Movie review: Water and Garri starring Tiwa Savage is not bad but not impressive

Movie review: Water and Garri starring Tiwa Savage is not bad but not impressive

After over a decade of success in the music industry, singer Tiwa Savage can now be officially tagged as an actress following her debut in the new movie Water and Garri, which premiered on Prime Video on May 10.

While many new actresses often debut in minor roles, usually called waka pass in Nollywood, Tiwa Savage took a lead role when she starred as Aisha, a Yoruba fashion designer who decided to relocate back to her hometown from the US following the death of her friend’s brother. However, her return brought back sad memories, especially those of her late mother and murdered brother.

Meji Alabi directed the movie and starred Mike Afolarin, Andrew Yaw Bunting, and Jemima Osunde, amongst others.

One thing I like about this movie is Aisha’s defiance. She had fled Eastside, the town she grew up in to pursue a career in fashion design in the US. While dabbling in the idea that her return to the town was a mistake, a ray of love gave her a moment to help her perish such thought. That was when her former boyfriend Kay (Andrew Yaw Bunting) returned to her life. Despite the disappearance of the ray of love, Aisha remained in the land that snatched three loved ones from her.

What do I dislike about Water and Garri?

It took a while before the movie could begin to interest me. I could join the movie right after the first 30 minutes and still won’t be bothered that I missed half an hour of content. It’s more like a music video filled with B-rolls. A movie shouldn’t take that long to kick off. It was almost as if the writers didn’t know the story’s direction. When they finally found one, it was really weak. That was the part where Kay, who was riding a motorcycle with Aisha at the back, found a strange fellow on the road and ordered him to leave the vicinity while flashing a gun. Was that a good way to establish that Kay was a gangster lord in Eastside? Real gangsters don’t immediately display their ruggedness before their girlfriends, especially a girl who just returned to the country and is unaware of how much they have changed. Perhaps the directors should have made Aisha discover a gun in Kay’s waist during foreplay, leading to questions that would unearth the person Kay became while she was away.

What was Tiwa Savage’s acting like?

The character, played by Tiwa Savage, behaves similarly to her true self. Maybe that’s why I’ll say she played the role well. But that doesn’t mean anything was exciting about the role. It was almost bland. Since it’s her debut in acting, I’ll cut her some slack until I see her in a different role. I’ll advise her to try as much as possible to dump her true nature whenever she is faced with another movie role. It is advice she should take because it can be awful seeing Tiwa Savage instead of seeing the character she’s supposed to portray.

Excellent lighting of night scenes

Water and Garri is the second Nollywood movie I’ve seen this month with good lighting direction, especially the night scenes. Most Nollywood movies often light up each scene with something close to a flood light, killing any cinematic experience. The case is different with this film. The directors were not afraid to go dark, which they did well by lighting up certain parts of the environment to create colour contrast. Also, most lights were shifted to the desired hues using the HSL secondary in post-production to achieve the cinematic look. As for sound, the party scene didn’t feel realistic. It was obvious the dancers weren’t dancing to any sound. This was done because the directors wanted to capture Aisha and Kay’s conversation without having sounds interfering. There are better ways to do that. Ideas can be gotten from the Starz hit series Power which had many nightclub scenes.

To me, Water and Garri get a 4/10. If it had gone to the cinema, it would have performed poorly at the box office.

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