THE FLAWS IN NIGERIAN MOVIES
As a movie critic for WWW.NIGERIAFILMS.COM I have seen more than a thousand Nigerian movies since the end of the 90s and I am very often asked why Nigerian movies are so poorly produced and executed.
Don't get me wrong, I have laughed, cried, screamed and learned a bunch from a couple of great movies that remain the reference till today in Nollywood history, to name but a few: The Price, The Intruder, The Issakaba franchises, Little Angel, Old School.
There are two kinds of flaws that rampage the quality of Nigerian movies:
- the lack of funds and technical knowledge that hamper movies in the fields of sound and image, special effects, scenes choreography and structure, and so on..
- the lack of creativity and the greed to push to the market a movie that is a carbon copy of another or develop a theme already seen a million times before and counting.
The ride will be long and chaotic, so fasten your seatbelts, here we go:
Introduction at the beginning
Is always way too long, it sometimes takes a third of the space on the disc to advertise other movies from the same production house. The advertising guy sounds like he has 2 minutes to read an A4 sheet and at the same time the house is coming down because the roof is on fire. He has to get out of there in 1 and a half minutes or he's dead!
The beginning of Part 2 usually has 15 minutes of part 1 before it properly starts. Just put on a Hallmark production and you'll see my point.
The soundtrack: Headache alert!
It plays continuously over the dialogues to the point that at times the viewer doesn't understand a word that is being said.
They are repeated times and times over to the point that the viewer can just see the title, listen to the soundtrack and just five minutes into the movie, they know already where the storyline is heading to.
How many times is a bored married woman going to get an accident and fall madly in love with the passerby/doctor/mechanic who comes to her rescue?
How many times will a rich man/woman conspire to have their offspring marry the rich offspring of their friend/business partner/political godfather?
How many times will a match made in heaven be undermined by trouble brewed by the boy/girl best friend?
How many times is a woman in love going to finance the wellbeing of her jobless, parasite boyfriend who will eventually abandon her? How many times?
The fighting scenes and the shooting scenes are poorly choreographed and amateurish. Action heroes in Hollywood are also masters of martial arts which takes time and discipline to learn, you don't improvise that. Gunshots sound like firecrackers.
Punches and kicks sound like they have been stolen from scenes from other movies.
For the great majority of them, they lack formal and basic training in voice coaching, body language, and impersonation of the character. They don't feel their characters and don't play them convincingly either.
Acting is a formal training, a great figure or a cute face are far from enough to be a credible actor or actress.
In “Touch My Heart”, Desmond Elliot plays a loud and rowdy illiterate to the perfection. He really became that man and who is totally opposite to the person Desmond is, and despite all his flaws, the viewer comes to feel empathy for him. That's what acting is all about! More examples: RMD in “The Price”, Stella Damasus-Aboderin in “Standing Alone”, and Patience Ozokwor in “Old School”.
Sex, sex, sex
It has become indispensable to the narration of every story, and rather too much of it than too little. It is for the most part senseless sex that the storyline doesn't justify. It is either sex between lovers or sex for money between pot-bellied middle-aged fools and girls the age of their (grand) daughters.
In “My Empire”, Steph Nora Okereke Falana and Benedict Johnson are lovers and I quickly lost count of the scenes in which they were in bed or just out of bed in robes.
Why can't a man and a woman be lovers without jumping in bed with one another? Isn't there anything else lovers ever do? Is sex the only means of communication between lovers?
Rape and pregnancy
Rape scenes abound and there seems to be a general rule to it: the girl gets pregnant. In almost 90% of the cases. And when a woman is pregnant, she
“must” have morning sickness.
Problem here is that a pregnant woman gets sick in the middle of the day. The nauseous state at the beginning of the pregnancy is called morning sickness for a reason, it gets the woman out of bed in the morning.
The nausea can continue throughout the day, but as a general rule, it happens in the morning, before a woman is out of bed. Ask your wives and sisters!
Then again, some actresses are mothers and know that all too well, still they play pregnant women who have nausea in the middle of the afternoon.
Part 1 - 2 - 3.
Stories drag on unnecessarily for the sake of selling more cds/vcds. The popular fashion of making 3 parts to a story has proportionally decreased the viewing pleasure. “Standing Order” is the most grueling, senseless piece of nothing I ever sat down to watch 9 hours long! People, 9 hours long!
Does anybody ever review the finished product before pushing it out to the masses? Actors names are very often grossly misspelled in the credits and subtitles are a serious hazard to your health.
Since 2006, the fashion is to put the summary of the story on the cover. Really? Has anybody ever tried to figure out that garbage? Syntax nonsense and spelling mistakes will kill you before you ever get there! Don't even try!
In “The Intruder”, Rita Dominic is talking about Chief Jacobs calling him Chief Douglas who was another character in the story. Sometimes, actors call fellow actors by their real names or by someone else's name. Continuity!!! It also happens that the title in the movie is not the same on the cover. The movie “The Invisible man” is called so on the cover, but is “The Invincible man” in the movie. Go figure!
When an actor is given a part of someone returning home from abroad, they feel that they have to fake the American or English accent. Mike Ezuruonye in “Beyond Reason”, Bob Manuel Udokwu and Oge Okoye in “Beyond Dreams”.
A movie hardly ever keeps the same storyline from begin to finish. A story that began as a money ritual movie ends as a Christian movie (Dwelling in Darkness and Sorrow)and a Christian story ends as a money ritual movie.(Bless Me)
The boxing in of the actors
Patience Ozokwor is the evil mother (in-law), King Joe Okechukwu is the pastor who speaks in tongues, Kanayo O. Kanayo is the cultist, Benita Nzeribe is the husband snatcher, Clarion Chukurah is the prostitute, Chioma Chukwuka is the nice girl, Rita Dominic loves rich older married men, Mike Ezuruonye throws tantrums and slaps women around, Genevieve Nnaji is the high-class, expensive call girl, etc..
Make-up, wigs and garments
The circus is in town! Women have their faces made up like clowns with sometimes each eye brow in its own colour! Eucharia Anunobi-Ekwu is a specialist at this kind of nonsense. Wigs and hairpieces are a national disaster and look like bird nests on a rainy day!
Granted the fashion these days is low waist. Does that mean the viewer has to get dizzy roller-coasting up and down the fat rolls on the hips and buns of Uche Jombo and Monalisa Chinda to name but a few?
Actrices get sausaged in tight outfits that don't fit their generous shapes and make them look outright ridiculous while they could be regal in African attires. Do they sign a clause in their contracts that forbids them from wearing African attires?
You said International Film Award?
How can an industry that churns out an average of 300 movies on a year basis not be represented nor win any prestigious International Film Award? You said The Cannes Festival? The Oscars? Or even Fespaco?
If movies like Sarafina, Blood Diamonds, Hotel Rwanda, or the recent The Last King of Scotland have proudly represented the continent and won international awards as well, why can't we? It's high time we put our money where our
They are always right and they always get away with all the evil they ever commit against women. A man will chase his wife away from his home for 3 years, and marry someone else who will off course disappoint him. In the meantime, the wife is beating the path to the local church every hour of the day and praying and fasting continuously to get back her cheating, back-stabbing husband. All he has to say, but it's not compulsory, is that he is sorry. And she'll come back running with the blessings of her family and this will be a day of great joy for her. She'll confess to him that she never lost hope while he was enjoying himself with someone else.
In “Naked Sin”, Bob-Manuel Udokwu rapes the dead body of Chioma Chukwuka who not only gets pregnant in the process, but also sees an act of salvation in it!
In “Games Men Play”, the same Bob-Manuel Udokwu plots the rape of his own wife, the same Chioma Chukwuka who eventually forgives him because he's sorry! Next, please!
Should an alien come down to Earth and watch exclusively Nigerian movies, what do you think they would go back to tell their folks about Nigerian women? Women are mostly cast in a negative light that portrays them as dumb, submissive, nymphomaniac, slaves, immoral, and greedy gold-diggers.
The minute a woman gets a man, the only thing on her mind is to get him to marry her the fastest possible and she will stop at nothing to make that happen. All the women in her direct entourage have nothing else in mind but to snatch him away from her by all means.
Her mother, sisters, best friends, colleagues and even her housemaid are now a threat, they all become her worst enemy. Women walk around hunting for men to marry them at any cost.
In “Honey Desire”, a single mother and educated woman with a comfortable situation throws herself at an illiterate street bum who can't tell his left from his right.
She fights tooth and nails to keep the idiot to herself and even fights her own daughter who off course throws herself at him as well. And since the bum thinks with his third leg anyway, he gets himself the best of both worlds by taking them both to bed and eventually abandoning them later. A woman who's kind, a true friend and a caretaker of another woman is always a victim.
The Bible Says
Every time a husband is facing domestic problems with his wife, that he would call insubordination, the next thing you hear him say is :”The Bible says…”
The Holy Book is the ultimate justification for all the evil men commit against their women and it's an incredibly powerful tool to keep them submissive and obedient.
As far as I know, the Bible was exclusively written by men, there isn't a single line in it that was ever written by a woman, let alone a verse. Is it that back in those days women couldn't read nor write?
From various sources, it is estimated that the Bible contains a little more than 31,200 verses. Couldn't a woman have enough brains to write just one verse out of those 31,200 verses? Or even a line of a verse only? Just for the sake of it?
I don't think that the bunch of men who sat down to write the Bible did it in order to promote women's rights and honour their dignity with a prominent position in society.
Men wrote the Bible to promote their assumed supremacy on women and to keep it that way and since no woman ever stood up to them back then to challenge them, so it went down in history.
Watch Nigerian movies with your eyes and ears wide open. Enjoy!