By Isabella Akinseye
Seasons’ greetings my readers and welcome to another edition of Nollywood Movies: To watch or not to watch? This week, I’ll be reviewing the much talked about Royal Arts Academy production – Lagos Cougars (currently screening in cinemas across Nigeria) by Emem Isong. Happy reading!
The title alone – Lagos Cougars – is bound to tickle the interest of even the most skeptical Nollywood fan. Cougars are basically older women who date (or prey on) younger men. While ‘cougarism’ is more popular in the Western world, it also exists in Nigeria but it is more coded. For me, I wanted to see how a Lagos cougar would behave. Would she openly flaunt it or hide it from her friends? Was she doing it out of love or lust? These were some of the questions going through my mind as I watched the trailer.
From the opening scene, you are let in on the action; somebody wants blood. “If I lay my hands on Lawrence…I will kill him” is what we first hear. As the trailer progresses, we see young boys and women old enough to be their mothers basically loving and fighting themselves. There are a lot of things going on between the different characters. For example, there is a scene where an African American woman is saying she will go to Africa to collect her $5000. We also have extracts of dialogues pieced together with a lot of action. On their own, the dialogues help to tell some parts of the story but together as a whole, they don’t work. In this case, less would have been more.
As is fast becoming the trend in Nollywood, this trailer has elements of key dramatic moments such as kissing, touching, slapping, fighting and over the top acting. Considering the fact that we have scenes of some African American ladies talking to each other, hip-hop music or even Nigerian pop music would have easily sufficed. Instead, we are given a country music soundtrack.
Towards the end, the names of the actors appear on screen in quick succession. This works for people who know their Nollywood actors but for newcomers, it would have been nice to see their names as their characters appear for the first time. The final scene which comes after a graphic design of Lagos Cougars shows the African American ladies talking about a guy promising “Gucci bag, Fendi” should have been totally omitted. Better to have ended with something with more punch from one of the cougars preferably.
Verdict – You would enjoy watching Lagos Cougars if you want some ‘Naija’ drama, a good laugh with the girls and a lot of hot eye candy.
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