Journey of Tears has the appeal of a family home video, it starts off with a family and the story is generally family oriented, until it really isn’t. It tells the story of a not very average family living in a not very average family situation. A woman comes into her friend’s home as the wife after her friend dies only to realize that she can’t have a child and then she decides to adopt. The daughter she adopts grows up with her friend’s sons as brothers and sister until they decided to be a little bit more.
Once upon a time this story would be audacious, it would be out of the box, it would be new and dangerous but unfortunately this is 2013 and it doesn’t have the same effect. After that one movie with Uche Jombo and Desmond Elliot in this same situation (and if I dare say, every other Tonto Dikeh – incest movie), this idea has become less exciting, less motivating and is slowly becoming yet another Nollywood overdone theme.
To start off with, some of the conflicts in the beginning really didn’t carry much weight to a thinking person. For instance, if you are woman way past your prime and you take pity, or out of the kindness of your heart, you decide to marry your deceased friend’s husband in order to take care of her kids, why is it such a big deal that you can’t have kids? And before anyone has my head with comments about what the society will say or not say, my point simply is that if in the end you’re going to end up adopting a kid what sense is there in that? You already have kids. What is that extra addition of the adopted child going to do for your status in society?
So for that half hour or so where Ngozi Ezeonu’s character is moping on and on about how saddened she is by the fact that she can’t have a child there really isn’t any empathy coming from the audience. This is because in the grand scheme of things, there are more depressing things that could happen to you. And as if these endless scenes of pointless sadness were not bad enough, half way through it, the writer (or whoever was in charge of making that decision) decides to give us a full fifteen to thirty minute flash back of things we just saw thirty minutes ago.
This is really just an analysis of a little part of the movie, analyzing the things that didn’t quite fit in this movie would take up much more space. The production quality was poor, for me it was hard seeing pregnant-Mercy or post-pregnant-Mercy (whichever it was) playing the part of the sister and wearing these supposedly new clothes that every character in the movie thought was beyond gorgeous whilst in reality it simply made her look like a house help.
The movie, Journey of Tears, isn’t entirely terrible it’s just that in 2013 redundancy is annoying, cheap productions look tacky, and long dragged out scenes are simply sleep inducing.