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Movies Obsession with Twins
Cinema Love for Twins
The twins separated at birth storyline will never die, judging from projects coming out of Ghana and Nigeria.
Brothers and sisters separated by war and famine seldom find each other in real life, but twins in movies do.
Bollywood followed in Hollywood’s shoes and made Seeta aur Geeta, a movie about twins directed by Ramesh Sippy, starring Hema Malini in the double role.
Twins Shared Emotions
- My fascination with twins goes back to my first university, where my friend Zethu got sick, complaining about searing stomach pains. The university provided a car and we rushed her to the local hospital.
When we got there, nurses told Zethu that her twin sister Zodwa had just given birth to twins, a boy and a girl. When Zethu asked them when Zodwa gave birth, it was the same time when she started writhing in pain on campus.
I still have goose pumps when I think about what happened so many years ago. There are medical reasons for twins.
Please leave me in the dark. I just know that they are a miracle and a tribute to women, who carry it in their wombs.
- In Seeta aur Geeta, parents are forced to stop their car during a stormy night, and ask for help from a family living in a grass hut.
- Very few people in India had cars at the time, which means the couple was middle class. The husband is frantic. His wife is experiencing labour pains.
- The twins are born before the local doctor comes. Their hostess gives the husband his little girl. He is so happy that mother and child are well, he wants to pay the kind hostess.
- She keeps the other daughter and names her Geeta. She becomes a hustler, a tomboy and an entertainer walking on sticks for money. One day Geeta is at the police station helping out a little boy who lost his school fees through gambling.
- The officer in charge looks at a photo of a missing girl in his desk drawer. Next thing, policemen grab Geeta and hand her over to a woman who keeps calling her Seeta.
- The real Seeta has thrown herself over a river because she could not stand her aunt’s cruelty after her parents died.
- Geeta’s boyfriend rescues Seeta from drowning and she ends up in Geeta’s poor home, while Geeta finds herself in Seeta’s mansion, with the cruel aunt, her brother who wants to rape her and a helpless grandmother.
The ending is funny when Geeta’s husband (Sanjeev Kumar) and Seeta’s husband (Dharmendra) go their wives’ bedroom on wedding night. Who is who?
Twins Loving Same Man
- Princess Tyra, an English movie is set in Ghana with actress Jackie Appiah in a double role.
- One twin Maafia is a palace maid, who falls in love with Prince Kay (Van Vicker). He lives somewhere else with his mother. He is in the palace visiting his fiancée the utterly spoilt Princess Tyra played effectively by Yvonne Nelson.
- Mafia lives with her asthmatic mother. Ashley, the other twin grows up and is educated in Canada.
- The camera concentrates on how Maafia falls pregnant and her attempts to find Prince Kay in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. His class conscious mother is adamant that her son is not responsible.
- Maafia tries abortion. That fails and the kind doctor who nursed her back to health takes her to his house. His wife is angry that he could bring somebody home without telling her.
- Life for Maafia becomes worse when the doctor’s wife realises that she is pregnant. The couple does not have any children and this has always made her insecure. She thinks her husband is responsible for Maafia’s pregnancy.
- Prince Kay comes back from abroad and tries to find Maafia. He sees Ashley in a restaurant and addresses her as Maafia. Ashley says she is from Canada.
- When the doctor’s wife hears how the twins’ mother gave them away, she faints and ends up in hospital.
Parents Separating Identical Twins
The Parent Trap (1998) Director Nancy Meyers
- The Parent Trap is a re-make of the original film starring Hayley Mills.
- I don’t know if we can truly say the twins were separated at birth because it was a decision taken by both parents to separate the girls and it did not happen at birth like the Indian film, Seeta aur Geeta.
- In the 1998 The Parent Trap, a girl (Lindsay Lohan) from California meets a girl (Lindsay Lohan) from London England at a summer cap, if I’m not mistaken. I saw the film on television a few years back.
- They look like two peas in a pod but they don’t get along. The camp forces them to spend time together as punishment. That is when they share photos and personal information, which leads to one conclusion: they are twins.
- The girls decide to switch places because Hallie, who grew up in California with her father would love to see her mother. Annie, who was brought up by her mother in London relishes the idea of seeing her father.
- The movie is hilarious because of the way the girls speak. Hallie learns the British middle class accent. Annie tries to sound American.
Identical Twins Different Tempers
Love my Way: Director Ikechukwu Onyeka
This English movie is set in Nigeria. It is also not a 100% separated at birth situation. It is half amnesia and half estranged parents.
Tekena (Jim Iyke) cannot believe the change in his girlfriend Keyla, who grew up in the States (Genevieve Nnanji) after an accident. She used to be chain smoker. She drank. She did not know how to cook. She was just an unhappy person.
Keyla cannot remember anything after the accident and is appalled that she used to drink and smoke. She doesn’t because she is not Keyla, but Kellie, her twin. Tekena likes the new Keyla, who cooks, reads, is very serene and loves him to distraction.
The problem is that she has nightmares and repeats the same name over and over again. The real Keyla returns and is shocked to see a woman in Tekena’s kitchen who looks exactly like her.
It turns out that the ‘new Keyla’ is really Kellie. They are twins. Their mother, the daughter of an extremely rich man in Nigeria could not believe it that his daughter was in love with the gardener. He tried to stop the relationship but failed.
That is how the twins were born. When they realised that they could never be happy in Nigeria as a couple, the mother took Keyla to America. Kellie was brought up by her father in Nigeria.
Kellie is the twin that has the accident and the amnesia. Oge, Tekena’s friend played by Tonto Dike asks an interesting question when the story about Keyla and Kellie unfolds.
“Tekena. Who is in your house right now?
Filmmakers' interest in twins will not fade very soon because audiences lap it up. Movies will just tweak the story a bit to make it more current, like The Parent Trap, where the twins met at camp. In Love my Way, the screenplay deals with the reality of Nigerians who live abroad and those that stay home in Naija (Nigeria).