MOVIE REVIEW: BANANA ISLAND GHOST – by CHINWE ONONUJU
Banana Island Ghost was a highly talked about the movie and I simply couldn’t wait to see it. The plotline that I’d heard about promised to be the kind of comedy that I was sure to enjoy. And then I saw it and I can honestly say that the movie is much of what it was described to be – HILARIOUS!!
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Directed by BB Sasore and produced by Biola Alabi, the romantic comedy tells the story of a ghost (Patrick Diabuah) who is reluctant to go onto the afterlife until he has found his soulmate, he is granted three days by God (played by Bimbo Manuel) to make a woman fall in love with him. And so, by spiritual happenstance, and because God has a sense of humour, he finds himself waking up next to Ijeoma (Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah), a firecracker of a woman who has her own mission – three days to raise 18 million naira to save her late father’s Banana Island house from the bank reclaiming it.
Ijeoma doesn’t quite come in the package that Patrick would have preferred for a soul mate, and Patrick isn’t quite the guardian angel sent to save her from her woes that Ijeoma would have preferred preternatural companion to be. Thrown together with their warring personalities and unique agendas, the two of them will have to find a way to make things work as the clock ticks down to the end of their time together.The movie was a cinematographic success, doing a lot of justice with the beauty of Lagos. Such scenes like the accident scene on the bridge was well done and the scene of the canoe ride with God and the ghost was also scenic. The special effects were brilliant and one of the best I have seen so far in a Nollywood film.As a first time lead, Chioma Omeruah gave a strong performance. Her alter ego, Chigul, brought her trademark humour to her Ijeoma character, and coupled with a depth of vulnerability, she made for a believable love interest. It is a testament to her good acting that desperate as her character was to get the 18 million naira, whether pick-pocketing in a bus or asking for an incredulous raise from her boss, she was just too lovable onscreen.Patrick Diabuah, as the lead male character, also held his own, frequently delighting with the mischief he was able to get away with. As a ghost, he can see, touch and hear everything and everyone, but can only be seen and interacted with by Ijeoma. And so under the guise of this invulnerability, he is able to get away with a lot, including sending Ijeoma’s unfaithful boyfriend (played by Tomiwa Edun) and the woman he is cheating on her with (Dorcas Sola Fapson) into a frantic diarrhoetic furor- after dropping a huge dose of laxatives in their drink – I almost died laughing.B.I.G has the kind of brilliant humour that you don’t see in everyday Nollywood comedies, and it utilized a lot of wit and sarcasm to deliver its humour.
The scenes were straight to the point and didn’t waste time or drag. Every scene had a purpose and served them well. However, even though I nearly cracked a rib or two from laughing like a displaced hyena, I cannot forgive the writer of the movie for the grave sin of the kind of ending he gave such an amazing movie. The ending was disorganised and confusing and left me asking what happened. Nollywood is notorious for this kind of deficiency – bad endings. A bad ending can ruin a good story. And by the time B.I.G wrapped, I felt like we had missed a step somewhere. B.I.G at some point also made me feel like I was watching an advert channel with product placements popping up every now and then. I understand the need to promote sponsors but there is also such a thing as bombardment. It was a case of, for instance, ‘Like it or not, Cold Stone gave us ice cream and we must announce them.’ That was not cool.However, the script could have been better. There was no struggle by Ijeoma to come to terms with her ability to interact with a ghost. She becomes comfortable around him so fast that it’s unrealistic. And secondly, there was no explanation as to why her mother (Tina Mba) was not living in her father’s house with her? Had she remarried? Was she banished from the house? Was she estranged from her father before he died? What? Nothing.
In all, this was a lovely movie and I rate it 8/10. It lost 2 points because of the ending.
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