After reading the synopsis for unforgivable I had lofty ideas in my head so imagine my surprise when the movie started and for 30-45 minutes I was accosted with the typical Yoruba movie presentation.
Those 30-45 minutes were an exercise in will power for me. In between I felt cheated because I pressed play for Mike Ezuruonye and Desmond Elliot and here I was watching a bunch of weakly enacted university scenes that I was getting a feeling were supposed to be endearing in some form or the other. On the other hand they were mostly comical because I was trying to imagine any normal person flirting in that manner or being that desperate.
However, just as you’re beginning to accept your fate with the university scenes, the setting changes and the real movie begins. Unforgivable tells the story of a woman in a marriage where she is unwanted and her struggle to get her abusive husband to love her in return. The idea is ‘lofty’ in this era of divorce and single-motherhood but it was able to create that emotional connect.
Unlike the apathy I expected to feel for a woman who is solely responsible for her own predicament, in the second half I felt myself sympathizing with her such that when the climax finally rolled in an hour later I was crying my eyes out.
After seeing Unforgivable the single thought in my head was that a movie doesn’t have to be great to make you cry. This seems to be a double edged sword because there have been better movies that were incapable of soliciting any emotions and here is a pretty average movie that has somehow managed to capture the viewers emotions all the way.
When it comes to emotions Unforgivable gets the full marks, when it comes to performance Mike Ezuruonye takes the cake for his performance in a negative role. Even after his character repents (as is bound to happen), he is still captivating and he is still able to make you feel pity for him.
For me the movie doesn’t really start until the university scenes are over. The movie has most of it’s pitfalls in that part of the movie but there are still some continuing problems like incomplete subtitles, which was aggravating for non-Yoruba viewers like myself, and a hole in the story.
It was really never explained how or why the relationship was able to develop from a desperate crush in university into marriage in old age. How the character of Damola transcends from this boy that is so opposed to marriage and having a girlfriend who won’t party with him to actually marrying that girl and having a daughter by her. Na jazz?