Reviewer: Rejoice Obike
Despite Alert’s compelling theme, the execution wasn’t remarkable. I loved the way the storyline was weaved around in a riveting way and connected oppression by the state, marriage and the bible’s concept of sin to technology. It was a similar concept – I think – to the concept in the movie, “In Time” with the way it explored time in connection to currency and technology.
The first scene opened with flashbacks of Eben (Igwe Chibuike) and his mistress making love. It quickly led us to Eben in his sitting room trying to tell his wife, Tessy (Tolu Odewumi) about the affair. They received debit alerts for every negative emotions they gave off whether they were angry, agitated or nervous.
The concept wasn’t easy to grasp at first but as their conversation progressed, it became obvious that the system had ascribed the punishment of their crimes to a cash pay. While Tolu Odewumi was fantastic at expressing her emotions enough for us to sympathize with their misfortune, Igwe Chinbike didn’t match up to her acting. His acting was expressionless.
The film revolved practically around dialogue. The ten-minute film dealt with the couple talking about past mistakes. Eben, prepared to bear the heavy price of his crime comes up with a solution that would make Tessy a widow and convinced Tessy to agree to it as he believed the system was more sympathetic to widows and would mean a better life for her.
The film failed to produce the right amount of emotion to keep us interested. It was predictable; we knew how it would end. The alert didn’t employ a creative filmmaking approach to paint an unforgettable experience; it was telling mostly instead of showing. It had the characters telling and explaining to us the idea of the film, leaving no room to visual imagination.
The film used a lot of words to hit the audience over the head with what was happening. Instead of showing us, everything was spelt out. The cinematography was okay, the camera’s angle and movements were focused on the couples, sometimes they were close-up shots too, but no integration of special effects. Although I thought during some scenes the music could have been different, maybe even quieter.
The strength of the film was in telling a story weaved around oppression of the state, marriage and sin in connection to technology, and this makes it an essential film.
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