CINEMA REVIEW: “Esohe” Is An Unpleasant Surprise & A Very Confused Film Without Any Story

You will leave the cinema, after watching Esohe, with a puzzled look. It will be the Odunlade Adekola meme expression, showing him baring both his palms forward like, “What did I just see?”. And your question will be valid, because you will truly not know what you have just seen. And when you ask your neighbor, they most likely will not know either, that is if you have any neighbours left by the time the film is over.

We were three that began to watch Esohe in the cinema. Two more people came in within the first ten minutes, and then we were five. We were three when the film was over, and to be honest, I was impressed that we were that many left. Because Esohe is confused. The actors themselves were probably confused, and most likely did not get the entire script, or they would have asked questions. Esohe doesn’t exactly have a story. It is just a couple of Bini-speaking/Yoruba-speaking actors coming together in traditional attires and brilliant makeup by Hakeem Onilogbo (Hakeem Effect), and saying the first few things that come to mind. It is them being mysterious, then not, then being mysterious, then not.

Gary, a university lecturer in Atlanta, USA, feels like his soul is being pulled to Nigeria for answers. So he leaves it all and comes, along with his Caucasian girlfriend, Claire. Another woman, Eseosa, is on their flight and meets them at the airport, and there’s yet another woman at the airport, Eno, who arrives as well. In something that looks like a flashback, a child is born with a putrid smell and a complication that leaves his mother dead at childbirth. The verdict is that he be killed, but on the murderer’s way, she falls, and the baby is tossed into the river. An old Yoruba woman finds him, names him Ifagbai and raises him as her own.

But the bad smell must have mysteriously transformed into a ‘demonic’ horned-look and an inability to speak when Ifagbai is older, because we do not hear of it anymore. Then he meets and falls in love with a catechist’s daughter, Esohe, the same girl the town’s prince and a warlord are in love with. The woman at the airport is kidnapped, and finds that she is a seer, alongside Gary who is now in Benin and missing, and while Claire is looking for him everywhere, it appears she too becomes a seer.

 

Source: TNS

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