APPRECIATION OF THE MOVIE, ‘THE CONTRACT’
The movie tells the story of Peter Poplampo, a rich, middle aged, fine man who is pressurized by his mother to marry. She (his mother) brings him different women from time to time hoping that he would pick one of them to marry, but to her dismay, he has no interest in any of them as he doesn’t even like the idea of marriage.
Despite the fact that he doesn’t fancy marriage, he would like to have a child…not the normal way though; he picks the option of artificial insemination. So, he sets out looking for a host that can best harbour his baby.
One day, as he walks into a restaurant with his friend, Kuruku, he comes across a certain lady who suddenly jumps at him as if to know him. She then chats with him like she has been expecting him, all in a bid to scare off a man that has been disturbing her prior to Poplampo’s entrance. The man exits, she apologises to Poplampo and goes about her normal business. He discovers she’s in the restaurant in search of a job, so, he gives her his complimentary card and promises her a job. She is Abena Boateng.
Boateng goes to Poplampo’s office hoping for a job but to her surprise, he offers her 20,000 Cedis to have his baby. She sees this as awkward and feels insulted. The response he gets is her hands gracing his face with a slap. Boateng leaves his office cursing and angry but is back a few weeks later, when she goes to a number of places to search for jobs and she gets none. A contract is drawn by Poplampo’s friend, ‘kuruku’ who is a lawyer and there, she agrees to host his baby.
Poplampo lets Boateng in on the process of artificial insemination which to her surprise, is the way she is to get pregnant without having sex with Poplampo. Three to four weeks later, she gets pregnant and is paid half of the money, to get the remaining half after the baby is born. A few weeks later, she is at his office in need of a place to stay. Reluctantly, he takes her in with rules and regulations she must follow. She starts to live with him while the pregnancy develops and she begins to notice a lot of changes in her body. She goes for a scan and comes back home to tell Poplampo she is having twins. He fights to have them both while she argues to keep one.
About a month to delivery, the doctor calls Poplampo and throws him a shocker…Boateng’s hymen is still intact which means she’s a virgin! Ehnnn? Nibo? At 27! He finds this hard to believe and tells her about the doctor’s advice which is to break the hymen or face difficulties having the baby. She decides to meet her ex boyfriend to have sex with her. Unknowingly to her, he had been paid by Poplampo to do ‘it’ already. She finds out, comes to embarrass Poplampo in his office and signs to give him the babies, not wanting to keep anything of his. The latter realizes his mistake, goes home and makes her dinner as an apology. After reconciling, they set out on ‘husband hunting’ for Boateng.
On getting back from their hunt, they are sitting on the couch, gisting and laughing about how futile their search was…when…and one way or the other stare at each other… in the eyes…from a kiss…to two, gradually navigating their way to the safe haven of Poplampo’s bed…beneath the white sheets , leaving the hymen finally broken.
She wakes up the next morning… in love with Poplampo. She goes to his office with lunch and meets him in the arms of another woman who claims to be his girlfriend. She coyly leaves the office. The supposed girlfriend is shocked that Poplampo has gotten someone pregnant and angrily storms out of the office. Boateng tells Poplampo she loves him when he gets back from work and he says three heart breaking words, ‘I like you’. She feels bad and leaves the house. He searches everywhere but can’t find her, only to receive a call some hours later that Boateng is in labour.
He rushes to the hospital excited and promises her marriage as it dawns on him that he had grown to love her too. Unknowingly, their fights, laughter, ego clashes, adjustments and character differences have brought them closer. After the delivery, he walks into the ward and sees the first baby. He’s so happy, expectant of the other. Then, the second baby is brought out…then the third…and the forth. Poplampo becomes a father to quadruplets which he never would have thought even in his wildest imagination. He seems scared at first but laughs heartily at his blessings.
SHORT CRITIQUE OF THE MOVIE
Setting a movie around a virgin in her late twenties suggests to viewers that the story writer probably intended to correct the idea that many people have that celibacy is a forgone, old, old school idea. It promotes the virtue in virginity and shows that there is no age restriction to being a virgin. This was emphasized with the role of Abena Boateng who was a virgin at 27 and remained so until the doctor noticed and advised that she had sex to break her hymen in order to avoid ‘over the top’ excruciating pain during delivery. I must applaud whoever wrote this story for expressing such an ‘old-societal’ issue in a witty way. The thematic techniques infused in ‘The Contract’ vary from ‘The idea of Celibacy’, ‘Poverty’, ‘Diverse routes of Love’, and so on. It also shows the possibility of the rich trying to use money to get anything they want.
The story of the movie is uniquely twisted. Nobody would have expected that artificial insemination would be the twist in the movie. This kinda gives the story the tag, ‘the pregnant virgin’. Nobody envisaged that Boateng was pregnant with quadruplets and not twins like one would originally think. One would also never have thought that she was spending all the money she got on the treatment of her sick sister.
The roles were properly acted. Peter Poplampo was acted by Hlomla Dandala, Abena Boateng by Yvonne Okoro and Kuruku by Joseph Benjamin. Each character in the film portrayed the roles well enough to be believed. I personally have a soft spot for the three main charcaters in the movie, making it an all time favourite. Though quite hilarious, the message of the film was properly passed across without the humour getting in the way. The attention to details cannot be overemphasized. Boateng was depicted to be an unemployed graduate desperately in need of a job. She wore just a pair of shoes(most of the time in the movie) and the shirt she wore to Poplampo’s office when she thought he was offering her a job, didn’t fit anymore. She spent quite some seconds trying to button up the shirt at the bust area.
The use of beautiful word-expressions, concord and sentence structure were on point. The scriptwriter sure knows how to seduce with words…whooo…hmmm…ok, back to the movie, where were we?
The film is educative. I probably wouldn’t know how to make a protein and vitamin shake with fruits, juice and cream if I didn’t see the movie. The film also opens the eyes of the viewer to the possibility of getting pregnant without having penetrative sex. It goes further to show some of the conditions women go through during pregnancy such as enlargement of body paarts, clothes no longer fitting, complexion changing and so on.
The entire look of the movie was wonderful. The hue, contrast and richness in the picture quality were great too. It’s clean, clear and doesn’t bore the eyes when watching (unlike those old baba kini movies). Costume choice, beautiful scenery, sophisticated houses, suites, furniture, cars and so on were properly chosen. This totally goes with the theory of ‘Formalism’ which appreciates the beauty of the artwork itself and not the expressions.
However, there are two sides to a coin. Nothing on planet Earth is entirely perfect. I doubt if someone in dire need of a job would be as rude as Boateng was to someone willing to offer one. She was slightly too rude for my liking. When Poplampo asked for her birth certificate, she says, ‘can I have the job now?’ That’s a little exaggerated as nobody would try that in real life. She simply overreacted.
In addition, the movie is set in Ghana and so, some words were spoken in Ghanaian language. It would have made more sense if those words were subtitled in English, so that those who aren’t Ghanaians can understand those expressions.
And the one that broke my heart the most…Poplampo is a light skinned man and the woman who acts as his mother is VERY dark. We are therefore, left to assume that his father must have been fair, since he was never featured in the movie. Else, how do you explain a VERY dark skinned woman birthing a light skinned man? Emphasis on VERYYYY as compared to him.
Nevertheless, the movie, ‘The Contract’ is a brilliant work of Art and is certainly a must watch!
Have you watched this movie? Please share your thoughts below.
Till my next post,
Always reflect God’s Perfection.