After watching this movie I let it marinate for a couple days before writing a review. “That’s just how deep it was?” you ask? No not really, I wanted to be able to separate the hype from the movie.
And after 4 days, I’m still completely fascinated by O.C. Ukeje’s level of skill. I once said in a review that one man, no matter how good, cannot single-handedly elevate the quality of a movie. Let me quickly retract that statement because I would watch a one-man show starring O.C Ukeje, O.C Ukeje and O.C Ukeje after this lol.
But thankfully there was no need for that. Confusion Na Wa is a movie that does not require any saving from any angle. From storyline to presentation you cannot but notice the attention to detail. Unlike many Nollywood movies that I am tempted to say were being written as filming was progressing, confusion na wa drops hints from props to video to music to costume, that all was properly thought through.
The title is atypical and bold especially considering that not many Nigerian movie viewers take risks in the movies they watch (I mean the concept of watching a Nigerian movie alone nowadays is a risk and of itself asking for a more is a bit far-fetched).
The atypicality of the title is reflected in the movie watching experience as well. Not only is the production of the movie different (as in better), it also has a different story quality. It does not aim to dazzle, it does not aim to shock, it does not aim to fascinate. It is simply what it says it is: a story of confusion in its most natural form as you would find it in most Nigerian societies.
The performances were impressive. No single actor was aiming to outperform the other. The bits and pieces of everyone’s performances came together to form a relatable whole. Watching the movie you feel like these are the people you see everyday when you’re driving home from work and look out the window of your car into Lagos traffic. It felt really natural.
Now obviously the storyline is very conveniently interwoven such that almost every single character comes into contact with the other directly (personally) or indirectly (via relationship with another character). Some motifs were also left unexplored like I never really understood exactly what was going on with Emeka’s wife. And some conflicts began but were never really resolved such as the issue with Ali Nuhu’s wife.
Even with the greatest masterpieces, some dust will almost always be on the surface and for me in this movie it was Ali Nuhu. Ali Nuhu has always been a kind of weak and unsystematic actor. In this movie, I would say that he gave one of his better performances. Fortunately, the role did not require much brazenness and stretching, however, there was a certain layer of depth he could have added to it with his mannerisms and facial expressions that were just lacking in the end.
Must commend the lady that plays Ali Nuhu’s wife by the way, impressive performance. And I strongly believe that thunder will strike me dead if I conclude this review without mentioning the boy that plays Kola. Like everyone else in this movie, he did well. However, his performance goes from ‘just doing well’ to that extra layer of ‘aha’ when you notice his facial expressions. There were scenes where he responds to people without words but you can tell what he’s saying by looking at his face.
A movie where one passing analogy about the Lion King, intelligent as it may have been, is incorporated into the morale, the direction, the storyline, and the dialogues in the movie without appearing forced. A movie about the simplest things. The story is not groundbreaking, the sets are not dazzling, the costumes are definitely not Alexander McQueen. It’s the simplicity that gets you. But most of all in comparison with the quality of movies we see nowadays, ‘Confusion Na Wa’ is nearly inspiring.