Chris Okagbue, Liz Benson, Jide Kosoko, Chris Attoh, Keturah King, Victor Olaitan, Meg Otanwa, Ama K. Abebrese
The story centers on a young man who discovers at an early age that he has to offset a N20 Million debt owed to a mysterious stranger called Don Creflo by his late father. the titular character goes through a myriad of trials and challenges that stand to either break him or make him; aided by an unbreakable resolve to succeed,a sonorous voice, friends, enemies and mysterious individuals he meets along the way
Ifan Ifeanyi Michael
It is interesting how something can be so immensely strong and yet so floundering-ly weak but that was the persevering feeling after watching Lotanna. So many aspects built it up but for whatever reason it never truly becomes the sum total of its parts.
Lotanna is a story set in the 90s of a young man who looses his father at a young age, and then while struggling to achieve his dreams as a musician his father’s old debts come back to haunt him.
There are some truly beautiful aspects of this film and the first thing would have to be the music. Even before any scenes were shown, before any of the characters were introduced we were presented with one of the most striking chords I’ve heard in a nollywood movie in at least a year. The chords prep you for the mood of the movie or should I say the mood that the movie aspires to achieve. There are moments in this movie where every element works together to uplift this film and moments where the elements are just standing apart – still great but not actually working together. The soundtrack by Praiz and Naeto C is truly memorable and striking and that’s one of the best parts of the movie.
Then there is the setting. .The ’90s set is striking. The continuity of the colors, the attention to detail, the props and everything in between is inspiring. It is evident that someone made a lot of effort to ensure that the set is believable and save for a few anachronisms here and there – such as the lines that are used (e.g “bestie”) that are not of the time – the movie manages to stick to its theme. The mood of the movie is consistent in the beginning but starts to dwindle towards the end, and so does the storyline.
When we get into performances and story is when the cookie truly begins to crumble. Our lead, Chris Okagbue, is supported by some very skilled actors so much so that you almost don’t notice his skill or lack thereof. However, towards the end when it’s time for the story to peak and time for our lead to show his chops – especially in the scene where he returns home bloody and kneels before his mother – it falls flat.
In the aforementioned scene though, one can’t completely peg all the blame on Okagbue because at that point of the movie things seemed to be getting rushed. In all honesty, by the time we get to the end there’s no satisfaction. And by satisfaction I don’t mean a “happy ever after”, it’s just not built up with as much emphasis or attention as the beginning of the movie received. It’s almost as though everyone from the cinematographer, to the writer and the actors had lost all steam and when his mother’s character screams out “it means remember” it’s more comical than impactful.
On a very plain level, Lotanna is a good movie but for what it could have been, it never truly achieves this. I wish the greatness was consistent from start to finish, I wish we had a stronger lead actor, I wish we did as much with the intricacies of the actual storyline and the characters as we did with the atmosphere (set, music, color, picture), and I will not even speak of that final scene because I’m not sure who they are trying to confuse there but it wasn’t effective.