REVISION: This Indo-Nigerian film, ‘Namaste Wahala’ (Hello Trouble) revolves around the mutual attraction between investment banker Raj and lawyer and social worker Didi. However, the hard way awaits them to impress each other’s parents; Didi’s father (Richard Mofe-Damijo) who wants him to marry his Nigerian employee Somto (Ibrahim Suleiman) and Raj’s authoritarian mother (Sujata Segal), who is shocked to find that her only son wants to marry a Nigerian girl. According to her, any Indian girl who can cook ‘Chole Bhature’ or ‘Aalloo Paratha’ for her son is good for him. How lovers overcome race barriers and demonstrate their love seems to shape the rest of the story.
This English-language film with snippets of Igbo, Hindi and Pidgin has been written and directed by newcomer Hamisha Daryani Ahuja (who also plays a vital role as Didi’s friend ‘Leila’). Set in Lagos (a city in Nigeria), Diche Enuwa and Temitope Bolade-Akinbode’s script manages to capture the nuances of Indian and Nigerian culture. They tend to show 90s romance with an interracial curve between the main couple and some villains (their parents) who are ready to tear them apart. However, there are no highs or lows in the film and the narrative flows at a stagnant pace throughout. Furthermore, it is a romantic genre that deviates a bit for other subplots (the father-daughter relationship and the ability of women to build perfect homes despite pursuing their careers), which sometimes confuses the fluidity that is expected of a film of this genre.
Leading leads Ruslaan Mumtaz (popularly known for his MP3 role: Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar) and Ini Dima-Okojie share decent on-screen chemistry. As individuals, their characters are quite vague. However, their parents and friends play an important role in moving the narrative forward.
All that said, ‘Namaste Wahala’ is one (another) remake of rom-coms that ends up being a decent watch for this weekend.