Taxi Driver (Oko Ashewo)
Femi Jacobs, Odunlade Adekola, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Richard Akinlade |
Adigun is a 31 year old naive village car mechanic who comes to Lagos for the first time following the sudden death of his father, a man he never truly knew. Adigun comes to Lagos on the invitation of Taiwo, his father's fellow taxi driver but Taiwo is dangerous and as shady as Lagos at night..
The run time of the movie is about 94 minutes. For 60 whole minutes (1 whole hour) things are just happening. Back forth and center. No tangible plot. Drama? E no dey? Romance nko? Nothing. And I am not going to lie, I nearly gave up on this movie in the first 30 minutes when it seemed like a series of events with no tangible glue. And then Ijeoma’s character tells her story and I begin to think HELLOOOOO PLOT!
Taxi Driver tells the story of a young man who comes to Lagos from the village to take over his recently deceased father’s taxi. He is met by his father’s good friend and this friend takes him in and shows him the ropes, so to speak. Soon enough, our JJC begins to realize that things are not what they seem.
When I say “soon enough”, I really mean in the absolute final minutes. This is to because to be quite honest no one has one bloody clue what’s going on in this entire movie until a plot is inserted… and I mean literally inserted (as per “copy and paste” inserted) in the final minutes.
In all the moments leading up to that we only have two things (or maybe three things) to marvel about. The first is the acting, the second the cinematography, and third the continuous attempt to determine whether or not this is a Yoruba movie (not that it makes any difference to me but apparently people wonder).
It was as though the actors in this movie were not acting at all. From Femi Jacobs to Odunlade and Ijeoma. Nobody seemed to be doing any kind of acting. From the first shot to the last, it felt like these actors lived, breathed and resided in every moment of this situation. So much so that at the end of the movie you get the feeling that you were just watching a reality show or a documentary on the lives and times of a Lagos Taxi Driver.
The cinematography of this movie was probably the realest MVP. If I was told that the movie was just made to show off the cinematographer’s skills, that would not be hard to believe at all. The frames in this movie, the shots and angles were very well done.
In the end, Taxi Driver, is the antecedent to any type of movie that I would otherwise watch. It is very raw in its approach. Really hollow when it comes to music and for the first hour, story-wise as well. Even though it wins with performance and cinematography, the storyline itself falls short.