The Glamour Girls Remake Is A Flat Take On A Nollywood Classic

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Currently trending on Netflix and the topic on Nollywood lovers’ lips around the globe, Glamour Girls is a Nigerian crime drama film that premiered on 24 June 2022. The highly anticipated film is a remake of the 1994 classic film of the same name, centered around independent single women embarking on their own paths within Nigeria’s traditionally patriarchal society.

Written and produced by Nigerian filmmaker Kenneth Nnebue, the original movie told the story of a village girl whose yearning for a better life got her to take a questionable job in Lagos. Directed by Chika Onukwufor, the 1994 classic boldly focused on sexuality and money and featured several Nollywood veterans (including Eucharia Anunobi, Zach Orji, Liz Benson, Ernest Obi, Ngozi Ezeonu, Gloria Anozie, Pat Attah) as well as many memorable Nollywood moments.

In recent years, Charles Okpaleke’s Play Network Studios has been remaking Nollywood classics, starting with Living in Bondage, then Rattlesnake, which was then followed by Nneka The Pretty Serpent. So when news of a Glamour Girls remake hit the streets, people were curious and even excited to see what it would offer. And with Bunmi Ajakaiye (Smart Money Woman) and Abimbola Craig (Skinny Girl In Transit) at the helm of the production, things were looking promising for the remake. Unfortunately, the film turned out to be as disappointing as opening a biscuit tin and finding it filled with your mother’s needles and thread.

With existing material to work with, it would be assumed that the margin for error would be greatly reduced when it comes to remaking films, but this was clearly not the case with Glamour Girls (2022). Considering the flashy cars, glittering costumes, and numerous poolside locations, it’s clear that budget was not a problem here. In fact, if we’re being completely fair, the cinematography and image quality is truly commendable. But aesthetics alone are not enough to make a solid movie. The film begins with Emmanuella (Sharon Ooja) losing her job in a strip club after being framed. Soon after, we are introduced to Donna (Nse Ikpe-Etim), the “boss lady” who acts as the middleman between “the big men” in town and the classy “glamour girls” who are essentially high-end prostitutes. There is also Jemma (played by Joselyn Dumas) who used to be a part of Donna’s establishment but broke a major rule by falling in love with and marrying a client. And then there are the characters like Hell (Segilola Ogida) and Lulu (Toke Makinwa) whose value and purpose in the film we simply may never know.

Much has been said about the acting in the movie, with some people applauding the male actors and others praising just one or two of the performances. But all in all, neither the writing nor the acting is anything to pop champagne about. While some of the dialogue was dramatic, most of it came off as merely cringe-worthy and without any real depth. There is so much going on in the story that one could easily find themselves repeatedly pausing and rewinding the film to make sense of things. Little attention was given to character development and many of the scenes (like the boxing ring scene with its questionable choice of music) have little to no significance to the plot — a plot that is already scattered and difficult to follow. At one point, it seems the storyline is completely abandoned and the movie just runs on vibes, elaborate displays of grandeur, and unanswered questions. 

On a more technical level, Glamour Girls is also let down by the sound quality, as the volume and sound is patchy at different points in the movie, making it difficult to follow the dialogue sometimes. And as previously mentioned, some of the music in the film seemed misplaced and did not help to set the tone or pace of the scenes. The film raises many meaningful issues that could have been expanded on or addressed: addiction, the nuances of sex-work in this day and age, themes surrounding friendship and sisterhood, or even that vague but messy situation between Jemma and the accountant (played by Chukky “Lynxxx” Edozien) which could have been fleshed out and given a little more context.

Perhaps all of the film’s shortcomings would have been forgiven if it was all a build-up to some wonderful finale; but even the ending seemed rushed and anticlimactic, and in the final analysis, at least when it comes to execution, the film simply fell flat on its face.

While it is true that making a film is no easy task and no filmmaker goes in hoping to fail, there is no doubt that Glamour Girls could have been a lot better and viewers, particularly those who have seen the original classic, have been vastly disappointed with what the Play Network remake has to offer. Some might say the fault lies with the viewers themselves who had such high and lofty expectations in the first place — perhaps, like the title suggests, the movie is simply an ode to expensive cars and curvy women. Perhaps this is a comedic drama that is only meant to be watched for entertainment purposes without thinking too deeply about it.

You can watch Glamour Girls (2022) on Netflix:

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