🗣 ️ Director: Alice Wangui
📜. Writer: Charles Chanchori
📽️ D.O. P : Vincent Odwor
🎭 Main cast: Muhugu Theuri
Rating: not below 🔞
Two strangers, Aster and Osoro wake up in the same bed after a drunken one-night stand and inadvertently delve into a conversation that not only sheds light into their souls, but also threatens to expose the darkness lurking within, and challenge what they believe about themselves and the lives they lead.
The film Premiered on 15th Feb 2020 at Imax 20th century,Nairobi CBD.
Two characters, one location, more talk less action…so what makes this film interesting? This film reminds me of another great Kenyan film “malooned” which is about two guys trapped in a toilet. Pillow talk is very unique and has broken the rule of “show don’t tell” in the most creative way. Scriptwriting is the element that really stood out. How did they manage to make the story compelling?
Coming from such a strong premise,the film strongly relies on dialogue. The language used is English and the style is poetic. Muhugu- Aster and Emmanuel- Osoro are perfectly casted in terms of language because they do not struggle with the accent and deliver as if it’s their first language. It feels authentic rather than performed . The choice of words is also interesting to hear and capture the emotive quickly. Well, strong language such as curse words are used (one of the reasons why the films target audience is adults)
The dialogue is not to obvious (on-the-nose). This way, the audience is engaged. Written by Charles Chanchori, he clearly understands the genre. He makes the conversation deep and interesting bearing in mind that the films backbone is dialogue.
After the inciting incident, which is Aster waking up in a stranger’s bed, it takes time for the story to establish who the protagonist and the antagonist is. One unique style I found fascinating is the way both characters managed to play both the antagonist and the protagonist. No one was tied to one course bringing out a plot twist where they both face their worst fears. I didn’t see that coming! The rising action of the film helps the film to be adventurous and not drag which adds a great emotional value. At some point in the film, the two characters are looking at a picture on the wall and it’s at that moment that a catharsis strikes.
The set-up, (one location two characters, )of the film is a challenge to any director as it already sounds boring. A film that solely relies on the dialogue is a risk. Alice Kombani was brave to take such a project as her first feature directorial debut. She does a phenomenal job! You deserve high praise. Setting being in the bedroom, it might feel that creativity is limited but Alice manages to visually execute. Simple blocking and detailed shots drive the context of the film. Kudos!
Memorable element: the film score by Ayrosh is simply the best!
V E R D I C T
Pillow talk is an uncommon love story perfectly told in a way that most people can relate. The tone of the film carries a great emotional value for the audience to care about the characters. The colour of the film also favours the tone. Overall performance is realistic. The story is not limited to a time or season but the fact that it happens on a Valentine’s season, it elevates the theme.
Now this could be a problem with the theatre or the film’s sound designer but the sound needs a little more fixing.
Take out:A good story makes execution easy.
S C O R E