Director Imoh Umoren delves into gender stereotypes and barriers in his upcoming film Field of Play. The movie, which is set to hit theaters in October 2023, hints at a compelling plot focused on Chika, played by Nse Ikpe-Etim, an ex-Super Falcons Captain who takes on the challenge of leading a local male football team. This decision sparks a wave of adverse reactions.
While we have some time before the film’s release, an epic trailer is already available to whet our appetites, and so far, so good; the cast lineup looks great. The film is packed with familiar faces, including notables like Frank Edoho, Chisom Mbonu, David Nnaji, Abayomi Alvin, Femi Branch, Alex Usifo, Frankincense Eche-Ben, Kelvin (K-Brule) Brouillette, and of course, Nse. From the trailer, only Nse’s role as Chika is clear; for the other actors, we don’t know what to expect from them, but it seems Femi Branch’s character would be Chika’s opposition. This is what we think the movie will be
Chika is trying to fight sabotage.
The team initially undermines her efforts due to their reluctance to accept a female coach. They self-sabotage and deliberately play woefully so she can be tagged a lousy coach. However, their hostility gradually transforms into admiration and respect as they witness her coaching prowess. They eventually listen to her and progress cohesively with improved skills that secure their victory.
Chika was hired only to take the fall for an already bad team.
Chika is brought in as a symbolic figure to shoulder the blame for an underperforming or underfunded team. Her selection isn’t driven by her skills but rather the need for a scapegoat, as the management anticipates the team’s inevitable failure. However, Chika’s strength and determination shatter their expectations. Despite initial dissent, the team gradually comes to accept her leadership, is united by her guidance, and they grow significantly. Together, they challenge the odds against them and achieve the seemingly impossible by securing victory and lifting the championship trophy.
She loses but gains respect.
Despite Chika’s determined efforts to defy the odds and overcome public scrutiny and team skepticism, victory remains out of reach. The outcome is a narrow miss, a valiant struggle that falls short of securing the win. What she achieves instead is even more valuable – the genuine respect of her team. While the championship trophy eludes their grasp this time, Chika’s influence remains solid, and she continues to lead the team as their coach. It’s a testament to her leadership and bond with the players. Undeterred by the setback, they regroup and intensify their training for the next season, motivated by the burning desire to showcase their capabilities. And when the next opportunity arises, they seize it, emerging victorious and proudly hoisting the championship trophy.
Chika tries hard but they’re too difficult, so she leaves and finds better.
Chika faces an uphill battle, grappling with the team’s relentless challenges that seem impossible. The constant criticism she endures ultimately drives her to leave and seek better opportunities. In a twist of fate, Chika catches the eye of a rival team, who recognizes her untapped potential and swiftly recruits her. The story’s climax unfolds in a riveting face-off between Chika’s new team and her former one, now under a different coach. The match takes on a profoundly personal and intense tone, serving as a battleground for both teams’ emotions. As the competition reaches its crescendo, Chika emerges victorious in terms of the points and respect she so rightfully deserves from her old team.
Whatever direction the story takes, we eagerly anticipate stellar performances and a great storyline.