Water and Garri Review

Water-Garri-movie-tiwa savage, Jemima Osunde, Mike Afolarin on ovie cover

When I first heard the title “Water and Garri,” the title screamed “indie movie,” and I really hoped it would come out as such. I half expected an artistic visual depiction of colours, good lighting, and cinematography. The title screamed, “This is something close to home; it’s a personal adventure I’m letting the world see,” and unsurprisingly, it didn’t disappoint in this regard. Sadly, that was where the good ended.

Water and Garri follows the story of Aisha (Tiwa Savage), a fashion designer who came back home from America to find that things have changed at home and there’s a lot of violence and crime happening in the city.

To be honest, the movie didn’t offer anything more than the basic synopsis and didn’t bother to follow the typical story trajectory that successful movies and filmmakers have employed over centuries of filmmaking.

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I struggled to find where the movie started, story arcs began and ended, and the relevance of characters and actions to further the plot. It felt like the story itself struggled to define what it was, which cascaded down into all the other parts of the film: directing, dialogue, plot progression, editing, characters and their development, etc.

I sometimes felt like I was watching a music video, at other times it felt like a documentary. At some point, it felt like a series of short films strung together and stretched out as much as possible to make a feature-length movie.  Water and Garri felt like it didn’t know how best to execute the story it tried to tell.

The ray of hope is Nollywood being able to make a drama movie that looks and feels like an indie movie, as most of what we’re used to is seeing the extreme verticals of production—either big or low budget.

As a side note, Tiwa Savage came up with the idea for the movie while she was drunk. A lot more alcohol should have been involved and a lot more people to help fully develop that story into a movie that matched the near-flawless colour grading.

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