Cinema Review: PayDay Agonizes You With Its Shabbiness
If PayDay was just boring and predictable it would’ve been easy to bear the torment of watching it but PayDay agonizes the viewer because of how amateurish the movie is.
PayDay can be compared to reading the first draft of a very good story. You see the author’s creativity, ambitions and talents but you also see the blunders and mistakes. PayDay tried to offer something fresh and new but it was glossed with too much errors that it turned into a very bad film. All PayDay needed to be a good movie was just a little time for editing. The script needed a whole lot of editing.
PayDay follows the story of two best friends and flat mates, Paul (Baaj Adebule) and Ortega (Ebiye Victor) who, just before they are about to renew their yearly rent, their Landlord dies very suddenly, and seemingly without any heir apparent. The young men seize upon the unfortunate but good opportunity to ‘enjoy’ a little.
They go on an expensive night out. The Landlord’s daughter (Segilola Ogidan) turns up the following morning and gives the boys 24-hour notice to pay up or quit. They embark on an overnight scheme to recover the rent, leading to a dangerous encounter with an eccentric drug baron (Frank Adekunle Macaulay), a desperate robbery attempt, a gambling adventure, and an ego war with the neighborhood bully, Orlando (Mawuli Gavor). All the while they were hounded by Ngozi (Bisola Aiyeola), the neighborhood gossip, who just wants a piece of the action.
My first quarrel with PayDay was casting. Mawuli (Orlando) did not fit the area boy or neighborhood tout he played. At a point in the movie it felt as though this area boy was one from Atlanta not Lagos. But even a tout from Atlanta would be throwing threats in Ebonics not English. Orlando may have worked in a neighborhood like Banana Island but definitely not Surulere.
The biggest problem PayDay had was the accent. Everyone had an accent from the random girl at the club to the landlord’s daughter to the ex and the drug dealer. It was comical and at the same time annoying. The way the accents were infiltrating from American to British and even Mexican would drive you crazy.
We get that Ebiye is a comedian but we did not need to be reminded at every point in the film. The recycled dry jokes was just too much. Whatever the writer was thinking when he decided that the American accented tout won’t be able to spell shit. Yes, S.H.I.T. At a point the movie felt like a medley of skits. They tried to hard to make the audience laugh.
The writing was also lazy with the way things worked out for Paul and Tega, how were they able to loosen the rope tied around them when they were held hostage? And the Volvo already waiting for them with the key in the ignition for their easy escape was just too easy and lazy. The gullibility of the armed robbers was just too stupid and almost insulting to the audience. And By The Way, they too had their accents. Even that night had seemed to be longer than a whole 24 hour day. They’d gambled their rent away; they’d attempted to sell drugs and were later held hostage, they escaped that same night, went shopping, planned and executed a robbery all in one night! Common!
The moment that made me cringe the most was the scene after their escape when things just escalated and Paul asked Tega to leave. I almost died when the melancholic music came on and then the agonizing slow motion that followed. All that mushiness was totally out of place.
Bisola’s character, Ngozi seemed to have been lifted off “Two Grannies and a Baby” even though her acting was one of the only good things about the film.
The directing could’ve done better. How come we never got to see Kimberly’s “girls” even when she was about to leave? Or that somehow the once messy apartment had been mysteriously cleaned up when Tega came to pick his stuff. And to crown all the agonies of this film, you’re plagued with the very bad acting from virtually all the extras.
The special effects can be forgiven. The chandelier falling could’ve been done better. What cracked me up the most was the sirene that sounded like it was from a video game.
It’s sad to say but the only real good thing about the film is the story and the acting; especially Baaj’s. If good acting was all that was needed for a good movie, Baaj would’ve salvaged PayDay from all its shabbiness
PayDay could’ve been one hell of a good movie if more attention was paid into the making.
By Dika Ofoma, a movie blogger with Linjust. He is a cinephile who is interested in movie reviews and discussion.