So I set out on mission impossible today to make a list of the top 10 best Nollywood movies released in 2012
See I, like more than 50% of Nollywood addicts, live outside Nigeria/Ghana and do not have access to any of the cinemas where they show Nigerian movies (all we’ve got is AMC), therefore it is impossible for me to see any movie that is not, like I like to call it, ‘widely available’. And by ‘widely available’, I mean available on DVD/Bluray, iRokoTv or Online Streaming.
Hence, earlier today I was all ready to make a list of the Top 10 movies that were released in 2012 and were available on DVD in 2012. My list began and ended as quickly as it began because I did not get past number one. Turns out that all the really good movies we’d seen this year were made in 2011.
For that reason, here’s a list of the Top 10 (according to me ofcourse) ‘widely available’ Nollywood movies (and by that I mean Ghanaian and Nigerian movies) of 2012 that were really made in 2011. Who knows maybe next year we, in the diaspora, will get to see all of the ‘great’ 2012 movies.
P.S.: This list is in no particular order
1. The Adams Apples Series: The sexy sassy wahala finally came to an end this year, much to the disappointment of most of us (myself especially because I have nothing else to watch now). The 10 chapter series, which began sometime in January, ended with a bang with its last chapter “New Beginnings” releasing mid-year. We’d been thrilled all year long with the drama, the scandals, the rivalries, the plottings, the secrets and when it ended most were pleading for more. The director and writer, Shirley Frimpong-Manso, did an amazing job weaving this suspense filled story from chapter to chapter, never for once letting the viewers down. I say this is the best Sparrow Production movie yet. Click here for movie review
2. Ties That Bind: Leila Djansi, award winning producer and director of the 2010 Ghanaian Drama “Sinking Sands” returns to the screens this year (well last year) with a Hollywood meets Nollywood meets ‘Ghallywood?’ combo, Ties that Bind, starring Omotola J. Ekehinde, Ama K. Abebrese and Kimberly Elise. The movie tells the story of three extraordinary, permit me to say, BLACK women in circumstances that have unfortunately become normal in the 21st century, and tells of how they are able to overcome. A story that gets better from scene to scene, a movie that builds on each scene, a definite thrill to watch. Click here for movie review
3. The Return of Jenifa: Most Nollywood viewers are nothing like me in that they delight in the thrills of slapstick comedy and would be simply pleased to see a good drama: we do not demand it at all. Hence, it is no surprise that this semi-sequel to the popular Yollywood movie ‘Jenifa’ caught the attention of nearly every Nollywood viewer earlier this year when it was released on irokotv. Something about a girl in PJs and boots in a western university setting seems to be a sure fire way of getting viewers to return and see the sequel… and if the comments are anything to go by, viewers were not disappointed. Click here for movie review
4. Heart of a Fighter: About the only Nollywood movie that never made it to cinema (and thank God for that because it was a four part movie) but was yet able to capture a majority of Nollywood audiences. The movie worked so well in that it appealed to raw emotions within the viewers, this plus an extraordinary pairing of the immaculate Ramsey Noah and the ever-so-versatile Mercy Johnson resulted in what I dare to say is the best combination of comedy and romance I’ve seen in a long while. Click here for movie review
5. Mr & Mrs: I think I hear someone whispering that this was actually a 2010 movie, well I choose to ignore you and I will continue to ignore you because it is literally impossible to make this list without mentioning Mr & Mrs. Most critique for this movie almost always begins with the words ‘low’ and ‘budget’ and ends with something about ‘unrealistic’ or ‘inappropriate message’. All that regardless, Mr and Mrs was a thoroughly entertaining watch, the tsunami of an actress in the person of Nse Ikpe-Etim made every second worth it. It might not have been much (in fact, I recommend you don’t see it a second time so you don’t notice any of the floors in bad acting or other technicalities) yet it was entertaining. If not for the story itself or the morale it teaches then just to watch Nse Ikpe-Etim scream at a woman trying to steal her husband. Click here for movie review
6. Holding Hope: Again, I hear whispers that this movie was made earlier than 2011 but irokotv is choosing to fly this movie as a 2012 movie (even though we all know that this movie was made way way waaaaaay before this year). So we shall all play ignorant and assume that this movie was made in 2011 (it’s called meeting both parties half way) because one can not ignore Uche Jombo’s amazing performance of a dying cancer patient ridden with the curse of a heartless husband. There were really not that many amazing things about this movie except Uche Jombo’s performance and the amazing rendition of “Bia Nulu” by Ego, but still noteworthy. Click here for movie review
7. Private Enemy: I mention Private Enemy for two reasons: the first being that there are not that many Nollywood thrillers that actually try and secondly, there are not that many Nollywood thrillers that actually try (no that wasn’t a typo, it’s just the fact). Think about it for a minute, how many Nollywood thrillers have you seen that consist of anything other than a baba-alawo, some midnight cult activities, many intense yelling and six parts? This movie consists of none, NONE I tell you. And once you get past the overly fake acting and that tint in the video and some very very funny inexplicable camera angles, it’s actually a decent movie. My advice though, don’t watch it twice you might notice its flaws. Click here for movie review
8. Adaure: Did you know they still made igbo movies? Well grip your seats and tighten your seatbelts because apparently they do. Like the return of Jenifa, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the appeal that this movie holds, yet for some reason many have fallen in love with the movie (both igbo and non igbo speaking audiences alike). Some have dubbed it the igbo version of Jenifa but personally I think the most appealing thing about this movie is Queen Nwokoye’s rendition of her role.
9. Aiyekooto: Like I said in the movie review, I had no intentions of sitting through this movie originally. I was just going to press play, get a feel and return to it one year later. But for one reason or the other, one thing led to another, one scene to the other and I actually finished the entire movie (to the detriment of all the other things I had to do that day). Aiyekooto was one of the first Yoruba movies that I watched that had absolutely no yelling, no juju, no extremely loud housewife, no…. none of those annoying yoruba movie themes. It was different and pleasantly so. The director, Adebayo Tijani, did an amazing job with the storyline and execution with the help, ofcourse, of a phenomenal cast. Clickhere for movie review
10. Somewhere in Africa: Again, this is one of those movies that irokotv is trying to fly as a 2012 movie and although we all know it isn’t one, we’ll all pretend it is because when you think about it we really don’t have that many options. Somewhere in Africa, though 75% a rip of the 1992 movie, Sarafina, was still an enjoyable watch. Why is it on this list? Because Majid did a phenomenal job and the movie does have an amazing soundtrack so… Click here for movie review