Apaye was a pleasant surprise. What did I expect from the movie? Absolutely nothing because I have stopped expecting anything from movies. But even at that, I never would have guessed that I would end up liking it as much as I did.
Apaye tells the story of a Delta girl, Yepayeye, who gets married to an already married man after his endless wooing. Things start off great for her in marriage but along the lines new developments occur and the man she is married to turns into something else.
If there is one aspect of Apaye that was most pleasing, it was the way they managed to integrate some of Nigeria’s history into the storyline. Now of course I have no way of confirming that the timeline is correct but it was definitely interesting to watch the historical developments – from Biafran war to coups – and how they affected the character that we had grown to empathize with.
The second greatest achievement of this movie was the emotional aspect. Since most nollywood movies started moving back and away from this multiple parts for one movie phenomena it seemed like we lost something in character development and therefore our ability to empathize. However, this does not apply to Apaye, as the movie goes on you feel for her as though she were your own.
Yepayeye is played by Bellinda Effah in her early years and Clarion Chukwura in her later years. Yepayeye, the character, signified strength and required intensity like no other. Belinda Effah did a good job attempting to portray this intensity in the character’s earlier years. You could see the spaces in her presentation occasionally when it was obvious that she was ‘trying’. However, she did a splendid job because even though you could tell that Belinda was exerting she never lost conviction for the character.
And along came Clarion Chukwura. In her older years, Yepayeye is played by Clarion who was effortlessly able to represent the intensity of the character like no other person possibly could. In the scene where she eventually confronts her husband – KOK – even I began to feel pity for him. Without a doubt, Clarion was the standout character in this movie.
Kanayo O. Kanayo as the husband holds his own. There is no charm to this character because for the most part I’m just thinking “this is pedophilia”. And then there is Mbong Amata. I won’t lie that I was scared. I was scared when I saw her name in the cast line-up that this would be the movie’s one loose end. But her character did not have enough speaking scenes that she could impact the movie negatively, and even when she spoke she gave it all that was required and nothing else.
Apaye turned out to be quite a touching movie. The music was the third best thing about the movie for me. I had some questions for the make-up artiste about why Clarion’s eyes were glowing silver.