Formula X, a new feature film scripted and directed by Steve Ominde that premiered at the Nu Metro Westgate cinema in Nairobi has since January 10 moved to Nu Metro’s Village Market Cinema for a week. Formula X, reports BETHSHEBA ACHITSA who attended the premiere, is a production that the entire family can comfortably watch.
The film has a unique way of starting and ending. At the beginning the audience is treated to animated characters depicting the mood of the film as that full of love and romance. The music used puts the viewer in anticipation for what follows. The opening scene evokes sympathy and empathy for man whose wife will not let him have breakfast in peace just because she wants to be driven to the airport to catch a flight. The frustrated husband tells her to use a taxi.
The story revolves around a criminal, Juma (Melvin Alusa) and a medical researcher, Peter King (Frank Kibunda), who has discovered the cure for HIV/Aids: Formula X. Juma breaks into his house in an attempt to steal this scientific breakthrough.
Shot in Nairobi, the film displays the socio-economic problems facing Kenyans. Many of them go to school hoping to have a better future only to realise that the degrees and diplomas they obtain do not count much in getting a job. This is the plight Juma is in.
Authenticity is one thing that you can recommend the director for having achieved. The story is told with Kenyans in mind, the locations clearly showing the disparity between the haves and the have-not.
The actors are composed and you hardly witness any of them quarrelling as usually happens with female characters especially when fighting over men. When Cindy, Peter’s wife realises who Lisa (King’s mistress) is she calmly asks her what she is doing in her house and for how long she has been going out with Peter.
It is easier to follow the story line as the film is slow-paced. The characters involve you in their dialogue as they speak naturally and it is not like you are watching people who have just crammed the lines and are trying to impress an audience in a theatre.
Flashbacks have been effectively used throughout the film in revealing certain background information to the viewers. For instance, why King embarked on the Aids drug research and how Juma became a criminal.
However, Juma’s act of carrying a laptop instead of using a much smaller and portable gadget like a memory stick or flash disk may baffle the viewer.
As the film ends, one is left with many unanswered questions . You wish to know what happens because Juma is leading his captives outside the house and the police have just arrived after being informed by the neighbour who thought that everything was not right. Many would say that the story is not complete, but relating to man’s life you never know what will happen in future. Therefore one is left to speculate.
Though this film may not appeal to everyone, Kenyans who know Nairobi well are likely to enjoy watching it.