Movie Reviews

Water And Garri Review: Tiwa Savage’s Debut Movie Needed More Finesse

In her teenage years, Aisha harboured a deep passion for fashion design, a dream fervently supported by her brother Mide.

water And Garri review
Water And Garri cover [PHOTO CREDIT: Tunezpop]

This Water and Garri review is our candid thoughts on Tiwa Savage’s debut movie premiered on May 10, 2024 and currently streaming on Amazon Prime. The film was directed by Meji Alabi with Tiwatope Savage as one of the producers and actors. Water and Garri is all about a successful fashion designer, Aisha who returns home and confronts the ghosts of her past, including the unresolved grief over the death of her brother, Mide, and grapples with the complexities of her relationship with Kay. Water and Garri was filmed in Cape Coast, Ghana, the film’s title is the same as the singer’s second Extended Play, which was released in 2021.

Plot

Water and Garri oscillates between Aisha’s past and present, a successful fashion designer with dreams of making it big in America, finds herself pulled back to her hometown, Eastside, after receiving a distress call from her cousin, Stephany, during her fashion show.

Prior to departing Eastside at a young age, Aisha and her brother Mide were raised by their grandmother, who later passed away from an undisclosed illness. Returning home reignited painful memories of loss and unresolved grief, particularly the death of her brother, Mide, which prompted her departure to America.

Upon her return, Aisha’s outing with Stephany unexpectedly reunites her with Kay, a former lover and now a Kingpin and a gang leader. However, the gang’s true motives remain shrouded in mystery throughout the film, except for a cryptic chant asserting their autonomy from police control and their dominance over the city—a subplot that ultimately feels extraneous to the main storyline.

Aisha’s struggle to come to terms with reality, particularly concerning her relationship with Kay, prompts him to make earnest attempts to reconcile with her. However, during a return trip from an outing, they encounter a disturbing incident where Kay, unprovoked, threatens a young man with a gun.

In her teenage years, Aisha harboured a deep passion for fashion design, a dream fervently supported by her brother Mide. Following the loss of their grandmother, Mide turned to Kay for assistance, leading to his involvement in drug trafficking to sustain them financially. This dynamic forged a close bond between Aisha, Mide, and Kay, intensifying the connection between Aisha and Kay.

Mide’s confusion regarding the true nature of Aisha and Kay’s relationship prompts him to confront Kay, sparking a heated argument that escalates into a physical altercation. Tragically, in the heat of the moment, Kay mistakenly shoots Mide. To conceal the truth, the incident is spun as a confrontation with a thief, mirroring the opening scene of the movie. This unexpected twist adds intrigue, particularly since Aisha is not unaware of the reality behind the fabricated story.

As Aisha gradually warms up to Kay, their relationship deepens, culminating in a night of intimacy that appears to promise happiness. However, tragedy strikes when Kay is ambushed and fatally shot shortly after leaving Aisha’s residence, turning what seemed like a perfect evening into a devastating loss.

Although initially a sorrowful outcome, the ending holds promise as Aisha swiftly comes to terms with Kay’s demise and looks forward with hope for the future.

Cast

The ensemble cast of Water and Garri delivered stellar on-screen performances, with each actor fully capturing the essence of their character. 

Tiwa Savage, who played Aisha, the main character of the film, never faltered in meeting the demands of her role.

 Andrew Yaw Bunting, a Ghanaian-based actor and photographer, portrayed Kay, delivering the kingpin character with success. 

The film also featured Jemima Osunde as Stephany who is also known for her on-screen prowess, Mike Afolarin as Mide, and a host of other talented actors.

Language

The film’s multilingual approach adds depth, incorporating English, Yoruba, Pidgin, and Indigenous Ghanaian languages, enriching its cultural narrative.

Summary

In Meji Alabi’s Water and Garri, the cinematography stands out prominently, immediately capturing the viewer’s attention with its strong visual presence. However, while the director demonstrates a keen eye for visuals, it becomes apparent that a movie requires more than just striking imagery to leave a lasting impact.

Loss and grief which were major themes in the story were poorly expressed in the plot. This can be seen as  Aisha’s return to Eastside is occasioned by Stephany’s call about her own brother’s death. However, upon her arrival, Stephany’s grief seems to take a backseat as she engages in matchmaking and attends parties with cheer. This abrupt shift in focus leaves viewers questioning the passage of time and the purpose of Aisha’s extended return. As a result, emotional resonance with the loss is diminished, leaving audiences puzzled and disconnected from the narrative.

Aisha experiences the loss of her grandmother, brother, and cousin, yet as the story unfolds, these losses begin to feel trivial, with only one significantly impacting the narrative. What is the significance behind her pivotal conclusion, choosing to remain in a setting that has consistently stripped away so much from her?

Aisha’s path to becoming a successful fashion designer was anything but smooth, and the circumstances surrounding the children left to fend for themselves after their grandmother’s passing remain puzzling to the viewers, as there was no mention of their parents or placement in a foster home.

Additionally, The comparison made in the opening of the movie, equating water to garri and love to pain, was inadequately articulated within the storyline.

5.4
Review Overview
Summary

The storytelling, unfortunately, lacks the depth of a compelling plot or unexpected twists that could have engaged viewers and kept them guessing. As a result, the movie feels as though it ends prematurely, failing to fully captivate its audience from start to finish.

  • Costumes6
  • Casting6
  • Plot4
  • Setting7
  • Story4
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