Ghanaian Actress and Film Producer ‘Yvonne Nelson’s latest work ‘Fifty Fifty’ was an honest representation of some aspects of modern day Ghana. Though a fictional tale, the various subject matters addressed in the movie, are true reflections of recent times in Ghana.
A quick glance at the story, highlights topics such as the relevance and contribution of sports betting and lottery, the danger of jealousy from romance, the abuse of societal roles and it’s justification by Ghanaian culture, youthful ambition and frustration, greed and desire for comfort at all cost, to name the most prominent.
‘Fifty Fifty’ has a complex screenplay characterized by multiple flashbacks which help in explaining events. However, the diction is simple and predominantly English with a setting in present day Ghana (rural and urban areas). The main plot revolves around ‘Capella’ and her lover scheming to inherit the wealth and property of ‘Semanu’.
A very well casted mix of professional actors and amateurs, help illustrate this in a very believable Ghanaian context. Actress Yvonne Nelson plays the major character ‘Capella’, who is an intelligent and convincing property sales person.
Actor John Dumelo is ‘Semanu’ in the movie; a successful man who spent his earlier days as a boy with his young brother, swimming in poverty, but rose to prominence and achieved wealth by the twist of fate in a lucky gamble.
Actor Anthony Woode is the ambitious and in some cases, impulsive and aggressive younger brother of ‘Semanu’ (John Dumelo) called ‘Mawuli’. He is a risk taker and a bold go-getter.
Actor Majid Michel is the ingenious mastermind, and the secret and extremely protective lover of ‘Capella’ (Yvonne Nelson) who would risk it all to keep her by his side; and happy too. He is loyal and cares about his woman. He is also very key in the progress of the mischievous plan of ‘Capella’.
As the story unfolds, they device a clever plan to increase the hatred between ‘Semanu’ and his younger brother ‘Mawuli’ with the prime goal of having ‘Mawuli’, a victim of love, remove his brother ‘Semanu’ from the picture. Thereby, giving ‘Capella’ and her lover a clear chance to swallow ‘Semanu’s wealth; with naeve and unsuspecting ‘Mawuli’ to be blamed.
But, this already existing hatred between ‘Mawuli’ and his brother ‘Semanu’, is ignited by an elder brother’s intention (Semanu) to perform his duty as a protector and a provider for his sibling; even when the younger sibling was the channel through which the blessing came. ‘Semanu’ hides behind culture and tradition to justify his decision to apportion their new found wealth according to his discretion. This is what invokes the wrath of ‘Mawuli’. This is common in typical Ghanaian communities and families as the elders take the credit and often the gifts that come with the achievement of a younger person in the family. It is deemed a respectful gesture when the younger person allows the elder to do this, and vice versa if the younger refuses.
‘Fifty Fifty’ has very romantic scenes, and very passionate acting. Both brothers ‘Semanu’ and ‘Mawuli’ are caught in a brutal war for the love and attention of ‘Capella’; which nearly turns fatal. Many young Ghanaian males have spoken about this kind of ordeal on many platforms such as social media and radio caller-in sessions. Even, the popular tv show ‘DateRush’ brings this ongoing secret struggles for love to light. Also, recent newspaper publications in Ghana have narrated how some men have gruesomely murdered their wives, fiancees or girlfriends for threatening to leave them for another.
Despite the evil agenda, the power of Love is not underestimated in this movie. At a point, ‘Capella’ herself, is caught in a brief dilemma as she almost falls for her own trap by nearly falling in love with the bait (Semanu). This is another interesting side to the story and a truth about how love can take over you; sometimes, even without your permission.
The movie ‘Fifty Fifty’, in the early part of the story, shows both the dangers and the benefits of participating in lottery games; a recent craze in Ghana among the youth. This movie objectively highlights the subject of lottery in Ghana without demonizing it and also without exalting it. It uses the lottery factor as a catalyst to speed up the story and help bring credibility to the quantum leap of ‘Semanu’ and his brother ‘Mawuli’ from absolute rags to unbelievable riches.
At the end, the resolution is complete as the final pieces to the suspense filled drama are revealed in a few flashbacks. The final scene is dramatic but, nevertheless, a moral lesson which inculcates Ghanaian values of respect, family and patience.
In conclusion, this is arguably the best work from Actress Yvonne Nelson this year.
By Jerry Wonder