Should Chika Ike have written a better script or have gotten a better cast for her latest production? Maybe she should have tried to add a little bit more spice to the movie are some of the thoughts that spiral down one’s mind at the end of seeing Small Chops.
An array of brilliant cast does not necessarily translate to a refined and spectacular movie and this is one thing Nigerian movie producers need to be wary of. With the delectable assemblage of actors, one would expect a tantalizing and beautifully carved content, but it is sadly, a disappointing movie.
Although, the cinematography of the movie is beautiful and the location choices are exquisite, the soundtrack and music choice are definitely right but the script and acting could have been better.
The movie sets out to portray love with a feminist approach but we are left wondering if it’s thoroughly executed.
Nikita played by Chika Ike is an aggressive, pompous dancer stripper who finds love with a White man. A Nigerian-based business giant named Cassper played by Max Cavenham. On one evening while the latter is at a strip club he meets the former who he is intrigued by, following a resounding slap she has dished a guest at the bar for groping her while she is performing. Cassper gets his driver Smart (Nkem Owoh)to fix a private meeting with him.
Nikita is unaware that Cassper real motive is a weekend of unrestrained sex and sexcapades. On discovery, she becomes difficult and overbearing; strange traits that the movie expects us to see as confidence and a search for equality.
One issue Small Chops hopes to bring to the fore is feminism and gender equality but even that is very vague and shoddily delivered. None of the actors can be seen as progressing the above desired narrative.
Nikita is certainly not the poster girl for women liberation, likewise her fellow actress, Nse Ikpe Etim whose character in trying to mark territory pushes an unwanted pregnancy on a man who eventually dumps her.
Ironically, what Small Chops does is to promote the ideology that it is a man’s world and he can get whatever he desires and wishes for, especially with the women.
The acting shows a poorly researched script as even the dancing and stripping of Nikita’s character is not forceful and passionate as one would expect, a bit of an eye-sore if you please.
As a romantic story, it shows no difference from the regular movies on African Magic and as comedy, even Nkem Owoh and Toyin Aimakhu do not hit the benchmark as their lines are drab and dull; attributes which are not synonymous with the actors.
Directed by Robert Peters, it is way below what the skilled director and movie powerhouse is known for. Conclusively, one can only hope Ike goes back to the drawing board and feed us with better scripted movies.
Photo credit: Getty