Movie Review: Switch (2019)

Switch by Olumide Fadeyibi

*Full disclosure I am friends with the director, in fact I interviewed him a while back for the site and you can check that out here, but rest assured you can expect me to be impartial and honest as always.

Before we move onto the proper review, let me give you some quick facts about the movie, Switch (also known as Deep Shit) is an action comedy directed and co-written by Olumide Fadeyibi and starring the talents of Brun Njua, Sodi Ojewuyi, Uche Odoputa, Milton Nzilamozi and Derek Gomez just to name a few. This also isn’t the first movie I’ve reviewed directed/produced by Olumide, and you can check that out here

So the first thing that jumps out at me is the cinematography, I know personally how competent Olumide and his crew are, but even I was surprised with the sheer quality of the film, everything from the establishing shots of Glasgow, the the drone shots, it all goes beyond technically proficient to the level of art, all clearly the product of people who really care about their work.

I’ve interviewed Brun Njua for the site, and you can check that out here, but this movie truly shows her talents, she manages to play the complex character of Tandi expertly, balancing the kind of person who dances in clubs at night and steals from the clientele with the type of person who can care for people as a nurse and show genuine care and tenderness. It’s difficult to show character depth like that, but she succeeds, truly speaking to her skill as an actress.

The film has a really nice feel to it as well, it’s fun and that’s part of its appeal, there are numerous examples of this throughout the film, but it first struck me during the scene where Zila first arrives in the airport, he’s such a sweet, affable man that you cannot help but like him and he engages with everyone and is clearly very excited and eager to be in Scotland. This enthusiasm early on really set the tone for me.

I like movies set in Glasgow, I was just saying in my review of Cleek, that it’s rarer that I would like to see Scotland on screen, but Olumide not only manages to portray Scotland, and quite beautifully through the expert camera work I mentioned before but also he continues to bring Nollywood productions to the UK, focusing on showcasing talented African cast and crew in his work.

The core cast also have impressive chemistry together, even when they are just chatting it really feels organic and natural and in my opinion adds to the film. Speaking of which I haven’t mentioned it yet, but adding to the already strong cast of actors we have Sodi Ojewuyi playing Sodi. I worked with him a few years ago on a shoot with Olumide, you can even check it out here. But he was as composed, professional and friendly then as he is in this movie.

I mentioned the initial positive feels of the film, but it’s not afraid to go dark either, it balances the various conflicts really well, we have the relationship issues between Tandi and Zila because she wants to keep the items they discovered in the suitcase, while Zila doesn’t want the bother, and also wants his camera and photos back. We even have a vicious group of criminals desperate for their stuff back, pursuing the main characters. All of these threads are interconnected and yet dealt with properly.

I really liked the scene where the two gangsters chase down Sodi’s car, they keep running well past when you’d logically give up, the camera swaps to panning from behind, keeping up with them but slowing down, so we can see them get smaller, and the car gets further away. It shows desperation through just the camera work, and shows how much they need to get that stuff back for their boss. I also like that the boss doesn’t look threatening, he’d be almost silly looking, but then when you have the money and power he has you can look however you want and no one can really call you on it, so it actually serves to make him even more threatening because he isn’t big or strong, he has a faint ‘toff’ air about him in fact and yet he is dangerous.

Switch is a really interesting film, I really liked the characters, and found the central conflict of the movie, the case and its contents to be a really fun idea, especially when it all boiled down to a mistake. They didn’t steal the case, they just stumbled upon it, and like anyone they were tempted, but also with dangerous criminals at their heels they didn’t get much of a chance to really stop and consider if what they were doing was right, and most people will struggle to think straight in those circumstances, especially with the possibility of three million pounds being floated in front of them. It’s a real and genuine story, built on an honest to god mistake, and it’s one of the many reasons I enjoyed this film.

Overall I would strongly recommend Switch, it’s well acted, well produced, it’s silly in places and serious in others, but there’s never too much of either, it’s just a well balanced film that’s fun and easily worth a watch. I will give it a 5/5 and encourage you to check it out, you can even get a copy for yourself on Amazon.

 

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/


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