Date Night Movie Review - Nollywood Movies


I started the Date Night Movie Review series because I wanted to document some memorable movies, and celebrate doing things with your partner. Nollywood Reinvented pointed out a couple of weeks ago that we were neglecting Nollywood movies, and that was true. See, I like Nollywood Movies, but I know the ones I like, I just don't watch because I'm supposed to be patriotic or something.

I don't think I can be a Nollywood movie reviewer, I just don't have the patience. I watch for enjoyment, and maybe to learn something or two, either about storytelling, or simply about life. After all, movies are supposed to be a reflection of society, and writer/directors are auteurs meant to draw lessons through their stories. I applaud people like NollywoodReinvented who take the bullet so we can avoid the worst of the lot.

Other than review blogs like her's, my biggest criteria to choosing a Nollywood movie to watch - just like a Hollywood movie actually - are directors, story/screenplay writers, the trailer, and of course, the actors. It is almost a given that an actor like Denzel Washington, or Genevieve, or Omotola, at this stage of their careers, would not be found in low quality movies. I know I may miss some good movies that way, which is where selecting movies by certain directors comes in.


That is not to say one won't find a shaky movie by an A-list actor or a tried, tested and trusted director, but the probability is less that just picking up any movie DVD out of Nigeria. I find that the artistic vision of a talented director can sometimes make one see a story in a movie, that you wouldn't see otherwise. And that is why I mostly watch movies by certain directors.

Leila Djansi is one of such directors, Midred Okwo, Izu Ojukwu, Emem Isong, Obi Emelonye, Shirley Frimpong, and Kunle Afolayan are others. They are the new Nollywood and I am happy and hopeful as new directors join their ranks. Having seen Ije recently, I can comfortably add Chineze Anyaene to the list. Charles Novia used to do a great job but I don't think he's working anymore. Tunde Kelani is still there doing his thing too.

Of course, these directors are ambitious, and they want to show their movies in cinemas and in film festivals. And because they work in Nigeria, it means that living outside the country, it is harder to access their films. But I do want them to make money so I try as much as possible to find legal means of watching those movies, even if it means waiting a couple of years or more to see them.

While I was a poor student in the UK, and for a while after I arrived here in the states, I used to patronise Online Nigeria and Buni-Buni, among others. However, since I started producing and trying to market my own content, I realize that I should pay for it, if I can. I only have to be more discriminatory. I now have a subscription to IrokoTV+, I watch on Youtube if it is a full clip and I think the channel has an agreement with the filmmakers. I also watch the few that are on Amazon and Netflix.

Anyway, I am writing all this to say I'll be posting some reviews of Nollywood movies in the coming weeks among the usual Hollywood cinema fare (BTW, wouldn't it be cool to have Nollywood on the big screens here?). Some I'll do alone, and others will also have Atala's point of view. Because I take care in choosing the ones I watch, and even more care in the ones I invite Atala to watch, the reviews will more likely be positive.

But where I'm pissed, like in Mr. and Mrs, I'll also let you guys know. I hope the producers don't have my head. I see them on the review blogs, and the writer/director even paid me a visit when I blogged about Married but Living Single.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and see you soon.

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