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Glamour Girls: A story with no story

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The ideas it presents are so lofty and highbrow that they completely went over my head. I don’t think I’m smart enough to unpack all the layers of meaning, but it was a fantastic watch. Probably one of my best of 2022 so far.

Wait, Holdup!

You think that is my review of Glamour Girls? Even if I was the kindest person on earth, I’m not sure if I’d say something like that about the film —I’d be lying and betraying my penchant as a Critic; “Thou shalt saith the truth, and nothing but the truth.”

By the way, that was a sarcastic review by Osamudiamen Joseph, an acquaintance. Glamour Girls is nothing like the above statement.

Play Network has been bent on remaking Nollywood classics, it started with Living in Bondage, then moved in on Rattlesnake, Nneka the pretty serpent etc. This time, Glamour Girls is the agenda. The remake of the 1994 hit of the same title falls flat where the original thrives.

Since Chief Daddy 2: Going For Broke, I haven’t seen the Nigerian audience unanimous about the final rating of a film, but after seeing the reviews which rented the air by both the audience and critics, I know the decision is a consensus: Glamour Girls is bad…really bad..

Glamour Girls is a remake of the 1994 Nollywood classic movie that even features a scene with some original cast (Gloria Young and Dolly Unachukwu). Emmanuella (Sharon Ooja) loses her job in a strip club after being framed. Stripping is her only means of survival, so she must go on and source for another job. This time, she wants to “chill with the big boys.” So, she goes to Donna (Nse Ikpe-Etim)

Donna is the middleman between rich and powerful men and sexy and classy babes for prostitution. Emmanuella manages to convince Donna to take her in and this is the beginning of her transformation.

Emmanuella becomes Emma, the “bad bitch” and through this, she meets Shege (Femi Branch) who becomes her sugar daddy.

Furthermore, there is Jemma (Joselyn Dumas) who used to be affiliated to Donna’s establishment. In fact, there is enough evidence to show that they were sister-like, but all went south when Jemma broke a major rule by falling in love with a client.

Now, Jemma’s life isn’t as rosy, her husband is on the verge of death and she needs money, so she meets Donna for financial assistance. Donna offers to help if only Jemma is willing to be a ‘glamour girl’ one last time.

Going back in, Jemma finds herself in the center of a messy situation with the accountant for all the big men. Donna comes in to help, and in doing so entangles all the girls in something that could potentially lead to all of their deaths.

None of the actors were consistent in their delivery, save for Uzor Arukwe and Femi Branch, who doesn’t even have as much screen time. Sharon Ooja left me with mixed feelings, one moment she’s nailing it, the other, she gets me screaming “this is not an Instagram skit, woman”.

In the scene where she attempts to convince Donna that she is a street girl who has been through a lot and is willing to do anything to survive and pulls her cloth for Donna to see, she is supposed to provide depth and some kind of catharsis, but it ended as laughable because it lacked the necessary emotional layers.

Nse Ikpe-Etim also lacked consistency in her delivery, perhaps it was a directorial problem because in some scenes you can see her performance building and layering and just when you’re excited to see a bang, it drops to zero again. Her delivery was relegated to so many trivial actions: laughter, catwalks and pouting.

In fact Segilola Ogida’s role as ‘Hell’ was so unnecessary, the character added no value whatsoever to the movie. It only further relegated the movie into the plethora of already obvious concerns.

Well, we can live with all of these surface-level acting if only there was a sublime story. Notice how coherent the synopsis at the beginning is? The film is not anywhere close, as it is riddled with extreme abruptness that will get you scratching your head for answers.

The story is big, yet so empty. Glamour Girls is an ode to pain. The plot is scattered, leaving the viewers with nothing particular to follow.

At some point, we began to question whose story is being told, Jemma’s? Emma’s or even Donna’s? All the events were abandoned all for a final plot which even failed to save the day. At the end of the day the question is: Where is the story?!

While some of the dialogue was dramatic, most of it came off cringeworthy and without any depth. Somewhere in Glamour Girls is a sublime story that was poorly executed.

A story of a passionate sister who would do anything to fulfill the needs of her siblings, a story about the shakers and movers of the nation, perhaps a story of friendship, but it lacked execution.

Nothing is consistent with Glamour Girls, except the feeling of disappointment and anger from the audience who expected to have a good time from seeing the movie. If you need a break from the troubles of the nation, and you’re seeking to getaway with a movie, Glamour Girls will leave you livid! There’s no story here.