Jordan (Felix Ugo Omokodhion) is experiencing marital strife with his significant other, Mirabel (Sophie Alakija), following the loss of his job and a seeming downturn in his societal and financial status. That’s the story – at least the beginning of the story – in Muddled, the romantic pic directed by Best Okoduwa. Muddled is quite a small-cast movie, with only six real cast members, highlighting either a preference to keep the movie within itself or limitations met in terms of production.
The movie hardly stands on ceremony, as it begins with Jordan, the protagonist – if you’ll call him that – talking to his best friend (Kunle Remi) about the challenges he’s facing in his marriage. For a romance movie – particularly in Nollywood – if it is common to start off with strife and palpable discord, it’s unusual to spend time doused in that line.
But for Muddled, that’s what happens, as we spend a bit of time with the couple not being in sync. And if that was done to highlight how broken the relationship between the pair was, it was very well done. From the discussions always getting heated, to the loud sound of silence whenever they were in a room, the film does a good job of showing us the spite between the couple (particularly from the wife).
We see Mirabel as a spoilt woman who got married almost solely based on the material promises that was offered; while Jordan is the egoist who married Mirabel almost exclusively due to a narcissistic need to flaunt wealth, be seen as a financial god, who promises everything will be at your beck and call.
Those were the shaky foundations on which the marriage was built, and then when life happened, when the finances hit a reef, however temporarily, there seems to be nothing to hold on to. And the movie also shows how acrimony can fester, like a parasite that grows with each second it’s allowed to remain; even when Jordan gets back on his feet, the animosity still remains, and the marriage looks beyond repair.
This is where Dakore (Belinda Effah) comes in, followed by the affair with Jordan, and we see romance happening in a rather unlikely place, from infidelity rather than matrimony. And Muddled does a good job of bringing the romance between Dakore and Jordan to life; there’s undeniable chemistry between them, the conversations are hearty, the occasional awkward silence is adorable, and the sexual tension is obvious.