Comedy Doesn’t Mean Trying Too Hard to be Funny: Shirley Frimpong Manso’s ‘Potato Potahto’ Review

Hello Darlings!

Hope you are all feeling good about the New Year? I am certainly, thanks for asking. Lol.  So I was excited when I saw the trailer of this movie, not just because Shirley had done great works with a number of her other films (The Contract, Rebecca, to mention a few), but I was also excited to see O.C Ukeje and Joselyn Dumas together again. If you have seen Love or something like that, you will most likely get the gist. So, down to the business of the day now…

Potato Potahto is a comic drama about a couple who are now divorced but are not separated. Complicated abi? Tell me about it. It stares O.C Ukeje, Joselyn Dumas, Chris Attoh, Joke Silva, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Kemi Lala Akindoju and Nikky Samonas. The movie was written and directed by Shirley Frimpong Manso, she also produced by the way alongside Chris Attoh and Sarah Inya Lawal.

I am happy to say that African film makers are stepping up their game in very pleasant formats. We have become more aware of a lot more elements that can be utilized in story telling besides ‘just saying it’. I was particularly impressed with the opening montage of this film, the choice to animate very vital information about the key characters was the perfect reveal. In conjunction with the beginning credit, the director cleverly and subtly introduced us to the world of the film. That really caught me.

The story is quite simple, deals with a topic as Africans we rather not talk about (although is starring us in the face) but in a mild comic way. Guess that was intentional so the pill is easier to swallow.  I loved the end of it, which was brilliant and relatable.

I also think the casting was done right, I mean OC and Joselyn has amazing chemistry; it is literally sipping through the screen. It appeared so seamless and effortless. The fact that Joke Silva’s character is given a little funk, made her more fun to watch. Blossom brought his A –game as always. Well, one can be surrounded with amazing actors and not be amazing..lol. The sex scenes were tastefully executed, not too dirty or otherwise. Just the right doze to pass the message (and maybe do a little extra..winks).

Production design was top notch, one could say that the film makers put in great work and thoughts into set design, costume, make up and even props to an extent. These culminated into a beautiful picture on screen.

The music scores was another part of the film that blew me away. Back to what I was trying to say in the beginning, we are learning other ways to progress our narrative, in this case- MUSIC. The director carefully interwove great musical pieces into the film and it raised the bar. The original sound track performed by OC Ukeje was mad. I’m almost certain that everyone who sees/ will see this film will download it because I did. Yes, it was that good.

Now, this movie had a somewhat slow pace. Some would say it was almost unnecessarily long, I think that some things would have been done away with or maybe done in smaller bits. I also didn’t feel Chris Attoh’s character interpretation. It came of as mechanical and didn’t go down well with me. It’s a comedy, we know. Doesn’t mean every character has to be funny or try to be funny as the case may be.  Comedy doesn’t mean trying too hard to be funny.

Well, after all said and done, Potato Potahto is a good film that I recommend for everyone. It’s worth your time and money. Go see it.

I give it a 6/10

|by Chynwendu Nwosu

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