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Precious Nwogu

If you have been to the cinemas this week, you must have stumbled on the Esohe flyer at the ticket stand. I on the other hand had a poll on my official Instagram page requesting if my followers will like for me to see the movie and the vote favored a ‘Yes’ so I complied.

Ever wondered why Hollywood and even South African movies have an edge over Nollywood? First, a look at the trailer:

DETAIL! That’s the answer. Our film makers take a lot of little details for granted which makes me wonder if the movies ever go through an editing process or if the film editor always has had too much to drink. I state this first because…

Esohe would have been a brilliant movie if just a tiny bit of attention had been paid to DETAIL.

Synopsis

Gary Barbar, Marine Transportation Management teacher is a troubled man. His entire life and aspirations hinge on finding the truth and meaning behind the nightmares, violent flashes of visions of a past that he knows nothing about.

He expects to find answers as he journeys to his fatherland but he is totally unprepared for the complications awaiting him in Benin as the reincarnation of Ifagbai, the rejected son of Akukuo Eghosa, the great warrior, who must be reunited with his love from time past, Esohe.

As in the days of Ifagbai and his love Esohe, the same forces have also reincarnated, this time, to frustrate their lo ...

If you have been to the cinemas this week, you must have stumbled on the Esohe flyer at the ticket stand. I on the other hand had a poll on my official Instagram page requesting if my followers will like for me to see the movie and the vote favored a ‘Yes’ so I complied.

Ever wondered why Hollywood and even South African movies have an edge over Nollywood? First, a look at the trailer:

DETAIL! That’s the answer. Our film makers take a lot of little details for granted which makes me wonder if the movies ever go through an editing process or if the film editor always has had too much to drink. I state this first because…

Esohe would have been a brilliant movie if just a tiny bit of attention had been paid to DETAIL.

Synopsis

Gary Barbar, Marine Transportation Management teacher is a troubled man. His entire life and aspirations hinge on finding the truth and meaning behind the nightmares, violent flashes of visions of a past that he knows nothing about.

He expects to find answers as he journeys to his fatherland but he is totally unprepared for the complications awaiting him in Benin as the reincarnation of Ifagbai, the rejected son of Akukuo Eghosa, the great warrior, who must be reunited with his love from time past, Esohe.

As in the days of Ifagbai and his love Esohe, the same forces have also reincarnated, this time, to frustrate their love a second and final time – A story of undying love, unflinching loyalty, deviously woven intrigues and traditions. (Culled from IMDb).

Production of Esohe kicked off in 2017 and most avid Instagram users and followers of celebrity special effects makeup artist, Hakeem Effects would have seen bits of the amazing effects on some of the star actors of the movie like this one on Chris Attoh:

Casting

Esohe was definitely no low budget project production although at various parts in the movie, I doubted this assertion. The cast however proves that creating the movie was no mean feat. The Charles Uwagbai movie featured:

Jimmy Jean Louis
Haitian born renowned actor, Jimmy Jean Louis played Gary Barbar, an American lecturer who returns to Benin Kingdom, Nigeria in search of answers to his constant nightmares and hallucination. We are soon to discover that Gary is the modern day Ifagbai, the rejected son of a feared Benin prince.

Jimmy displayed more facial expressions than dialogue throughout the movie which worked quite well for me. I would have had a nervous breakdown (which is not to say I didn’t not have one but of a lesser magnitude) if he had disappointed me.

Toyin Abraham
The talent on this young woman is beyond words. Toyin played the role of Titilola, a cast off who lives a solitary life in the ‘evil forest’. She discovers the abandoned child, Ifagbai and adopts him as hers.

Desmond Elliot
Guys, the character played by Hon. Desmond Elliot still gives me palpitations that has nothing to do with his skills. You see Elliot played the character, Johnny Payne (pronounced pey-ne) who is some sort of hoodlum that unifies the modern day Ifagbai and Esohe. From the start, I imagined that Johnny was in some sort of competition for the throne and Ifagbai was a stumbling block. My hopes flew out the window when Johnny threatens the modern day priest with revealing a shared secret. I would have you know that the movie ends without us knowing the secret or Johnny’s representation in the movie. The producer really needs to ANSWER this! Dear Charles Uwagbai, what happens at the real end?

Chris Attoh
This dark piece of Ghanaian sexiness (deep breath) played the role of the ancient Ifagbai (termed the demon of the evil forest). Attoh’s role in my opinion was the hardest and by far perfectly executed. Ifagbai is a fierce, speech impaired (murderous), strange looking human who falls in love with the beautiful maiden, Esohe. His feelings makes him throw caution to the wind against the advice of his mother, Titilola. Death becomes inevitable as the Prince and his war lord, Olotu unveil their plans to make his beloved maiden their bride.

Jemima Osunde
The girl of the moment! Jemima played the role of the ancient Esohe and it was excellently played. I first saw Jemima’s skills in My Wife & I and I was taken aback at her feisty-ness. She had her role on lock down same as in our review movie of the week. Her character falls in love with the strange Ifagbai and their love creates the conflict of the movie.

Review

Judging by the story alone, this movie would have earned my 9 points and you would expect no less from ace actor and script writer, Bimbo Manuels who wrote the story however, the movie got off to a greasy start for me.

I did have my expectation that was slammed with the use of an obvious doll to represent the newly born Ifagbai. I almost did not notice but the camera repeatedly focused on the doll wrapped up as a child and that was so off! How hard is it to find a new infant in Nigeria?

Oh dear, this managed to slip the sights of the film editor but I actually saw Titilola (Toyin Abraham)’s brassiere strap. A sight which was never supposed to find its way into an ancient time scene. Still on Tititola, I commend the makeup effects however, how could they have forgotten to get the old Totilola’s hands to corroborate the ‘Old woman’ image? Her face and shoulders looked old but I was surprised that her hands and legs let the cat out of the bag!

Movie progression was great and so was continuity till I was once again bruised with an incomplete ending. I mentioned above. Costuming did slightly below average for me. Those funny drawings in the palace of the Prince were amateurish to say the least and so was the china whites ( African Magic Yoruba has caused me to have a nauseating effect upon seeing that piece of material).

Finally, I commend the nice blend of suspense. You all know I am crazy about suspense. The dramatic plot also did me some good and a quick confession, I cried when Ifagbai was killed. However the story was not entirely straightforward and left me wanting answers which I hope the producer would be kind enough to answer. Join me on social media as we implore him to!

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