What lies beneath the hype...

14:49 by Kaggwa Andrew
It was the most anticipated series for a long time, the social media hype, trailers, YouTube hits and all that, Ugandans could indeed not wait for Beneath the lies to hit the TV screens.
At Acacia Mall last week, the red carpet was rolled, champagne was popped…indeed, this was a new era in the Ugandan film and TV industry.
But there was reason to believe the TV show producers, they had invested a lot in putting all this together, shipping a crew from Kenya plus bringing one East Africa’s directors David Tosh Gitonga, mostly known for being behind films like The First Grader (2009), Malooned (2007) and the award winning Nairobi Half Life – which is also East Africa’s first Oscar submission.
With such a CV upon us, we had to take everything they said about Beneath the Lies as bible truth.
It wasn’t surprising that their premiere attracted Capt. Francis Babu, Margeret Zziwa and the first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
There’s no doubt Nana Kagga’s written story will raise the bar as far as TV drama productions are concerned, the lighting, color correlation, shoot angles and editing, it is better than all the screen hits; Hostel, Deceptions, Kakibe Ki and Destiny combined.
Beneath The Lies tells a story of a city filled with extortion, exploitation and a grim side of how far many Ugandans would go in order to put food on the table.
The lies lie beneath one man’s law firm, Steven Amaru (Cedric Babu), one of the most powerful lawyers in Kampala. Many of the rich are at his mercy, he safeguards their secrets.
“Compared to the stories we are used to, this is way out of the box and yes, it has that western kind of touch many Ugandans want to associate with,” said a reveler at the premiere.
The series however fails at the opening scene, at least according to many pundits. We open with a sloppy robbery at Amaru’s home; a laptop with very personal information is stolen.
Amaru calls his aides; Abe Sakku (Gaetano Kaggwa) and Paul Mukasa (Daniel Omara) who help him reveal that the robber was indeed one Kamali Amaru (Flavia Tumusiime), his estranged wife.
Many feel the opening was all over the place and that it didn’t give the audience enough time to digest everything; “The intrigue has been killed, they literally poured a lot of stuff out yet it is just the first episode,” said one Grey Godwyns.
Others took to social media to air their disappointments, one wondered why the show hired many first timers yet Uganda is endowed with a lot of talent or why they had some facts wrong, for instance Cedric is a city lawyer who wears dreadlocks – since when did Ugandan male lawyers start wearing dreadlocks?
But after everything is said, the show still has eleven more episodes, the beginning raped us as viewers –it lacked a backing history.
“It seemed pretty much tailored to introduce the fancy characters than the story, and as you can imagine, in less than three minutes, Geatano, Hellen, Natasha, Rabadaba, Salvado, Flavia, and Nava among others had already appeared on the screen,” said Polly Kamukama of the Film Classification body.
It is a marketing gimmick to glue the audience by throwing in as many famous people as you can in the first minutes but it somehow affects the art.
Cedric is the executive producer and the lead actor; well he's the weakest link considering that his character is too demanding. Tosh tried to get something out of many of them thus we hope this is going to improve.
Coincidentally, however, Cedric's also the owner of kinetic management, the agency almost the entire cast is attached to.
Truth is, casting him as the lead and many other people on the show was a mistake, the producers had to call for an open casting.
If you are doing a project with many beginners, you are always required to cast a very good and strong lead character because even where the cast team fails, he can carry the show on his shoulders and that's why this show needed a such person like Michael Wawuyo snr, Peter Odeke, Joel Okuyo or Phillip Luswata, a person to carry the series on when the other cast can't.
Nevertheless, Geatano and Flavia stole the shine in the pilot episode.


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