I used to love watching Nigerian movies in the early days when they were well scripted, and well acted. An example of one of my favourites from back then is Violated, starring Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ego Boyo and Joke Silva.
I am not implying that they are not well scripted anymore. Heaven knows a lot can happen between when the writer drops his pen, and the final scene is filmed. And a lot more happens in the cutting room.
The last few Nollywood movies I watched were quite disjointed. Imagine a group of scriptwriters meeting up for lunch before going on to film their respective movies. Their scripts are loose sheets of paper in a folder. They get carried away during lunch and indulge in a bit of horseplay across the table. The folders fall down, the pages get mixed up, and are stuffed back in haphazardly. The scriptwriters depart, and filming commences. Picture what the resulting movies would be, and you get the gist of a typical Nollywood movie. No co-relation at all between the beginning, middle and end of the plot. No indication that there was a plot in the first place. To be fair though, I have found this to be far more prevalent in Yoruba movies.
This however is not what I’m griping about. What really, really gets me is the continuity issue, or the lack of it.
You are watching a storyline unfold over several years. The only thing is that the hairstyle and nail polish of the actress remains the same. Throughout. This would not matter if it was her own hair, and she had it in a bunch or an updo or so, but seriously, who rocks the same weave-on or wig for years on end? Or it could be that she has two different hairstyles. And I mean different. So on day one, she is wearing the ‘million braids’ style. (This style can take anything up to 72 hours to get done). On day two, she has a short, nicely cropped weave-on. And on day three, she is back in her ‘million braids’. For real? Who does that?
Maybe I am nit-picking, and the vast majority of Nollywood’s viewing public do not care about such ‘minor’ details, but there it is. It niggles at me. I am willing to overlook stilted performances, actors/actresses
murdering using a fake American or English accent to emphasize the fact that they are returnees. I can even ignore the recent explosion of non-black ‘actors’ in Nigerian movies who can not act to save their lives, whose performances are even more wooden than the furniture they loll against, and whose only redeeming factor is the fact that they are non-blacks playing the role of non-blacks. (Seeing a light-skinned black person with a poorly fixed weave-on playing the role of a non-black person is excruciatingly painful). I can happily ignore matrons playing the roles of young nubile lasses. Or those with portly figures, both male and female, squeezing themselves into clothes designed for slimmer frames……
but the absence of continuity gets me every time. I’m happy to be proven wrong, so if you can recommend any movies that do not fall prey to any of the peeves listed above, I am happy to view them. The only stipulation I have is that the entire storyline be wrapped up in not more than two instalments.
And I leave you with a line that no self-respecting movie would dare end without, no matter its subject matter. ‘To God be the glory’.
Thanks as always, for stopping by.