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View Full Version : Movies In Series: ‘Good Old Days’ and ‘Adams Apples’



neoxiang
22nd April 2011, 01:54 AM
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There seems to be an emerging new way of telling stories in Ghanaian movies as two of Ghana’s acclaimed film makers, Kwaw Ansah and Shirley Frimpong-Manso go in for ‘serial’ movies.

Kwaw Ansah’s ‘Good Old Days’ is a 24 episode mini feature film revolving around a core family with different titles, situations and stories in each episode. While Shirley’s ‘Adams Apples’ is a miniseries made for the cinema, revolving around a core family but with one story that evolves along 10 chapters.

Shirley’s concept may not be entirely new as a similar approach was applied to the local movie, ‘Kyeiwaa’, which ran into about 12 parts. What differentiates ‘Adams Apples’ from the dreadful ‘Kyeiwaa’ is the quality of production and the division into chapters with different titles. I recently got to see the second episode of ‘Good Old Days’ entitled ‘Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle’ and the first chapter of Adams Apples, entitled ‘Family Ties’ at separate screenings at the Siverbird Cinema.

Adams Apples is set in the hustle and bustle of Accra and its suburbs with glimpses of the exciting metropolis of London. The movie follows Mrs Adams, the widowed wife of an ex-diplomat and her three daughters in their early and mid thirties. They work through domestic struggles, family life and personal battles to achieve success and happiness in a fast changing modern Ghana where love can elude the hopeless romantic; victory can scorn the hardworking; and marriage can be an illusion.

In Chapter 1, which is an introduction to the family, Jennifer (Joselyn Dumas), Baaba (Yvonne Okoro) and Kukua (Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku) have a surprise in store for their mother on her birthday but the surprise is almost ruined as Mrs Adams (Anima Misa Amoah) arrives home with a surprise of her own. Meanwhile Baaba struggles to forgive her estranged husband for his indiscretions whiles Kukua is faced with a ghost from her past that threatens to destroy her career and expose a secret she’s sacrificed a lot to keep buried. The fiercely independent and strong willed Jennifer drives her assistant to a diabolical plan that could spell her demise and Mrs. Adams gets an education on the rules of dating in modern Ghana. There is also the mystery of a land court case, and an unlikely stalker that drives a young teacher to seek help for legal action in the mix.

‘Adams Apples’ shows a lot of glamour that I felt some of the actors didn’t get on point. It was a little too obvious that the lifestyle being portrayed was surreal to them and that made their acting not very believable. There were some ‘fly on the wall’ moments in the acting that could have been polished up. The pace was also a bit slow but of course that’s expected if you have 10 chapters to tell a story. The closing act of the birthday scene where Uncle Bob (KSM) was bidding farewell was rather confusingly slow, as it wasn’t clear whether he wanted to say something before leaving or not. I think the whole of Chapter One covered about two or three days in the lives of the Adams.

All the same, it’s a light comedy that would get audiences laughing and wanting to see the next chapter. Think of it as Ghana’s attempt at ‘Desperate Housewives’ and don’t miss out on the grand premiere on April 21 at the National Theatre.

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In November 2010, renowned Ghanaian film writer, producer and director Kwaw Ansah returned onto the movie scene with the thought provoking, ‘The love of AA’, the first installment of ‘The Good old Days’. The second, ‘The Good Old Days: Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle’ depicts our society in the pre and post independence era, revolving around the core family of Joe E. Mensah (Albert Jackson Davies).

This time, the antics of Papa Lasisi (Psalm Adjetefio), a shrewd Abeokuta born business man based in Sekondi, comes alive when the daring children of Mr. Mensah attempt to outwit Papa Lasisi after hiring some of his bicycles. The fullness of Papa Lasisi’s shrewdness comes to bare in his dealings with the three Mensah boys, as the boys trying to trick their parents in the bid to raise money to pay my Lasisi. This results in humorous consequences that will not only leave viewers laughing but also teach good lessons of respect, responsibility and morality for the whole family.

Just like the previous episode, ‘Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle’ packs a lot of humour particularly as the antics of the young Mensahs unfold. But unlike the previous episode which had a shocking twist and didactic message on unity surrounding the warring Abudu and Andani gates of northern Ghana, there wasn’t really a major standout point in the second movie. And just like the previous episode, I also realized that the biggest challenge for the production was the child actors. Most of the children are still very aware of the camera and it shows in their acting. Papa Lasisi’s Nigerian accent may need a little more convincing as well, and generally the on and off ‘staring into blank spaces acting’ could improve.

‘The Good Old Days: Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle’ is a good family story that parents can take their children to go and see when it premieres on Easter Saturday, April 20, 6pm at the National Theatre.
Source: Ameyaw Debrah