 did a small spin as it was tossed on the bedside table. The thrower put both his hands behind his head and slumped on the bed, his thoughts as angry as his emotions.
What does that…that devil want?
He closed his eyes, trying to force himself into a state of calm – but it seemed as elusive as dry outdoors on a stormy day. He was all aware of the humming of the air-conditioner, the freshener-tinged atmosphere of the room, the bar of light streaming underneath the door.
He was too awake.
As if that was not enough, the dry metallic taste of adrenaline was heavy on his tongue. He was angry – but maybe more upset than actually angry.
He didn’t know.
He swore and kicked the bedsheets aside where they tangled with his feet. Sitting up, he held his head and his hands and swore softly. No matter what he did, she was underneath his skin – and it seemed there was nothing he could do about it.
For the moment.
He raised his head. It occurred to him then – that he was in Tinapa. If for nothing else, he had better enjoy it. He stood up and walked to the wardrobe where he had instructed the boy to drop his bag minutes earlier.
He was buttoning a cool blue shirt when he remembered the lady in red he’d seen in the lobby. Like a catchy song you hate but stays in your head nonetheless, his mind fastened itself on that image.
She had been staring. Why?
That wasn’t a mystery he would solve in his room – so after wearing soft shoes and spraying some cologne, he pulled the room card, stepped out and shut the door.
“Bar, please.” He told the elevator attendant who nodded quietly and pushed the button. Chris leaned against the wall and closed his eyes, thinking about Agnes and what…
“We’re here sir.”
The bar smelled of tobacco – yet it wasn’t the type Chris was used too. There was something different about it, but he couldn’t tell what. Meandering towards the long table behind which a light-skinned attractive girl was pouring something in a glass full of ice, he kept looking around for the lady in red.
I should have started from the lobby.
He got to the bar, perched himself on one of the high stools that lined it and was about to speak –
Someone bumped him roughly.
He turned – and then froze.
“Hi Chris,” Temi said.