The film premiere of the much anticipated House of Lungula took place yesterday evening at the Century Cinema in the Junction Mall which was filled to capacity.
It was a glamorous red carpet affair as art lovers and the gurus in the film and entertainment industry made their way into the venue to ensure that they were the first people to watch the much hyped movie, which according to the producers is the first ever sexy comedy to be produced in Kenya.
Unusually but understandably for once Kenyans kept time and when this forum correspondent got to Century Cinema, 45 minutes to the start of the movie, the venue was already filled with an enthusiastic crowd, sipping wine and posing for photos with the cast as they counted down the minutes before they could be ushered into the movie hall.
Apparently, Kenyans have a weird liking for explicit content and with such a catchy title House of Lungula (‘lungula’ is Kenyan slang for ‘sex’) expectations from the audience were really high as they took their seats anxiously.
Perhaps what even intensified the audience’s expectancy is the fact that House Of Lungula features a star-studded cast including the likes of Lizz Njagah, Ian Mbugua, Sarah Hassan, Gerald Langiri, Nice Githinji, Lenana Kariba, Sheila Kwamboka, Gitau Ngogoyo, and Helena Waithera among others and the thought of seeing them naked especially Ian Mbugua, who is known to Kenyans to be “no nonsense” personality, was just too good to miss. Chura Konstantaras (the turtle that the celebrity couple Liz and Alex Konstantaras adopted) made a debut appearance in the House Of Lingula as well.
The movie started with an erotic scene which was accompanied by an equally amorous soundtrack and the hall went dead silent as everyone became attentive.
HOUSE OF LUNGULA REVIEW
DIRECTOR: ALEXANDER KONSTANTARAS
Synopsis: Ian Mbugua plays Mr Taylor, an affluent Manager at Lungula Holdings who is married to Lizz Njagah (Mrs Taylor), but he just has a weak spot for women. He brings out the role of an amorous man who has clandestine affairs behind his wife’s back. Taken out of his comfort zone, Ian gives a legendary performance in this film and is absolutely hilarious.
Gerald Langiri who plays the male lead (Harrisson) is his usual funny self and provides comical relief in the film; his antics leave the crowd writhing in laughter. He is Mr Taylor’s subordinate in the Lungula Holdings and the fiancée to Nice Githinji (Charity). He gets himself into sticky situations by acting the macho man who has a solution to everyone’s problem, as long as you can pay for it. He is the audience’s favourite and simply carries the day.
Lizz Njagah is composed and as natural as always and brings out the role of a married and devoted wife whose loyalty to her husband is put on the rocks after she discovers his immorality. Her plan to take revenge on her husband for his unfaithfulness by sleeping with his employee, Lenana Kariba, provides an interesting angle in the plot development.
Sarah Hassan (Chichi) is equally natural as she brings out the role of the typical Kenyan young girls dating older men for their cash. The part she plays brings out quite a great amount of naivety that is simply hilarious.
Finally, Gitau Ngoyoyo (Tito) is also good for a lot of laughs throughout the film, even though he is playing a supporting role. He is the typical Kenyan hustler who thrills the audience with his vibes and mannerism.
The casting for this movie is truly perfect, and the actors do not disappoint. One of the best things about House of Lungula is that it’s so relatable. It’s a story that reflects our society’s domestic and relationship issues in an artistic way.
On the flip side, the production failed on the use of suspense at the onset to leave the audience wondering what will happen next and by the time the movie was halfway, it was so easy to predict how the storyline would unravel.
“Too much dialogue in the Lungula holdings revealed too much to the audience, the production should have limited that but that aside, it was still a great production, well done!“ said Francis, an art enthusiast.
“It was an awesome production and the cast was fantastic but I was still expecting more,” said Ted Mwangi, an artist.
“The movie was simply awesome. Kenyan productions have come of age and the lady cop (Sheila Kwamboka) just carried the day for me,” said radio presenter, Mike Wachira.
“With all honesty, the movie is great. The entertainment is great. I loved the twists in the script. It’s a movie I can watch over and over and always find a new thing to laugh about!! I wish it was longer. Gerald Langiri is a natural comedian!”, said actor Isaya Evans.
“House of Lungula was inspired by the day –to – day relationship and sex issues that make the topics of discussions in almost all breakfast radio shows in the country,” said the film director Alex, adding that the cost of the production was minimal because most of the pre and post-production activities were done in-house or through friends.
“We are just glad that the audience loved it,” said Lizz Njagah.
GERALD LANGIRI PROPOSES TO HIS GIRLFRIEND
As Gerald Langiri took the podium to give a vote of thanks to the audience, he dedicated his achievements to his girlfriend Lynn Jumba whom he has dated for five years.
“I want to thank my gal for seeing me grow from the first time I started out in the acting industry to the celebrated actor I have become today. Thank you Lynn for always being by my side and encouraging me to carry on,” he said before this correspondent interrupted him:
“Five years! What are you waiting for, marry her!” she uttered.
“Actually, you are right, I think it’s about time,” he said as he went down on one knee and the audience went wild. Screams and cheers filled the air as the paparazzi shoved each other to capture the moment.
If you are looking for something that will capture your imagination, then you need to watch the House of Lungula.