There’s always a fear that comes with greatness. Of whether or not your next endeavor will match the previous or the expectations of your audience. Well, Kunle Afolayan need not fear because October 1 matches all his previous works and rises above.
The story is set in 1960 Nigeria amidst all the excitement and confusion of the upcoming independence. The main storyline is about a series of murders going on in the town of Akote. In this town, there have been recent killings of young virgin girls and an Inspector, played by Sadiq Dabba, is sent to investigate the case and wrap it up before October 1st.
I had questions about whether or not this African CSI was really worthy of being called a Kunle Afolayan movie. Granted, the premise was interesting enough to hold attention but the hook did not come until all the little side pieces started to show up and connect together. Even though the main focus of the movie is this investigation, the writer is able to bring a plethora of deep and relevant questions. Questions ranging from the division and structure of Nigeria, religious differences and tribal differences.
The real star of this movie is the writer who initially presents certain ideas and motifs but does not simply leave them be. Instead, everything that is mentioned at the beginning of the story follows through and is interwoven within the fabric of the story. This ranges from the early mention of the broad population of Akote that includes not just Yoruba’s but Tivs and Igbos and how this was later presented, as well as the similarities in relevance of the two cases that the Inspector had worked on in his career.
The first half of the movie thrives a lot on the suspense of whodunnit? The only problem is that the setup made the perpetrator a little too easy of a guess. However, even if you are able to guess the culprit it is still an entertaining watch.
It was all round beautiful directing and cinematography especially the apt use of props from the time. The only near qualm with the directing was the chase scenes earlier that were causing dizziness.
October 1, the movie, poses so many unanswered questions that really shake the viewer’s thoughts. You leave the movie with a sense of pride and a sense of disdain, a sense of hope and a sense of confusion. In the end, you leave having seen a great movie.