Phone Swap – Directed by Kunle Afolayan. Featuring – Nse Ikpe-Etim, Wale Ojo, Joke Silva, Chika Okpala, Lydia Forson, Ada Ameh.
What are the odds of bumping into a random person, exchanging mobile phones, boarding passes and flights? Well thankfully comedies work on the premise of ‘it could happen’ rather than it can happen, hence ‘Phone Swap’ needs our suspended reality to go along on the ride.
Mary is a talented seamstress dreaming of her own boutique, she receives a call about a family emergency and has to head to Owerri. Ade on the other hand is a hard-nosed business man on his way you a showdown meeting in Abuja, in a chance encounter Ade and Mary run into each other, in the rush phones are exchanged and each ends up on the others flight.
What I love most about ‘Phone Swap’ is it’s departure from the standard Nollywood narrative, yes it’s the common poor girl meets meets rich boy ‘Cinderella story’ but the way it is told in the screenplay (Kemi Adesoye) is not what I expected. The film is directed by Kunle Afolayan, who currently is my favourite Nollywood director but this is my least favourite film of the 3 he has directed. This is not to say its a bad film, just that nothing really stands out for me.
Technically, this is a competent film. The photography is directed by Yinka Edwards (if you read my review of October 1 you will know I adore this guys cinematography work), with the outside night shots being my favourite. He just knows how to light rural scenes in a way that brings back memories of village night life for me. The acting is generally okay but brilliant from Ada Ameh who as Cynthia, Mary’s eccentric sister.
‘Phone Swap’ is not a bad movie and I would hate to suggest so, but given it is from one of Nigeria’s best so I expected a lot more. What it is a good watch, beautifully shot and delivered by very good actors. What it is not is ground breaking or a new dawn in Nollywood cinema.