“Lara and The Beat” is off-beat

Tosin Coker has directed a number of music videos so it’s no surprises that he’s chosen to star Nigerian artistes Seyi Shay and Vector tha Viper in his feature, “Lara and The Beat”. Coker, teams up with Biola Alabi Media (BAM) so the stakes are high. Sadly, the movie is bedeviled by an incoherent plot and vapid performances.

“Lara and The Beat” stars songstress Seyi Shay as Lara and Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama as Dara, heiresses to the Giwa Media empire.

Born with a silver spoon, Lara is a spoiled brat whose musical career has failed to take-off while her good-natured younger sister Dara is an executive at Giwa Media, a company left to the sisters by their deceased parents.

For evading taxes, a warrant of restraint is placed on Giwa Media and associated assets – which includes Lara and Dara’s home – by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

The company’s board blame Lara and Dara’s uncle, Tunde (Wole Ojo) for the imbroglio. And when Dara confronts him, not only does she see his travel tickets, she finds him shredding documents – obvious red flags – yet Dara leaves Tunde to go on his trip. Perhaps the screenwriter’s excuse is that Dara is naïve but that would be inexplicable for someone who sits on the board of a mega media corporation.

Following the taxation scandal, Lara and Dara suddenly lose their media company, home and property.

The sisters move in with their housekeeper, Patience (Chioma Akpotha) and must build a new life given their financial situation. Sals aka The Beat, played by Vector, helps Lara find her voice and the two fall in love along the line.

“Lara and The Beat” scores good points for cinematography, there were some amazing shots of Lagos that showcase the city in an exciting new light but the storytelling is incoherent.

Although Lara was too self-absorbed to have become nostalgic on her first night of being thrown into poverty, it’s disappointing that the song she composed that night wasn’t explored further. Again, perhaps the screenwriters thought it might make the story too predictable but at least it would have been meaningful. A conceited Lara also took to Dara’s former chauffer Sals – whose name she didn’t remember – rather quickly.

Giwa Media’s assets are supposedly confiscated by the tax authorities yet there’s a planned takeover of the company by Tunde’s love interest, Fadekemi West (Uche Jumbo). One cannot make a connection between the LIRS and Fadekemi’s takeover bid. Did she pay up the tax liability at some point? And did Giwa Media convert the tax debt to equity? It’s also unclear how Lara saved the day during Dara’s silent film presentation.

The movie also disappointed in casting. 40-year old Chioma Akpotha is cast as mother of 31-year old Kemi Lala Akindoju, although she plays 27-year old Tonye.

Most of the actors gave a lacklustre performance except for Deyemi Okanlawon and a couple of others.

Lara and The Beat has a simple plot but the attempt to give it depth led to a disjointed story.


Directed by Tosin Coker

Producer – Tolu Olusoga

Executive Producer – Biola Alabi

Cast includes; Seyi Shay, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, Chioma Akpotha, Bimbo Manuel, Wale Ojo, Uche Jumbo, Shaffy Bello, Victor tha Viper (Olanrewaju Ogunmefun), Deyemi Okanlawon, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Chinedu Ikedieze and Saidi Balogun.

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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the eyes of the Nigerian viewer.