The Norms of Forms

When a movie inverts expectations, audiences should consider the implications of this formula reversal.

Take the new movie Eyimofe (This Is My Desire); its bifurcated structure — the first half is about a widower dealing with the death of his wife and kids; the second is about a single woman struggling to take care of her younger sister, sans parents — seems to foreshadow the obvious solution to their respective problems: each other!

And yet, they ultimately interact only tangentially; the movie ends without even a whiff of an eventual romance — it’s hard to fall in love without meeting at all. So when the credits roll after two hours of a structurally-implied courtship that never materializes, it’s up to us to ruminate over the meaning of this deliberate set-up.

Does it say more about us and what we’ve become conditioned to anticipate from our stories? Is it a commentary on life in Nigeria, and the happy endings available to people living in the their sociopolitical system? And what’s the relationship between these two questions?

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