• Entertainment - Movie Reviews
  • Updated: May 14, 2024

'Water & Garri' review: Tiwa Savage's visually pleasing movie ends on a deficient note

'Water & Garri' review: Tiwa Savage's visually pleasing movi

Directed by Meji Alabi, a filmmaker whose flawless use of colours elevates the aesthetic appeal of this visually stunning movie, Water & Garri leaves a delightful taste that ends on a rather disappointing note.

While audiences will give this a watch because of its leading lady, renowned songstress Tiwa Savage, it's a supporting character who makes this homecoming tale worth watching.

Tiwa plays Aisha, a woman who is drawn back to her homeland following a recent tragedy involving a friend. As the metaphorical title suggests, she deals with both the good and unpleasant sides while rekindling an old flame.

Aisha's return also means she has to face emotions that have refused to stay buried. As echoes of her past come flooding back, the violence which claimed her brother threatens to ruin the life of serenity she has come to embrace in Nigeria.

Tiwa Savage, who made her acting debut in the hit MTV series Shuga, shows that she is invested in this project here as she attempts to portray an unfulfilled lady who finds herself back in the city she fought to escape from. 

As the protagonist, Aisha's introduction arrests the viewer's attention but soon enough one begins to expect more than just the stereotypical female who yearns for what society continues to deny her.

Tiwa does what she can to make her role memorable. For the most part, her efforts are commendable but something was missing when it came to flexing her dramatic muscles.

Tiwa Savage and Andrew Yaw Bunting in WATER & GARRI

Nollywood star Jemima Osunde plays the tag-along friend Stephany who is just there for the ride, showing up when Aisha needs to go somewhere and vanishing without quite making an impression. The thespian, who is a good actress, doesn't get much to work with.

Ghanaian star Andrew Yaw Bunting who is Aisha's love interest, Kay shines above everyone else, in my opinion. He owns his character and even manages to eclipse Tiwa's as the plot progresses. His charisma and charm are undeniable. He exudes a bad-boy persona that adds credence to his character's actions.

Well-written with different layers, Kay lights up the screen from the moment he appears. Walking the line between good and bad, he is revealed to have the film's biggest secret by the third act (more on this later).

The director's use of cinematography and vibrant colours highlight a uniquely serene locale. The choice of a coastal town is also apt, capturing the essence of everyday life. 

Jemima Osunde and Tiwa Savage in WATER & GARRI

Another character who struck a chord with me is Mike Afolarin as Aisha's brother Mide. While his was a tale told via flashbacks, his influence on the lives of the movie's lead characters is undeniable. As an actor, Afolarin shows that he has grown, effectively showing two conflicting sides to a lovable character.

The movie's biggest reveal comes at a most opportune time and I expected a powerful resolution that would lead to the much-needed closure for the heroine. But alas! That was not the case.

One of the most important character moments involving Kay is simply brushed aside in favour of a rushed and lazy ending that left me sorely disappointed. 

Technically, Water & Garri is flawless; the music is good, the editing is well done, and the camera angles and scene transitions are some of the best I have seen in a Nollywood film. I also had no issues with the lighting.

In conclusion, Water & Garri is a good family drama I recommend to those who desire a good watch. It doesn't sit up there with some of Nollywood's best but fans will enjoy what Tiwa Savage has to offer.

Rating: 6.5/10.


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