Movies are wonderful interpretations of life, they tell stories that we can all relate to in one way or another. Movies also entertain as well as passes significant messages, depending on the plot. From fantasy, thriller, drama, comedy, action, science fiction, horror, romance, epic, these genres appeal to several audiences who are movie enthusiast; having a variety of movies to choose from is good because it helps you see things from different perspectives. There have also been cases of merging these different genres to form a masterpiece that cuts across different audiences, romantic comedies are hits for ladies and the helpless romantic guys who love comedies too. Epic fantasy is another collection that a lot of people find amazingly interesting, action thriller also has a large following; there’s something for everyone.
The Nigerian movie world is a thriving one, the second largest in the world in terms of production and the acclaimed big brother in Africa, I’d say the industry is not doing badly. Nollywood has been at the forefront of preaching the gospel of the African story, telling our tales as it is while using our rich cultural heritage to interpret. Movies and series like Igodo, Ijele, Things Fall Apart, Pot of Life and many others, these screen adaptations of our way of life and worldview were (and still are) wonderful. As the industry continues to receive significant growth, scripts have also changed to keep the pace. Movies like Tango with Me, Half of a Yellow Sun, Last Flight to Abuja, The Figurine, Ije, the Journey are some of the dramatic transformations in storytelling in Nollywood. These are thought-provoking and carefully written pieces that left us thinking, “wow” just “wow”.
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This is 2018 and storytelling has also taken a different turn. It seems Nigerians are not much interested in stories that talk about what we go through as individuals and as a nation, rather, they are craving for a little bit of that plus exciting, adventurous and hilariously funny stories that pass the intended message, hence the rise of comedies, action comedies and romantic comedies. For every 5 movies released in a quarter, 3 have a comedic infusion. Industry practitioners are churning out films with one purpose and that is to make money. Some of the movies upon proper scrutiny are not even worth the hype, after spending your hard-earned money to go see them at the cinema you realize that many lack substance and quality.
I pondered over this for weeks and came to the conclusion that there are a few factors that have necessitated this trend, for one our writers are being intellectually lazy. Nothing stops them from conducting research on African folklore and coming up with rich content or drawing inspiration from the current happenings in the society in creating breathtaking scripts. It is clear that the writers of old have distinguished themselves as being creative geniuses, these days everybody just wants to be recognized for being a scriptwriter but not willing to put in the creative effort it takes to make a fantastic work of art.
Another thing that irks me is the bandwagon mentality. So, a producer does a particular movie and it sold out, that automatically becomes the next line of action for others as they’ll all follow suit in that direction, mainly for the money. It’s appalling to know that producers as well as directors and other practitioners are focusing on the money factor. Indeed, one of the reasons for putting out your work is to make money and recoup your investment, but that should not be the center of attraction. Because a few comedies movies did well at the box office now everyone wants to make same so they can also cash in on the rave of the moment. This is a trend I noticed and I’m pretty sure that many of you have figured it out for yourselves. Some will say “we all need a little laughter in our lives after all the country is hard enough as it is and I cannot come and go and kee myself”. Movies such as The Wedding Party, The Accidental Spy, Celebrity Marriage, Christmas is Coming, Our Husband, My Wife and I, Brother Jekwu, Excess Luggage, Wives on Strike and many more are out there but let’s be sincere, which of these movies made you feel like you wasted money seeing it at the cinemas? I bet if I was to go around asking individually I’ll not be surprised at the answer. Most of them lacked depth, character interpretation, undefined plot and much more.
I could go on and on but let me know your take on this. Meet me in the comments.
- Ose is a cartoon enthusiast sugar junkie. He loves to travel, make new friends and he never gets tired of spaghetti and plantain.