Ties That Bind – Directed by Leila Djansi. Featuring – Kimberly Elise, Ama Abebrese, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde. Ties That Bind – Released 2011.
Ok, first confession, this is a Ghanian film which I only discovered after I started watching the film. What attracted me to the film was Kimberly Elise who is one of my favourite actors. ’Ties That Bind’ starts with Buki arriving at at a small village to start a practice as a doctor. She incidentally runs into Adobea (Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde) who happens to be an ex-school mate. My initial reaction to the opening sequence was ‘oh no, its only going downhill from here’ but was impressed it did not descend into a waste of time. My only criticism of the story is that the male characters could have been given a bit more to do rather than just be there as spouses.
The film deals with some heavy issues through out the film and I was quite impressed with the story (given my first impression). The two main characters had depth and were beautifully played Ama Abebrese and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, the one place I felt let down was with Kimberly Elise’s character, she had very little to do in the whole film other than mover the story along. Yes she had a bit of emotional torment but when you bring an actor of that calibre to screen with little or nothing to do, it feels more like a cameo role, which is not bad in itself, except that she was top billed on the poster. My guess is she was there for bums on the seat rather than for her part which is a shame. Omotola on the other hand was a revelation for me. I have not seen her much (if at all) on screen and I was wowed! Her acting was beautiful, well paced and not at all on the surface. (SPOILER ALERT) There is a scene when she is told to undress in front of her inlaws, she takes a glance at her husband and looks straight on into the lens of the camera, it was a cinematic moment, I will definitely be looking out for more of her work.
This leads me to the directing. It was mostly good but I would stop shy of saying it great. The film had good rhythm, and had a subtly nice, though unexplained, touch to the end. In all I enjoyed it, nothing quite stood out (apart from Omotola’s acting) but nothing as quite bad either and would say its worth a watch.