The Playbook: Same Old Love Story but with a Nigerian Master playboy
Love is as old as time itself. Everyone gets to fall in and out of love as they grow older. However, there is a twist – you have no clue when it happens, it just does and you either win this love back or you get heartbroken – or as Nigerians put it, “chop breakfast”
The Playbook follows the love life of Nonso, who tags himself as the lady whisperer. He has made countless women fall head over heels in love with him. His love life is a game and he has declared himself the game master who is now sharing secrets with an audience.
Things change when the biggest deal of his life lands in front of him but will get past him if he doesn’t convince his friends to help test his theory and pen it all down in a book.
Tell me more
This romance title was commissioned by Africa Magic to March 31 Media. The Playbook is one of the fourteen titles that were commissioned by Africa Magic and released in March 2023. The commissioning of the different titles is part of the media company’s move to invest in African stories and also the aspirations of African filmmakers.
Story and Execution
The Playbook, written by Pearl Agwu and directed by Muyiwa Aluko, is a decent film with a linear storytelling path. Though the first half of the movie is slow, its second half makes up for it. This keeps the audience rewarded and makes the watch worth the while. The dialogues in the movie are great and the vibe of the four friends works to a substantial extent.
Elma Mbadiwe, as Hauwa, delivers a respectful performance as her on-screen presence is strong every time she appears. One of her best takes is her first date with Nonso. From her strong game face to the transition of softness, the execution is undeniably great.
Eso Dike, as Nonso, is the centre of the film, and as such appears 90% of the time. As a lead, he works quite well whenever he has supporting characters around him to push and pull. His best scene is easily the pivotal moment in the film when he realizes that he is in love with Hauwa and has to cut off the relationship to re-up his ego as the gamemaster. As a playboy, his wardrobe should have been sexy to help sell him as the lady whisperer, but that didn’t happen. His face game helps in fixing this for him, however.
Stephen Okobo, as George, a friend to Nonso who steals his girl, serves the right characterization as the guy who doesn’t know how to get a girl. Introduced as a tech nerd, his character is automatically made the boring one out of the four friends in the group, hence no real material to work with up until betrayal time. With no hacking skills needed, George finds out Nonso is now dating Hauwa, and then the angry short man plays right on time and it comes up strong on the screen.
“It’s just a guy, it’s not that deep,” by Hauwa Bello.
Who is this film for?
This film will be enjoyed by romantics and young adults who are in love or still waiting for the right one.
The Playbook has its highlights with some scenes and great dialogue, especially in the middle of the film where the real action begins. Notwithstanding, it could have so much more with better twists and higher stakes. What holds the story is just a playboy who finally falls in love with the factually proven theory of a tweet that says hot babes always fall for the shitty guy.