On November 28th, I arrived at Fini Hotel Limbe at about 8.00 PM to attend the grandiose movie premiere of the much hyped film, “Rose On A Grave” produced by Syndy Emade of Blue Rain Entertainment. It was a star studded pool side event aerated by the fresh sea breeze of the Atlantic, splashing gruffly against the beaches lining the exquisite hotel. The movie's main cast, actress/movie producer, Syndy Emade, Libota MacDonald, Desmond Whyte, Solange Yijika, Epule Jeffrey, Alene Menget, Solange Ojong all arrived, making their way to the blue carpet for some stylish photography moments and a couple of television interviews. The occasion took off on a high note as the MCs, Mr. Steve and my kid sister, Victoire impressed with some amazing introductory oratory, followed by highly animated musical performances by Cameroonian music stars like Ambe, Solatiel, Le Featurist, Miss K, Andy and Mr. Leo who wowed the attendees with their melodious tunes. Fashion designers also flaunted their freshest costumes through a dozen or so models who paraded the blue carpet in impressive catwalks.
The projectionist then got down to the thick of things with the portrayal of the movie. It has got a couple of interesting plot lines, twists and turns with subtitles in French for the English scenes and vice versa. It begins with a murder scene and two men who try to track the trail of the criminal by reporting the incident to the best crime detective in the area, Detective Anne, played by Bikutsi music star, Lady Ponce who makes a cameo appearance in the film. She is adamant to investigate the crime and the men decide to execute the task themselves, therefore raising many questions why Anne was so resolute on not getting involved. On another narrative note, Betty (played by Syndy Emade) dates a fashionable guy who she loves but initially has the impression that he doesn’t love her because he never says so and apparently doesn’t seem to pay her enough attention. Each time they quarrel, he makes up by giving her a red rose. And she keeps getting those roses, roses, roses and many more roses. She grows more disappointed in the relationship though.
Another couple seem to be having the happiest marriage ever but after five years, the nuptial harmony starts collapsing rapidly as there are accusations by the husband that the wife had infected him with HIV/AIDS. (So who had infected who?) Betty also decides to end the relationship with her “rose generous” boyfriend after frequent indifferences. He attempts to make up with a white rose this time but she rejects and reproaches him. A series of actions on the scene lead to him being knocked down by a car and he dies. A grief-stricken Betty discovers a written message stuck in the petals of one of the roses and then more poetic messages and many more cryptic messages from the other roses. (Girl! Jeez, how did you miss that the whole time!) She finally discovers how her deceased lover boy actually felt about her (but it was too late!). The Betty solemn scenes felt like some heartfelt, tragic but poetic Shakespearean romance. Then comes…Oops, the projectionist! Halting the movie for its fund raising initiative by attendees, leaving us reeling with guesses how the whole grand plot will end. The movie is a remarkable leap forward for the Cameroonian movie industry and only the second film by the BRE crew. It is a sign of better things to come for this young but very talented film production and entertainment company.