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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

A promising plot that strays from the original intention

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Movie Title: Saving Onome

English language

Duration: 1 hour 46 minutes

Release date: 2024

Streaming platform: Prime Video

Producer: Chinaza Onuzo and Zulumoke Oyibo

Director: Dimeji Ajibola

Article page with promotion of financial support

Cast: Nancy Isime, Olumide Oworu, Mary Lazarus, Lawal Bolaji (NasBoi), Ashionye Raccah, Femi Jacobs, Nosa Rex, Kelechi Udegbe.

When a child is sick or dying, parents often find themselves surrounded by uncertainty, fear and heart-wrenching decisions. Yet their love remains steadfast and compels them to do everything possible to ensure the child survives.

‘Saving Onome’ highlights the deep love parents have for their children and the tireless struggle they undertake to protect them, even when their lives are in danger.

The film paints a vivid picture of sacrifice, love, determination and desperation for the sake of a loved one. Motherly love is reflected in Tola’s determination to raise the money for her daughter’s surgery.

The film tells the story of a young couple struggling to support their sick daughter after an operation, which forces them to resort to desperate and illegal measures to get the money needed for their daughter’s treatment. Mothers with children will feel more identified with this film by Chinaza Onuzo.

PLOT

The film ‘Saving Onome’ begins with Jite, a father trying to save the life of his only daughter, on a mission to rob the bank. The mission does not go as expected, putting Jite’s life at risk and leading to his arrest. His wife, Tola, is devastated by the possibility of losing their only daughter, Onome, to a life-threatening illness.

Her desperation pushes her to encourage Jite to rob the bank to raise 10 million naira for her daughter’s surgery. Jite escapes from the police after the robbery and heads to the hospital. Meanwhile, Tola anxiously waits for him to bring the 10 million naira.

The couple decides to visit the Azuka Foundation for help after withdrawing funds for the medical plan.

However, they are disappointed when Mr. Azuka reveals to them that the foundation is closing down and that they cannot do anything to help. Ms. Akuza takes out some N1000 bills and hands them over to transport.

At the hospital, Jite receives a call from his boss, Skyscraper, as he refuses to go to work due to his daughter’s illness, but Tola secretly asks him to lend her the 10 million naira. Tola is desperate and willing to do anything to raise the money for her daughter’s surgery.

Desperation causes Tola to tolerate Skyscraper’s insults and humiliation, who tries to take advantage of her in exchange for money. Jite objects to his wife sleeping with anyone to raise money. In the middle of the night, Tola sneaks out to meet Skyscraper, all dressed up in a sexy red dress.

As Tola discusses this with Skyscraper, Mr. Azuka’s brother Miracle walks in and proposes robbing his brother, who is planning to move away with a lot of money. Eager to get all the details, Tola excuses herself to eavesdrop from the bathroom.

After the conversation, Tola calls Jite for help as he plans to kidnap Miracle. Jite is upset that he has betrayed his trust by going behind his back to meet his boss. Jite, upset, leaves his wife to deal with the mess she created and heads to meet his Onome at the hospital. Upon reaching there, he sees his thief friend Tega chatting with his sick daughter. Tega is requesting the money he lost during the bank robbery operation as he claims that he lost the money due to Jite’s freight while he was driving.

Jite, calm and fragile, agrees to pay Tega and tells him that he plans to get his money back. They both go home to meet up with Tola, who is holding Miracle hostage. Tega uses his skills and gun to get the necessary information on how to get Miracle’s money. They proceed to the farewell party at Mr. Azuka’s house the next day. Tola and Miracle, with much pleading, enter the house and cause a scene twice to gain access to the cash room. Tola finds a way to get some money out of the room. He throws the bags of cash down the stairs for Tega and Jite to catch.

This doesn’t go well, as Skyscraper, who is present at the party, reveals Miracle’s plans to steal his brother and who Tola really is. Not long after, the police catch up with them as Tega plays a trick on them.

Tola’s father, Inspector Dayo, constantly reminds her that she is a disgrace because she got pregnant out of wedlock and decided to stay with Jite. He blames Jite for his daughters’ actions.

Did Onome Oghene survive?

Were her parents’ unjustifiable actions worth ensuring her survival?

Character analysis

Nancy Isime plays Tola, a daughter who is constantly reminded of her past, even in the critical state of losing her daughter. She is depicted as a strong and determined young mother, willing to do anything, including selling her body for money and even resorting to theft. Tola seems carefree; judging by her appearance and how she still finds joy, she laughs at jokes.

Olumide Oworu, as Jite, portrays a husband deeply in love with Tola, following her every move like a bewitched high school sweetheart. Though he rarely takes on the role of a father, Oworu’s portrayal of a father is endearing, but at times he elicits sympathy and diverts attention from his ailing daughter to himself. Instead of feeling empathy for the girl, I worry that she will get into trouble.

Lawal Bolaji, as Tega, plays the role of a funny yet annoying character to perfection. The few times he appears on screen, he cracks up the audience with his choice of words and sarcasm.

Analysis of the film

A couple fighting to save their only son who is on the brink of death is not unheard of, but what sets the film “Saving Onome” apart is its unique style and execution. Despite their critical situation, the young couple Jite and Tola express their love for each other.

Jite and Tola are not entirely convincing as parents of a dying child who desperately want to save their son but cannot afford to provide 10 million naira in three weeks. However, one cannot blame them for this as they seem to represent the typical characteristics of some parents of this generation. A couple who needs money to save their child would not have the time or guts to act so “lovingly” as if nothing is happening.

The film lacks suspense and authenticity. The plot is not compelling enough as Jite and Tola seem too relaxed about their son’s situation and more focused on themselves. The film, which is about saving Onome, deviates a bit from the original intention of focusing on the act of theft and the shortcut to raising money.

For a moment, I forgot that the movie was about saving a sick child and got lost in the robbery mission. The theme of love is even more evident between the couples than it was towards the child emotionally.

Also, the film has glaring gaps. In the scene where Tola visits Skyscraper in a red dress, she is wearing heels. How did she put on her slippers when she hit Miracle in the bathroom?

How can you plan a kidnapping in minutes and a robbery in a few hours without any professionalism or experience?

The acting and effort of the characters are commendable as they make the movie enjoyable. Each character brings spark and emotion to the film in a convincing manner.

The technical aspects of the film, such as cinematography, editing, visual effects, and sound, perfectly enhance the narrative of the film.

‘Saving Onome’ is now streaming on Prime Video.

Verdict

5/10

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