Love is War is a 2019 Nollywood drama produced and directed by Omoni Oboli. It stars Omoni Oboli and Richard Mofe-Damijo. Its star-studded cast includes Shaffy Bello, Jide Kosoko, Akin Lewis, Bimbo Manuel, Toke Makinwa, Yemi Blaq and Femi Branch, with Uzbek Ozimkpa, Damilare Kuku, William Benson and Genoveva Umeh.
The movie follows a married couple who run against each other for governor of Ondo State. Hankuri Phillips is a Niger state indigene and has great political experience, while her husband Dimeji Phillips is a son of Ondo state but a medical doctor. He is nominated by the opposition party in an effort to undermine her campaign. The reasoning is if he refuses it, she will be said to be holding him back, which is the worst thing a woman can do to her husband. So he runs, with the intention of not doing anything to win. As expected, things get complicated. This is the beginning of the Nollywood plot to end all Nollywood plots.
Choices were made
The premise of Love is War sounds exciting, doesn’t it? A married couple running against each other for governor, of all things. But anyone who hears it knows deep down that the execution will fail spectacularly. You can blame most of it on the writing. The main characters are forced to make asinine decisions and refuse to communicate like real humans, for the sake of conflict. Hankuri and Dimeji are shown to be loving, and at the same time act like they hate each other. They discuss extremely important things in mere minutes and go on to let miscommunication dig a deeper grave for their marriage.
About that last sentence. People discuss highly important things in mere minutes throughout this movie. The man who is supposed to be Hankuri’s deputy governor is convinced to be chief of staff in a couple of seconds. That’s how you know the writers were really just winging it. “I want this to happen in the story, but I don’t really have the strength to develop it so I’ll just do whatever. I also don’t know much about politics.” It all leads to a climax that will have you massaging your temples. It is disappointing because this could have been an amazing movie, with brilliant social commentary on gender roles and politics, boosted by the star power of Omoni Oboli and Richard Mofe-Damijo.
Unfortunately, Omoni Oboli and Richard Mofe-Damijo had their stars dimmed by their poorly written characters. You could almost see their pain at having to play such roles, but they did their best. We are thankful for Akin Lewis and Jide Kosoko, who played dynamic and wonderfully corrupt politicians really well. Against all odds, the cast did a decent job.
Thank God for Omoni Oboli’s beauty and style. The costume design is spectacular and the movie looks good overall. This is great news, because there will be pretty visuals to admire once you shut your brain off. Which you will absolutely have to do, unless you enjoy being stressed out.