Rita Dominic and Femi Jacobs were paired for the first time in 2013, in Mildred Okwo’s terrific satire, The Meeting. While they were cast as adversaries with Dominic’s Clara Ikemba acting as the ultimate foil to Jacobs’ mild mannered private citizen, the chemistry between them was significant enough to be excited about a future onscreen pairing. This happened in 2017 with the third rate romantic thriller, The Guest.
A year after that not-so-terrific outing, Rita Dominic and Femi Jacobs are reunited for The Blind Spot, an improbable romantic drama with tonal shifts of comedy and traces of the supernatural.
Dominic and Jacobs play Ekemini and Ayomide, a pair of lovebirds headed to the altar. Both actors have been handed lines to speak, hoping that words alone would convince viewers of the legitimacy of their union. Suffice it to say that this plan does not work out as expected. There is very little chemistry between the duo and Jacobs in particular, with his low pitched rumbling, sounds like he is quite reluctant to be part of the process. Who can blame him though? The Blind Spot is a difficult sell. The writing sucks, so does the acting, especially from the supporting team. The pace is all wrong and the director seems like he is in over his head, juggling multiple genres all at once.
Sometimes the film tries to be funny- doesn’t always succeed- other times it dials up the drama, adding elements of suspense to sweeten the mix. None of it works at all. The writing, credited to Igunwe Alfred Otaniyuwa- who also directs- makes you wonder why anyone bothered with the project.
To be fair, The Blind Spot doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. The first signs of trouble appear early enough when Ekemini and Ayomide are introduced. He is horny (he’s a guy), she is virginal (poor girl). She turns down his sexual advances and proceeds to hand him over to his boys before going on an extended trip, to shop for the upcoming nuptials. She then repeatedly warns him not to have sex, as if she were expecting him to. She must be incredibly naïve. Or the scripting is incredibly bad. Bit of both.
Ayomide does the needful and hooks up with Joy, a stripper/tramp for hire played by Etinosa Idemudia who cannot act her way out of a simple scene. Following a wild night, Ayomide makes her breakfast in bed and she moves in big time, on the recommendation of her pimp, (Buzor Onyekwelu). It is all joy and goodness, not to mention great sex, for a while until the honeymoon is cut short and Ayomide reads her the riot act. His fiancée is expected back in town.
Disappointed, Joy says some very terrible things before packing up her stuff and leaving in a hissy fit. Meanwhile Ayomide and Ekemini continue as planned and take their incredibly boring romance to the altar. To his dismay, on the wedding night, Ayomide finds that he cannot perform his sexual responsibilities to his wife. No matter what he tries, his member never for once rises to the occasion. Ekemini is understanding at first and even patient, but after some time, she grows frustrated with the situation, yelling invectives and making use of uninventive football metaphors to hammer home her point.
It is unclear how such petty needling is supposed to automatically convert Ayomide into a stud but he distances himself from the audience sympathies by a stubborn reluctance to seek medical attention, convinced of the supernatural source of his problem.
In science, the concept of the blind spot is described as the area in the range of vision that cannot be visualized properly without some aid. It turns out there is more than meets the eye regarding Ayomide’s strange affliction. Ekemini’s grandmother (a weak Rachel Oniga) has an interesting tale to tell but would it be enough to save the young marriage?
Should you care about supernatural curses, or about Rita Dominic or Femi Jacobs, then maybe you should consider going out of your way to check The Blind Spot out. Otherwise it pretty much belongs right where its title suggests.
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.