Bradford Mansion 1-2

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Fabulous Production, Nigeria limited, presents, Prince Ikeh (Damian), Chinyere Nwabueze (Clopatra), Ubong Bassey (Maxwell), Anita Joseph (Mandy), Mercy MacJoe (Viola), Cynthia Ezenwanwagu (Mollie), Etinnosa Idemudia (Lavender), Donald Okoye (Richard), Sammy Udiminue (stefan), Ijeoma David (Alexia). Screenplay, Ubong Bassey; Director of Photography, Kehinde Soyebo; Producer, Prince David Ezenwa Nwagu; Editor, Ubani ZionChibuike; Director, Ubong Bassey Nya.  (C2016).

Enter Damian (Prince Ikeh) and his Rastafarian sidekick, Stefan (Sammy Udiminue), in a borrowed SUV, fighting over crumbs. Then enters Mollie (Cynthia Ezenwanwagu) shoplifting in a boutique. Here comes Viola (Mercy Mcjoe) telling us she’s from the United States, but her credit card couldn’t work in the Nollywood ATMs; Cleopatra (Chinyere Nwabueze) the mama G; Mandy (Anita Joseph) comes in as a stranded motorist who’ll pilfer money from a good samaritan, so she can buy her gas for her car (fake); Lavender (Etinosa Idemudia), comes in next as the fashion guru, who knows nothing about fashion (fake); Alexia (Ijeoma David) the sugar mummy of Damian, with lots of money to spend on her gigolo, Damian.

The outlined characters above make up the story. They are all city sleekers, living by their crooked wits and fake lives. They prey on innocent neighbors and city dwellers to survive and even sometimes prey upon themselves. Like they say, there’s always a sucker, they meet their match in sleek gigolo called, Damian, who stripped them of their last copper.

Group of Women, over their thirties in age, are living together in a beautifully tiled house, nicknamed, Bradford Mansion. It could be Cleopatra’s last name is Bradford (the story didn’t clarify that), but besides that, I don’t know why this house is called Bradford Mansion. In this mansion broods, crooks of all creeds: prostitutes, scammers, wallet snatchers, shoplifters, and petty thieves.

This is not a story where Cleopatra expects the girls to bring in money as we experienced in Mama G. (Mama G. has a purpose. The women prostitute themselves and bring her the money, while she practically lives by drinking imported liquor, and spend on boyfriends).

All Cleopatra wants from the brood of drifters she harbors, even as she tries to get a younger boyfriend but her daughter Mollie (Cynthia Ezenwanwagu) always thwarts her, is the constant praise of beauty they shower on her and pretend as best they could that she was as young as they are. She loves that. In return, she provides a well-furnished mansion over their heads and a girlfriend, girlfriend, company for her and her daughter Mollie.

In stories like this where a character is out to either scam the world around her or feed within the circle, there must be one character who will play all the others, Damian. Damian is the lady player in the story. He’s handsome, borrows his sugar mummy’s (Alexia) cars and gives rides to other girls (same brood of girls from Bradford)  he takes off the street and has sex with them in his hovel.

The sugar mummy has good thoughts for Damian, like getting married, and renting him a beautiful apartment. She goes on a business trip, and Damian invites Alexia’s sister, Viola (Mercy Macjoe) home. Here all the players will eventually meet, and hell will break loose.  Interesting story.

It is not entirely in the realm of Foulton’s Mansion (C 2010), Bradford Mansion may have similarities though, in fact much, many similarities. In Bradford Mansion, Viola and Lavender (Etinosa Idemudia) hardly meet eyes. Lavender is quick at seeing through the character of Viola as a liar. Viola sees Lavender as a pretender and low-class woman to be in their midst. The same jealousy we experience in Foulton’s Mansion, between Stephanie Okereke and Ini Edo.

The premise in Foulton’s Mansion is competition, which breeds confrontation and resolution when Steph wins the contest among all the girls cooped up at the mansion for a weekend. Bradford Mansion has no premise. There is hardly any objective in the story. All characters perchance drifted to the mansion, and perchance, all meet at Damian’s rented apartment. However, the writer of Bradford Mansion tried hard to create the Stephanie and Ini Edo type characters in his story, but, oh, ya, he missed the mark.

Bradford Mansion did not achieve its objective, except the surprises, mixed with disappointments on all characters faces when their actual identities are exposed.  I bought into the fact that the Rastafarian, Stefan (Sammy Udiminue) sidekick to Damian was true Jamaican Rastafarian until Damian snatches the wig off his head. That was my shock too because he plays his part well. Maybe that’s some hidden objective.

I admire the writer, Ubong Bassey’s style he used in introducing his characters to us without saying who they were. For instance, we know Mollie is a career shoplifter when she shoplifts the boutique with a watch and goggles, Cleopatra is exercising, sweating in front of her tv, just so to appear chic. Fake life; and Viola introduces herself by scamming Mollie, stealing from the taxi driver and talking Mollie into coming to stay with them at the mansion. The writer also manages the characters so well. They criss-cross each other, near collisions with each other until finally, in the end, they all meet at Damian’s apartment. That was smart. Good evening treat, this Bradford Mansion.

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