We all started sniffing with dabs at our eyes in the middle of this film and then were all out crying at the end. This film wasn’t flashy and it wasn’t big budget, it appeared simple but was able to catch our attention from the get-go which isn’t easy. Going in, I expected it to be the dry staple of brief high school experience but instead it explored junior secondary school in a way that is relatable and interesting. The tales of the four girls were not original in anyway nor were the resolutions but somehow it gave more…maybe it was the actors themselves or the way the story was told but it was just better. Maybe it was the way the story made the audience care about its characters.
This plot was interesting and kept us all going to the end. Somewhat predictable- we knew someone was going to die as is the norm for these kinds of stories-each story was easy to follow, thrilling, sad and relatable. The film cut a deliberate slice across Nigerian life and life styles, weaving the stories and linking them together brilliantly. I felt the chemistry between the girls, and their occasional spat reflected the stupid things we quarrelled over in secondary school.
The directing of this was almost good like right on the cusp of good. Some of the scenes seem out of place and too long which in turn displaces his original intention.
On actors –Funke Akindele came across as natural as usual. Ini Edo didn’t have a really big role but every time she was onscreen I couldn’t help but be distracted by her blatantly fake pregnancy, it collapsed every time she moved. The extras/parents and guardians weren’t bad, there was no hair pulling and they acted their roles perfectly. There is always a risk when using young actors even as old as these girls were (about 15/16) as they tend to come across as wooden and untrained. While there were glimmers of that overall the young cast in this movie was fantastic. They conveyed the emotions and avoided my pet peeve- eyeballs all over the place trying not to look at the camera. Although it was really hard to tell them apart at the beginning (Tip: Try identifying them through their hair) I hope to see them again in other ventures as this rarely happens with child actors.
In conclusion, this movie is one of the best I have seen so far and what it has going for it is its freshness in using young actors well and how the narration of the story moves. It’s fast paced and even though the ending left some questions unanswered I would watch it again.