Lust, passion, OBSESSION; seemingly alike, yet extremely different! Funny, how often do they get intertwined, under the perfect disguise – Love! True love; what truly is the definition of true love? Is it some uncontrollable burning desire which suddenly hits us, overrides good judgment, luring us to be with the object of our affection? Does love at first sight truly exist? When do we draw the line between love and obsession? These questions Moses Inwang’s latest psychological thriller – ‘Stalker’ aims to address.
The click of the cameras and the audience is taken on an unpredictable albeit somewhat puzzling journey; celebrated fashion stylist Kaylah Lawal (Nse Ikpe-Etim) comes to the rescue as her friend/ client – Niyola gets robbed in a wardrobe malfunction mess. On her way back from her heroic deed, the coin flips and the heroine almost becomes the victim – Kaylah gets caught in the web of an archaic tradition which commands anyone in sight be murdered but “fate” does her magic and cooperate job seeking cab driver, Michael (Jim Iyke) with his ever constant fixated stare and none existent smile saves her from their evil clutches, but there’ll be hell to pay from that day onward as that face becomes her worst night mare, choking the very breath he so graciously gave back.
At her every turn he’s there; eagerly waiting for his love while she makes love to another man… a determined man Michael is, who will stop at nothing to MAKE his true love UNDERSTAND his intentions are noble, including chasing her down the highway! (*sigh*) but at last, lover boy’s given a rude awakening when a restraining order gets served.
Events happen, hearts get broken and she’s back to her stalker but alas! Things aren’t what always they seem! …Emotions have been hurt, undaunted the new Kaylah is unveiled as she vows to get back the love which so “carelessly” discarded at all cost regardless of the consequences. This is just the beginning; with the soothing voice of her sister urging her on – ‘We don’t give up in our family remember?’, yes Stalker buttresses it’s point with this rhetorical question – ‘How far are you willing to go for the one you love?’
But isn’t true love supposed to take the other person’s feeling into consideration when the feeling obviously isn’t mutual? Isn’t constant choking, cold unemotional stares, controlled jealousy, edginess (quick smile, tapping of the fingers…), obvious surveillance of object of affection, constant bombarding with phone calls, love letters, excessive gifts and inability to comprehend the word ‘NO!’ supposed to be traits an obsessive psycho who might lose it any second? Unarguably, lover boy Michael in Stalker glaringly possesses these dangerous traits which should be considered dangerous, but is he branded as such or graciously dubbed otherwise? Is stalking a necessary evil for every romantic rejected soul?
Although ‘Stalker’ movie garnered much publicity many thanks to its catchy theme and host of celebrities; Nse Etim, Jim Iyke, AY Makun, Niyola and former screen delight Caroline Danjuma it struggles to live up to expectation. The basis of every good movie is its plot originality, sadly here the psychological thriller is found wanting. It’s the feeling of déjàvu as it conspicuously borrows inspiration from David M. Rosenthal’s 2015 American thriller film ‘The Perfect guy’ (specifically the restraining order thingy) although, it tries to conceal with a slight twist in the plot and its sequence (conflict is prolonged unlike its predecessor) it barely succeeds.
‘Stalker’ gets carried away with the whole excitement of dealing with an interesting theme that it fails to truly get a grasps and dissect its subject matter and even Nse Etim’s brilliant portrayal of her multifaceted character; from loving and sweet, to manipulative and psychotic isn’t enough to save the movie from itself!
My verdict – Moses Inwang’s ‘Stalker’ although wows its audience with a refreshing dose of shock factor, lacks what it takes to woo its audience into obsession!