Editor’s Note: This movie review is based solely on the author’s own opinion which summarizes his observations from the movie as watched during the movie premiere, which will differ from person to person, so you are advised to watch the movie after this review as you might have a different opinion.
Where I Come From is a Cameroonian movie scripted and produced by Ghana-based Cameroonian actress Tessy Eseme and directed by Takong Delvis under the umbrella of TK Productions.
The movie features amazing characters like the amazing Faith Fidel as (Mambi),Vugah Samson as Grand Pa, Anurin Nwegbom as David, Lovert Lambert and a surprise appearance by Cameroon’s unofficial cultural ambassador, the “Be Proud” crooner Witty Minstrel.
The storyline of the movie is very much intriguing and worth exhibiting and therefore, a word of congratulations sets in for the producer and director of the movie. The movie which is acted in a “ghetto” setting in a Cameroonian locality, has a lot of lessons to teach about gambling and the influence of addiction. Gambling is not a friendly game and we cannot count the number of people who have gone into depression because of gambling.
Anurin plays a very tough role of a gambler, where he really makes it look easy. He is Mambi’s father. Mambi played by Faith Fidel is a smart kid who lost her mom at a tender age but thinks she owes her father the love her mom could have given him and will do anything to put a smile on her father’s face. She is far beyond her peers (both mentally and from the way she carried herself) and has just a male friend Lovert.
Mambi’s father David is all about gambling. His life solely depends on it and he sees nothing else he can do aside from gambling. He would do anything to get money to gamble, even though ironically, he is always on the losing end which always makes him a debtor. As he’s so attached and addicted to gambling, Mandihas to do all the street hustle though risky and not safe for a little teenage girl, but she has decided to make that her only way to make money to fight for her struggling father’s happiness.
Watching the movie, David’s action will make you upset in almost every instance of the movie with his actions as they reflect the actions that seem to happen in real life with most gamblers. David does not seem care about whose life is on the line resulting from his gambling addiction as he needs money by any means possible to match his gambling addiction.
The question I keep asking myself is “What now? Does his daughter Mambi have to pay for his sins?”
Samson Vugah plays a very important role of an old man battling with his own addiction, not gambling, but alcoholism. His dream is to quit drinking and he is very close to Mambi but is never in good terms with her father David as both are always fighting.
OBSERVATIONS AND THOUGHTS
“Where I Come From” is a great piece with a very touching storyline in a typical African setting, especially in the suburbs or ghettos.
The movie is a direct campaign against addiction which are depression Bundles to most persons addicted to any addictive practices which ends up destroying them mentally.
I personally feel that with a storyline like this, it would have been more “real” and highly relatable if “Pidgin English” language (Pidgin) was used instead of just the English language. A movie of it’s magnitude, would have more impact if our day-to-day language, especially in the ghettos or slumps, where Pidgin is spoken the most. The gambling scenes in the movie are a great way to sell our cultural diversity and our day-to-day life in a language we best understand.
In my opinion, the constant use of the English language makes the movie a bit too formal and limits the chances of this movie standing the chance of being considered for a nomination in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars as the African movie industry learned the hard way that foreign films where the majority of the dialogue is in English cannot qualify for the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars as the Academy Awards has usually applied this requirement very seriously by disqualifying films containing too much English dialogue, the most recent case being that of the Nigerian film Lionheart (2019).
Not all movies are meant to win awards, but we all know that awards are a boost to the actors and producers as it makes them feel appreciated. We have seen some movies like “The Fisherman’s Diary” and “Saving Mbango” use such opportunities and used them well.
The characters selected for this movie were fit for this movie as they were all exceptional. Faith Fidel and Vugah Samson stole the show in my opinion. Vugah is certainly the best for the role he played, I can’t even think of anyone who’d play his part better.
In addition, the featuring of Witty Minstrel whom I think added an extra flair of brilliance in this movie with his part is the collaborative gesture we want to witness between the film and music industry. Additionally, the fact that the director does not bring in sexual violence to the storyline as in most ghettos, little girls like Mambi suffer from the hands of thugs and end up being raped or molested.
The scriptwriter, who had earlier made the viewers to believe that Mambi was this brilliant kid who’s IQ is really high and doesn’t really think she needed to attend school ends up going to school, which seals the deal that school is fundamental to community and social building. Mandi had been educated by her environment not school. At the end of the movie, lovert Lambert would disappear, revealing that he was just a guardian angel to Mambi.
In my opinion, the movie ended appropriately like most movies that would keep you in suspense, making you wonder what would happen next.
In conclusion, “Where I Come From” summarizes the impact of what societal and environmental influence can cause on how we see and face life. ad the movies main message has to do a lot to with how we see and tackle the daily nuances of life and the decisions we make. The movies production team did their best to make the viewer feel the realness of the storyline. One cannot help but empathize with some of the leading characters.
I will happily rate the movie at 3 out of 5 with 5 being a perfect score. 3/5 not because it’s a bad movie, but because the storyline is told entirely in English, which prevents it from having a 5/5. But believe me, it’s a great piece to watch and others might agree to disagree with me and that is fine too.