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Missed Mark: “In Bed with the Pedros” Falls Short of Expectations

While this Nigerian film grapples with its shortcomings, it does offer glimpses of potential.
August 26, 2023
9:04 am

The Nigerian film industry, often affectionately referred to as Nollywood, has seen its fair share of films with promising concepts that ultimately fall flat in their execution. “In Bed With The Pedros,” directed by Niyi Towolawi joins the ranks of such films: teasing audiences with an intriguing premise but ultimately failing to deliver a captivating narrative experience.


The opening scenes of the film introduce us to Jide Pedro (Demola Adedoyin), a senatorial candidate hailing from a politically influential family. This seemingly promising setup lays the foundation for what could have been a compelling exploration of power dynamics and ethical dilemmas. However, as the film unfolds, it becomes evident that the potential is squandered, and the narrative becomes an exercise in missed opportunities.


One cannot help but question the intended audience for “In Bed With The Pedros.” Is it meant to appeal to the fans of political dramas, crime thrillers, or family sagas? This confusion arises as the film oscillates between these genres without committing fully to any, resulting in a disjointed and muddled storytelling experience. The lack of a clear narrative focus ultimately leaves viewers disoriented and disengaged.


The heart of any film lies in its script and, unfortunately, “In Bed With The Pedros” falls short in this crucial aspect. The film’s premise—a couple grappling with guilt after a fatal hit-and-run accident—holds immense promise for exploring complex emotions, moral dilemmas, and the consequences of one’s actions. However, the execution leaves much to be desired. Scenes that should carry emotional weight are instead marked by lacklustre dialogue, often relying on clichéd exchanges that fail to evoke genuine sentiment.


Instances of this disjointed scripting become apparent as characters make decisions that seem out of character or lack proper motivation. Hauwa’s mother’s seemingly passive acceptance of her daughter’s mistreatment in the mental hospital is one such puzzling instance. Such inconsistencies undermine the audience’s ability to empathize with the characters and invest emotionally in their journeys.


Cinematography plays a pivotal role in creating the visual language of a film, and it is here that “In Bed With The Pedros” faces significant challenges. The camera work, while occasionally showing glimpses of promise, falls short in capturing the essence of each scene. Rather than enhancing the storytelling, the camera work often distracts with awkward angles and jarring transitions. Lighting, an essential component in setting the mood and tone, is equally underwhelming, failing to complement the emotional beats of the narrative.


Sound quality further compounds the film’s technical shortcomings. Background noises and buzzing distractions disrupt the viewing experience, making it difficult to fully immerse oneself in the unfolding story. This technical flaw draws attention away from the characters and their interactions, hindering the film’s ability to create a believable and engrossing world.


The performances of the cast, no matter how talented, are only as strong as the material they are given to work with. Akin Lewis’s portrayal of Otunba Pedro, the family patriarch, stands out as a commendable effort amidst the film’s shortcomings. Lewis effectively embodies the sinister undercurrents of his character, highlighting the manipulative power dynamics within the Pedro family. However, even his skilful performance cannot fully salvage the film from its tame script and execution.


The chemistry between the central characters, Jide and Hauwa, fails to ignite on screen, leaving their emotional journey feeling hollow and unconvincing. While Demola Adedoyin and Rahaman Sadau deliver passable performances, their characters lack depth and development. This deficiency is particularly evident in pivotal scenes where their reactions to significant events fall short of eliciting the intended emotional impact.


The film’s attempt to build tension and intrigue through its flash-forward opening scene—depicting Femi visibly shaken during a TV appearance—creates anticipation for the events leading up to this moment. However, this narrative technique loses its impact due to the film’s disjointed storytelling and lack of emotional resonance.


While “In Bed With The Pedros” grapples with its shortcomings, it does offer glimpses of potential. Akin Lewis’s standout performance, the promising opening scene, and the film’s choice of locations manage to capture fleeting moments of engagement. The surroundings of key locations, such as the television station, contribute to a sense of authenticity, grounding the film’s events in a recognizable setting.


However, these scattered positive elements are unable to overcome the film’s glaring issues. The lack of cohesion in the narrative, the absence of proper character development, and the failure to deliver on the emotional weight of key scenes collectively contribute to the film’s downfall.


As the credits roll on “In Bed With The Pedros,” one is left contemplating the missed opportunity for a truly compelling cinematic experience. The film’s potential to explore power dynamics, moral dilemmas, and the consequences of one’s actions remains tragically unfulfilled. Rather than using its financial limitations as an excuse, the film’s creators could have leveraged its strengths to craft a more coherent and impactful narrative.


“In Bed With The Pedros” serves as a reminder that solid storytelling is paramount, transcending budget constraints. Even in the realm of Nollywood, where resources may be limited, a well-crafted script and a focused execution can elevate a film beyond its financial limitations.


“In Bed With The Pedros” ultimately highlights the importance of embracing the strengths of each element—script, direction, cinematography, and acting—in order to create a cinematic experience that resonates deeply with viewers.


In Bed with the Pedros

Release Date: 15 August 2023

Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes, 51 seconds

Streaming platform: Amazon prime

Director: Niyi Towolawi

Cast: Ademola Adedoyin, Adunni Ade, Yemi Solade, Akin Lewis, and Rahama Sadau.

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