Jake Okechukwu, Lucy Ameh, Jim Iyke, Chuks Chyke, Ivie Okujaye, Luciano Okere, Alexandra Akpan
Five university Students are selected to participate in a cohabitation experiment in for a year. They develop a close knit relationship through which internal conflicts are revealed.
Ndu Scott, Odeh Chris
Amarachi; "Since I've been to this school, no guy has spoken to me DanJuma; Wow! soo Okiri and I must be hot babes then
A different approach to an often poorly explored genre
Execution did not live up to the weight of themes tackled
After watching several TV shows, about campus life, with actors sloppily typecast as “runz babe (female escort)”, “effiko (book-worm)” or cultist, it is so refreshing to find a coming-of-age movie that gives more dimension to its characters. “Learning Curves” stands out for its ability to do this. While the performances of the actors were significantly impressive, a lot more could have been done (outside of acting) to leave a lasting impression.
Jake Okechukwu as Danjuma earns full stars in his role, Lucy Ameh completely sells her character and Ivie Okujaiye does not disappoint as Otonye West. Similar to her performance in “Heroes and Villains” , Ivie’s delivery grows on you. The magic to her act is that you never know when you start buying into it. Her transition and embodiment of the different phases her character goes through is effortless but with regards to being believable, Okechukwu and Ameh still stand out.
Jim Iyke’s role was a déjà vu and I am faithfully looking forward to him exploring a non-gang/violence inclined character (sigh!). The other supporting characters (Luciano Okere, Chuks Chyke and Alexandra Akpan) were solid but too choreographed during quite a number of scenes. A note for the gang extras, It really takes more than a grumpy face, a few scowls and wearing sunglasses at night to play that role- just sayin!
A lot of the shots in “Learning curves” are hand held which give it a documentary like feel and make the movie seem less fictional. This is particularly useful given that some of the main themes tackled (e.g. sexual assault, cultism) are serious issues that plague university campuses in Nigeria. Perhaps this could have been more controlled in certain scenes that just slacked in quality and visual coordination (the night party scene).
Fortunately, the plot is developed using the characters as a reflection of the effects of these themes. The reception of these issues in society is shown by the nuanced nature of its characters, however, a plot that spent less time on unnecessarily long scenes and poor minor characters would have contributed to achieving this more effectively. In a 2-hour movie with more than 3 central characters with different (although intertwined conflicts) I expected more from continuity, plot development and editing. In addition to that, a lot more could have been done with Danjuma’s character if he had a more convincing internal conflict and was more than just the savior. But then again there are only so many minutes in a movie.
Overall I found learning curves to be a good watch with relatable characters and a breath of fresh air. Could more money have been poured into production quality? Could more effort have been put in character building? Yes, and Yes. Nonetheless this is one of the best attempts at a rarely well explored genre that I have seen and am hoping to see more of.