Sometimes it is just better for a movie to be a home video as opposed to a cinema release especially when it comes to the reviews. The simple fact that you are a cinematic release holds you to higher standards. And even though your movie might have been an alright ‘home video’ it could still be a mediocre cinematic release and unfortunately Lost in His Glory was one of these.
The movie was rife with good intentions and genuine attempts at cinematic achievements that all seemed to fall short at one point or the other and sometimes more times than one.
Lost in His Glory is the story of a repentant widow and her two daughters one of which is forgiving and God-fearing whilst the other blames the mother for her father’s death. In so doing, the other daughter, played by Bibi Bright, ends up on a path very similar to her mother’s former lifestyle.
I’d like to say the movie plays on the contrast of the mother’s former lifestyle versus Bibi Bright’s character’s current lifestyle, however I am not certain whether the contrast/juxtaposition was intentional. If it was, it was poorly done because we do not really get any insight into the mother’s – played by Kalsum Sinare – former lifestyle asides from the fact that she was rebellious, worldly and nagging. Those three things when considered alone do not seem grave enough for the daughter’s current rebellion. We do get a hint from Bibi’s character that the mother was involved in ‘extra-curricular activities’ with men other than her husband. However this wasn’t explored enough to create a dislike for Kalsum or empathy with Bibi’s current situation.
Speaking of not exploring things enough, there were some themes that were overly repeated to the point of frustration. When an exposition, especially for a cinema release, takes a huge portion of the movie then we are inching into boredom for the audience. After the first couple of minutes the main points in the exposition had been sent across – i.e daughter hates mother, only one daughter likes mother, daughter in abusive relationship, daughter sings, daughter supports home – yet for some reason many minutes after the points were still being repeated and we still hadn’t gotten into anything solid.
As regards the acting there were a couple solid performances mostly from John Dumelo. For the others it seemed like there were moments of really solid performances and moments of shaky drifting between performing well and just standing in front of the camera doing things. For the most part Bibi held her own as the protagonist of the storyline. In the scenes where I was required to empathize with her though, I did not and I cannot tell whether it was because her performance wasn’t leading me there or the poor directing. However, the fact is the emotions weren’t forthcoming and the only real near-emotional scene in this movie – which seems like it was intended to be rife with emotions – was the final singing scene in the church. And even at that, I think most of the emotion that was solicited was simply because of the music.
There were little problems here and there and too many things overlooked as well as parts where they played to cliches. The direction and picture was shaky in most parts. How do you overlook, in editing, something like John Dumelo’s character’s phone saying J’melo in fine print – not once but twice. Sometimes the movie dwindles into corniness and are we still honestly using clouds as ‘heaven’ graphics?
Lost in His Glory would make a really descent home-video, two and a half star quality, but the thought that this released in cinemas and people had to pay and sit and watch this is not really a thought that is very appealing.