Since emerging film production company Play Studios decided to bring back old classics like Living in Bondage, Rattlesnake and even Nneka the Pretty Serpent, they have not disappointed movie lovers so far.
Charles Opkaleke sure knows how to make a movie and with Ramsey Nouah as co-producer and Director, we’ve seen nothing but twenty-first century directing genius in these films. I never would’ve guessed that Ramsey, being a successful and amazing actor, would be able to pull off a great job as a director. So far he has done it twice, Living in Bondage- Breaking free and Rattlesnake- The Ahanna Story are proof of his directorial brilliance. And they are all high-budget flicks breaking the box office.
I just watched Rattlesnake and I wasn’t disappointed at all. From start to finish, I was catapulted into the minds and hearts of the characters, the fact that it was star-studded (and with a few newbies) didn’t water down the acting. From the opening scene, we get to see what it was for a young lad to witness jungle justice and what that experience formed in his consciousness and ultimately led to his worldview. It’s an experience I’m sure many kids have witnessed in reality, no doubt, a scene like that will shape his/her opinion about what is right and wrong, good and bad, justice and injustice. This is reflected in young Ahanna innocently asking his Dad why politicians are not paraded in public and burnt alive like other “criminals”. Just like his Dad replied and I agree, it’s not that simple.
Before I get lost in the narrative of the Nigerian system, which I presume is common knowledge, let me focus on the task at hand- my thoughts about the film. The story is a modern remake or construct of the 1995 Amaka Igwe hit of the same name. Released as a home video, Rattlesnake became a national sensation within months of circulation. It is regarded as one of the best films to ever come out of Nigeria and Africa. A rich story, well laid out plot and great acting.
Rattlesnake follows the life of Ahanna who lost his father as a teenager and was abandoned in the village with his grandmother when his mother remarried his uncle. After leaving school and searching for jobs with none in sight, he went to Lagos only to find out that his Mom got pregnant for his uncle and they both killed his father. He accidentally shot his mom and that was the turning point for him. From that one encounter, he got together his friends and they formed a modern-day robin hood and the gang syndicate that targets rich politicians looting public funds. They called themselves ‘The Armadas’. They stole from the politicians, enriching themselves while also giving back to the poor in society.
The story is infused with contemporary innuendos, carefully woven together to present the audience with a semblance of real situations in today’s Nigeria. Rattlesnake-the Ahanna story is like an old school reunion with a blend of fresh blood. Veterans in the film include- Sonny Mcdon, Ramsey Nouah, Ejike Asiegbu, Fred Amata, Norbert Young, Gloria Young, Chiwetalu Agu, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Chinyere Wilfred. Young actors include- Stan Nze, Bucci Franklin, Osas Ighodaro, Tobi Bakre, Efa Iwara, Rebecca Nengi Hampson, Odera Adimorah, Elma Mbadiwe, Brutus Richards, Ayo Makun and Emeka Nwagbaraocha. It’s worthy of mention that while some of these names made cameo appearances, others were main characters, but in all, they brought light and life to their characters. I believe each scene was carefully shot and I must confess that I enjoyed every bit of it, well, almost every bit.
I have a few favorites in the film, of course, Stan Nze did an amazing job as Ahanna, he deserves a standing ovation. Bucci Franklin was the man of the movie (if there’s any award like that though). His character, Nzenozor was fire, bucci embodied that role, kind of method acting if you ask me. Another surprise for me is Tobi Bakre. Tobi is steadily proving himself to be a talent and he delivered his lines with such finesse, his character portrayal as a double agent was believable and commendable.
Now, there’s a twist to the story, you guys remember Richard Willaims in Living in Bondage? Yes, played by Ramsey, well, Richard made a cameo in this film. He showed up during the art gallery heist to introduce himself to Ahanna and offer him a seat at the table of ” The Six”. I know right, what’s that about? What’s the relationship between Living in Bondage and Rattlesnake? That’s what I’d like to know too and I love the suspense. I’ll be looking out for the sequel, Ramsey sure knows how to keep us at the edge of our seats.
As for the technicalities in the film, I think the sound was good, the picture quality was superb and the location as well as props, as far as I’m concerned we’re all on point.
Like I always say, this is not a review, just thoughts from a movie enthusiast. You shouldn’t take my word for it, go see the film and form your own opinions.
- Ose is a cartoon enthusiast sugar junkie. He loves to travel, make new friends and he never gets tired of spaghetti and plantain.