JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Rag Tag (Director/Writer: Adaora Nwandu) - July 26, 2010

Rag Tag

1.5 1.5
98 min.

Predictable script needs more surprises

Director/writer Adaora Nwandu’s first feature is saddled with such a stereotypical collage of short scenes and too on-the-nose tracks (notably two helpings from the largely rap buffet that zero in on “evil soldier“—original music by Heather Andrews, Tamara Douglas-Morris, Jack Molder and Kyan Laslett O’Brien) that the film can’t sustain itself, even with the long-delayed, bed encounter between the pair of hot/handsome protagonists lurking in the weeds of viewer reward.

More’s the pity as Rag (Daniel Parsons) and Tag (Damola Adelaja) work well together in their smouldering love/hate relationship. The side-bar plots, feuding twin brothers: one in London, the other in Nigeria; straight female partners (Tasmin Clarke, Chanelle Wilshire) dutifully patient, puzzled then reconciled with their exes’ budding passion and brushes with the law (cat thief in the local arena and money laundering on the world stage) merely pass the time rather than contribute to character development and dramatic structure.

Perhaps the only moment of true creativity comes when Tag and his extra-homophobic father (Geoffrey Aymer) have a bible-quotation duel—citing chapter and verse about the scripture’s view of the disciples of queer)—but the small meal of exposed flesh has already past, then the film prepares to merely stop rather than end with a bang.

Now that Nwandu has come of age as a filmmaker, let’s hope her next big project will have something fresh to say and insights to offer. JWR

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