Plan B: Was this it?

Wassup, wassup, wassup…

Dearly beloved,

We all know why we are gathered here today. This is the part you nod and acknowledge that you are here to see if I agree with what you thought without you getting any of the backlash. That’s okay darling, backlash has never been something to bother me.

Now that the pleasantries are out the way, I’m good, you’re good, everybody’s good, now we can get to it. Because I kind of have a lot to say.

As this is going to be the new culture, let me throw some disclaimers out there to make sure we are on the same wavelength.

  • This has major spoilers. So, if you haven’t watched the film Plan B yet, just stop now, run over to the Tube, watch it then come back. It will only take you an hour.
  • I don’t care if something is local. That has never been my standard of quality or value to anything. Being local doesn’t mean much, it’s just a bonus point.
  • Don’t @ me about how I wrote about other films, if you had something to say, you should have. It’s not my job to ease your conscious if you didn’t like something.
  • I am not here for you to change my mind, I am just telling you what my thoughts are.
  • I am not here to change your mind. If you liked it more than I did, good for you.
  • If you have something to say about MY review, I have a contact page and a comments section, utilize them. If you bitch to others and say nothing to me, I’ll just assume we agree.

This rules apply to all reviews so let’s have fun. I encourage a conversation.

Now let’s really talk about Plan B the film.

Before we go any further, I had a really bugging question at the end of this film and if anyone out here has an answer I would really appreciate. Was this film meant to be 1 hour long all along or did they just film and then, they were given a 1 hour time slot after? If anyone knows, please tell me.

Casting

I am really curious to find out what informs casting in Kenyan films. Wait, this was a mostly Kenyan film right?

Sometimes it feels like casting directors watch you in one production and just decide to bring you on as that character into their film without any research or development.

For a film that only had to work with 3 characters (Sarah Hassan, Kate Kamau-Karanja and Daniel Ettim Effiong) since everyone else was an extra with no more than 2 scenes and weird flashbacks, their development was lacking. There was zero character development and it felt like the writer decided to use lines of dialogue to read out the character bible. This was such a letdown.

You only had 3 people and a whole hour. It would not have taken more than 10 minutes to do this for all of them. Failing in this made the film patchy, because we had no idea what motivated any of the characters to do what they did.

Can we also stop being lazy writers, please?

I am so tired of this idea of making one of the characters the ‘comic relief’ of a film and not even working on it. Can we just stop!

It’s super lazy and in my opinion just brings down the quality of a production if you have to rely on weird unbelievable theatrics to try and come off as funny. And the sad part, it doesn’t even work, plus it is super tacky.

None of the characters in this film were memorable. Not for their acting nor their story.

Also what was Chantel‘s role in this film? Her scenes were really bad and also there are so many ways Lisa (Sarah Hassan) could have seen that magazine. Those scenes were just a waste of time. I even forgot she was in the film until I watched it the second time.

The Secretary was a hot mess.

Every character was monotonous from the beginning of the film to the end. There were barely any changes in the characters for whatever reason. Even when there was a supposed change of heart, there was no metamorphosis in the characters. So despite this whole ‘journey’, everyone just remained the same.

 

Story & Script

Basic!

And not even the good kind.

The truth is, you can still take a basic story and turn it into something more. The way you tell the story. The people you use to tell the story and even how it begins and ends.

This one was just basic.

No sauce.

This story was full of irregularities. Confusing timelines. Everything was happening too fast. No research. The dialogue was wanting. It was really wanting.

A lot.

Let me break it down.

It felt like the first half of the film was spent reading out the character bibles as a form of dialogue. Despite doing that, we still didn’t have a clue as to who these people really were. It saddened me that even the cast members couldn’t notice the irregularities in their stories.

I understand the writer is Nigerian. I don’t know how things are done in Naija, but in Kenya, it takes more than 2 shots to get drunk (clearly since Lisa was still as sober as a horse when she pretended to be drunk – sigh!), Kenyan women hardly trust strange men. Regardless of where they meet them. And honestly no one just opens up to a stranger just because he said hi.

Come on!

She wasn’t drunk enough for that conversation. Hell, I wasn’t drunk enough for that conversation.

Y’all should have given us more in this meetup. We didn’t even need to hear them speak. You could have just had music and her just giving in to whatever it was she gave into, to prove a point to herself.

***

For someone (Lisa) who was pretty concerned the next morning about herpes and HIV, I found it weird that she did nothing about it. I would have loved to see why or what made her do nothing. Or if she did something but it and it didn’t work. Anything to support her ‘freak out’.

Doesn’t research claim women are more scared of pregnancies than aids?

Joyce (Kate Kamau) mentions that if she gets tested she will be given contraceptives. So what was the point of this line of dialogue if there was no follow through?

Can we have a conversation about that botched ‘breakdown’ after the breakup that sounded more like a weird misplaced poem? Like seriously, I want to know how it made you feel.

Timelines!

Lord I was confused. So, she spends a month bitching to her bestie about her ex, then 4 months later she’s in a bathroom practicing her speech on how they had a one night stand 6 months ago but tells the secretary she’s 5 months pregnant?

Then the Oga brother has no idea how long he’s been in Nairobi. On the internet search, Joyce says he moved to Nairobi 3 years ago, then when Dele (Daniel Ettim) is reprimanding his secretary, they make a point to mention that she’s been with him for 2 years. During lunch he tells Lisa he’s been in Nairobi for 1 year. So how long has he been in Nairobi?

 

Dialogue

I know this should be a part of the script but it needed its own space.

More takes!

When people mess their lines, just do another take. People were fumbling over themselves a lot. Especially Joyce.

It’s the least you can do.

I found a lot of the dialogue unnecessary. Why would your client just start randomly talking about how she can never get pregnant?

Why would the secretary just start spewing about how her boss needs to pay especially if she is used to people just showing up with the same claims? What motivates that?

During the lunch between Lisa and Dele, the beginning of that conversation before the ‘time lapse’ was very disjointed. You can’t jump from “do you know how many people try to con me?” to suddenly talking about why she dropped engineering to do fashion. What is your motivation?

The dialogue in Plan B made me feel like stuff was happening behind the camera and then we’d only see the reaction to it, not knowing the motivation behind it or even what it is that happened.

There’s a scene where Dele calls Lisa while she’s on a walk and suddenly the conversation is about radio, then how he has a thing for girls named princess only as a segway into the line ‘your name game is weak’ for him to counter with supposedly having a strong food game. There were better ways to write that conversation.

I could go on and on about the dialogue because lord knows it was lacking. Big time.

Sound & Music

What do we need to do to make sure we get this right?

There were so many rises and deeps in conversation. Especially in all the office scenes. The sound kept changing with the shots. It would get louder with close-ups and softer with long shots. I don’t know if it was a boom thing, but that was very noticeable.

Why was the dog barking when they were at the balcony? It was so loud.

Yaaaaay, there was no Sauti Sol.

No offense to them but I’m more of a Tetu Shani kinda girl. Their music selection was on point and they did not try to suffocate us with one artist’s catalog. The blend was pretty good.

B-roll

What happened to B-roll?

The scenes kept skipping from one to the next in such a choppy manner. One minute you are on the sofa with your girl talking, the next scene it’s already the next day and you are on a walk… um okay?
One minute you are at the door, next scene you are already in Nakuru.

Did you really have to skip that meeting? You could have made the meeting and the trip, clearly.

They needed more b-roll for fluidity purposes. The scenes didn’t exactly flow. They felt scattered.

Location

Despite not having many, they had good locations. The spaces looked nice. Although for people struggling as much as they claimed, Lisa and Joyce were, they had such a nice ‘pad’ and fresh flowers.

I found their location choices to be excellent.

 

Random shit

So this is stuff that I felt I should mention but I didn’t really want to have a full on paragraph for each.

That farting thing, ISSA NO! A big NO!

I don’t think anyone understood what the work of a stylist entails. I was not convinced for a second. Lisa looked more like a delivery girl for those IG stores that sell ill-fitting clothes than she did a stylist.

Joyce claims to be the manager at a local restaurant. If that’s the case, when does she work? How is food an issue in their household? (Managers get to carry food a lot of times from said restaurants.)

Ugali and tea, really? No it’s not a Kenyan thing. Even with my upbringing, at no point was this a thing. Even when I went to shags, still not a thing. Maybe it’s me but I want to know what your thoughts are on this one. Also why would you serve your ugali on 3 stacked up plates?

What was the joke in his name? I didn’t get it. They say Dele Koka, he says Dele. Then when others say Dele Koka, he doesn’t react. His lawyer says it, nothing. The singer says it, nothing. Then in the end he introduces himself to the granny as Dele Koka. So what was the joke? If it was the pronunciation, then that was such a flop because they all pronounced it the same way.

There was no proof as to why Lisa was willing to do this whole back and forth about the money and showing up to be heard and even making it a ‘legal matter’ and two lines of dialogue can’t erase that. We still don’t know what her motivation was. Was it money or wanting a father present in her child’s life? Felt more like it was a money thing.

Dele and his chic in the bedroom. UNNECESSARY! It was a whack scene. Were you convinced? I wasn’t.

All the scenes where they were on their phones typing were unnecessary because we couldn’t see what was being typed so we were just there staring at someone pretend typing. If whatever they were typing was important, it should have appeared on the screen. Just like the texts they exchanged or they should have made sure we could read it.

How did Dele know she was not a real lawyer? Was it written on her forehead ama there’s a rule against lawyers having roommates? Ama it was that sweater! It was so un-lawyer-like.

Joyce storming out added nothing to the scene. Plus was it necessary if it was only going to take you guys 5 seconds to conclude that the secretary must have done it, since now you suddenly know that she hates the man after meeting her what, twice?

Cucu, you were reading the newspaper all of two seconds ago now it’s being delivered? You didn’t need those lines, she could have just opened the door without any speculations. You don’t always have to know who’s at the door.

Dele, what made you decide you had to cancel this meeting? What motivated that decision to go see Lisa? In the end I figured you cancelled the meeting so that you can tell her you cancelled a meeting. Thanks? I guess.

 

So yeah, now we can start the she’s just a hater bandwagon and the ‘those who can’t create, critique’ stories to make ourselves feel better.

Sarah Hassan’s hair was giving me life though.

It’s a lot more fun when we do this after we’ve all watched it, right?

Carry on.

Miss M.