-Story: [3 out of 5] The fact that we’re attempting to make some version of “Passion of the Christ”…. is ambitious but also interesting. I think it’s a step in the right direction as per making ‘different’ movies but then again… ehm… one step at a time (step by step; no jumping). I liked the story for many things. For one, I liked the story that it was. I loved the biblical concept and the biblical allusions and the biblical ties within the movie (from Pilate to Christ and everything in between). I also loved the role the ‘evil forest’ was given in this movie. If you’ve seen many traditional movies, you’ve probably heard of the term ‘evil forest’. Now for those who don’t know, usually in every (post-civilization, Nollywood) village, there is a section of the forest called the evil forest in which the ‘spirits’ are said to live. At times, evil doers are sent in there to die as punishment and other times it’s just barricaded from the public for apparently “those who go in there, never return”. However, this movie took a different approach to the whole ‘evil forest’ phenomena, and instead of it simply being purposelessly evil, it served as a bridge to a different kind of civilization. Just that originality in itself, and that different approach should be commended.
-Originality: [4 out of 5] One can’t deny that this is definitely a ‘different’ kind of story when you’re looking at Nollywood specifically. It’s not a storyline that has been delved into by many.
-Predictability: [3 out of 5] You know the story of Christ? You know how that ends? Well… that’s not how this ends. I’m guessing from that comment of mine alone, you can guess how it ends but for those who still can’t, I guess you’re going to have to watch and see.
-Directing/Editing: [3 out of 5] I thought the production did a good job, generally speaking. Throughout I did feel like it could have been a better production because I know that Venus films can produce better. Compared with some of their other works, this movie can be said to be lacking in grandeur and ‘feel’. That general, “O my God, it’s a movie I should set aside time for” was lacking in this movie. It seemed like yet another movie… ‘in passing’. At times, it felt more like a stage play than a film.
-Acting quality: [2 out of 5] I thought everyone in this movie gave good performances (even Nadia Buari). However, there’s something that sticks out in all the acts in this movie and it’s their lack of facial expressions. They’re just not emoting. It’s all stone faced… stoic… to the book… from the lines acting from everyone (exempting Naana Hayford). But as opposed to when other actors do it, i.e the lack of emotions things, this was actually not that bad because the acting was not flat. I just wish the actors brought more emotions to the film such that at least when I got to the end, even if I didn’t completely, I might feel a little twinge of sorrow or sadness or pain. At the end of this movie, I was looking and going “ooh” “aah” “that must have hurt” “how sad” as opposed to sob-sob-sob-weep-bawl-sob.
-Setting: [3 out of 5] Ok
-Costume/Make-Up: [3 out of 5] On point
-Props and Graphics: [3 out of 5] I fear for the head-chopping in this movie, that was pretty much the only emotion I felt through the film. Amazing props, nothing exceptional about the graphics.
-Video Quality: [4 out of 5] Well done
-Audio Quality [4 out of 5] Good
-Soundtrack: [3 out of 5] So even if the movie didn’t move me to tears, with a great soundtrack it could have been rectified. The whole ‘sad’ appeal could have definitely been achieved with better music. On a regular day I love Austine Erowele, especially his works for Frank Rajah films but I feel as though this is definitely his weakest.
-Musical Score: [3 out of 5] As I said earlier, and in the “Somewhere in Africa” review, good music saves a movie and can make the audience feel things differently. The music here falls short of achieving that