Man Up – Movie Review

We’re in the days where gender and what it means is being questioned and reconfigured. The very essence of what it means to be male or female is the question of the day. Gender re-assignment, ordering, and re-positioning is taking place on an unprecedented level. The various classification and choices now available is not only interesting, but will have you reach for a dictionary in order to better understand what most, if not all the terms mean.

In 8:26 minutes Man Up explores the more traditional roles of a man and what it portends. However, it is no longer only men that experience the pressures and demands depicted in some of the scenarios here. I believe the spotlight was shone to emphasize the fact that men are also ‘human’ and should be given the opportunity to be vulnerable and allowed weaknesses, despite the otherwise heavy demands they might be facing.

A familiar phrase many might be acquainted with includes, “You’re a man and a man has to do what a man has to do…that is be a man.” Another, “You have to man up because you’re the man of the house, you get wife and children.” The poignant question that Bayo asked is quite telling, because in certain quarters it’s not even considered a viable option. “So, we’re not supposed to feel pain or ask for help because we’re supposed to have it all figured out?”

I found the movie interesting as it used the normal and mundane to demonstrate that despite pressures and expectations, men are willing to do what they can and must for their loved ones. What seems to be lacking for quite a number, is the opportunity to be permitted some room to be human this, they would appreciate and greatly benefit from.  I couldn’t help but laugh quite heartily when the character said, “I’m neither a beast of burden nor a robot!” Touche.

The comment from The Muser nicely dovetails into some of my thoughts on this production. I love how this does not absolve men of responsibilities, but it expresses how they can breathe and live well in the midst of all they have to handle. I think people are scared if men show emotion they will quit, but on the contrary, I think they are stronger when they don’t have to bear the burden of acting like they’re fine when they aren’t cos that’s the very thing that wears them out. Great job Bolu and Sam!


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