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Fourteen Days: The struggles of lockdown

Some of the scenes from Fourteen Days, a short film depicting the realities of the Covid-19 lockdown. PHOTOS BY ISAAC OTWII

 

The lockdown has not been easy for many of us and for some like Irene Ageno Julu in the film industry, it was time to make lemonade out of lemons. Isaac Otwii reviews her latest film Fourteen Days.

Coming from an impoverished family, Menyatta, a photographer, together with his hardworking yet unfaithful wife Rachael, struggle to make ends meet. After returning from work, the family gathers to have their dinner, and as they enjoy the meal, the President announces a 14-day lockdown, meaning Menyatta would not be able to open his studio the next day.

That is the opening scene of Irene Ageno Julu’s new film, Fourteen Days. Unlike her play, Testimony of a Hospitable Nation, a dramatic satire that revolves around the life of a middle-aged ambitious kiosk owner who believes his fork and spoon can change his life and those around him, this comedy-drama depicts the effects of the first 14 days of lockdown.

In the film, we see Menyatta’s family playfully mock Rachael for her illiteracy as she struggles with lockdown vocabulary.

The short film wins points in its attempts to sensitise on safety measures against coronavirus. For instance, when Liza Sharon (Aunty Liza) returns from America, Menyatta picks up his phone and alerts the health officials. Unfortunately, they do not arrive on time.

When the crisis continues to threaten the country, Rachael takes responsibility of feeding the family amid the looming hardships of the lockdown.

This film serves as great entertainment with its colourful cast and numerous plot twists.
Ageno uses actors that shone in their respective roles.

The one actor that gives this reviewer pause was Brian Egwalo (Brian).

After seeing his father exchanging words with the landlord over two months’ rent arrears, Brian, who is the eldest child, saves the family as he reminds the landlord not to move around spreading the virus as it is clear citizens were guided to isolate. Brilliant!

True to Ageno’s style, at 36 minutes, this film is fairly short. There are a few times when the movie feels a bit drawn away, but the amazing action scenes and impressive dialogue between the family members will grip you and keep you on the edge of your seats.

An example is when Rachael satirically and selfishly uses the health guidelines for self-interest in the presence of her husband. However, she gets caught in the act when Menyatta’s mysterious client donates food to the family and she claims it is from her church pastor, Ken.

Fourteen Days is an educative and entertaining film. However, both the timeline and the sound are a bit unclear in some scenes.

For a number of scenes, it is hard to tell whether it has been days or months or years that have passed since the lockdown. In some scenes, the sound is too low.

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