- Entertainment and Media
The Many Uninteresting And Shameful Downside of Most Nollywood Movies
In case you don’t know, Nollywood is the Nigerian film industry. It is widely acclaimed as the biggest film industry in the whole of Africa and it is expected to overtake crude oil as the major foreign exchange earner for the most populous African country.
Nollywood could be seen as one of the biggest employers of labor in a country where successive governments have failed to demystify the hard biting effects of unemployment as more and more people continue to turn their attention towards this industry to try their hands on achieving fame, stardom and possibly wealth.
The story of the Nigerian Nollywood cannot be written without mentioning the names of great Nigerian actors and actresses which the industry has brought to limelight. The Pete Edochies, the Patience Ozokwors, the Desmond Elliots, the Kate Henshaws, and the Genevieve Nnajis and many more others whose scintillating acts on the tube have continued to endear to themselves many fans across Africa and beyond…
And the good news is that this great industry is still in the infancy stages and it is expected to continue to grow day by day. Who knows maybe one day, Nollywood may even overtake Hollywood as the world number one film industry…just maybe.
But this piece is not about the highlights of Nollywood. Far from it!
On the contrary, I am going to voice out the numerous disappointments and shortcomings as well as shame that this glorious film industry has continued to represent till date.
Someone once said to me that you can’t say that all Nollywood movies are bad and I totally agree. But the problem with such type of argument is that if you ever take the pains to study the quality of these movies which are being churned out in large numbers on daily basis, I am afraid, on a general consensus, one can easily conclude that Nollywood movies are not worth the time!
Want to know what I am talking about? OK, Let’s take a look.
The Story line
Most of the Nollywood movies we see everyday have the same story line! It is always about love! True love, fake love, stupid love, blind love, impossible love, love me this, love me that, love my foot …damn!
This could be one reason why more Nigerian girls than boys view these Nollywood movies. Maybe because it is talking their language – romance, maybe not but to me it is just one more love story too many…
And the love stories themselves are quite ridiculous. It’s always about a very poor boy/girl getting entrapped in a serious romantic relationship with a very rich girl/boy with the family of the rich boy/girl firmly standing against the impending marriage between the two lovebirds!
Then something bizarre happens along the line and everyone starts realizing that true love always wins…
In the past, these movies used to have occult themes but when the love bug came on, it is like we became stuck for good…? No, for worse because there’s always a love scene that must be coined in somewhere in the story no matter the story line!
Someone even suggested the love themed movies are more real but me, I don’t buy into that type of reality.
Why can’t we have political movies aimed at exposing corruption at high places? Why can’t we have movies that will show the people the long term effect of their political ignorance towards elections and demand for good governance? Why can’t we have inspirational biography movies about our great patriots, leaders and sports heroes? What about making movies that will help address the problems of exam malpractices and many other social ills like prostitution, drug abuse, cultism, human trafficking and abortion? Can’t we make movies that will teach people about how to make genuine money? These things are more real. Must it be love, love and bogus love alone?
Maybe the love scenes are cheaper and easier to recreate after all, all you need for a romantic love relationship to start in most of those movies is for some guy to bump into another girl on a pathway spacious enough for two cars to pass by…and they gaze into each other's eyes and the ball starts rolling, you know the rest, don't you?
Of course, they live happily ever after....
Predictability coupled with too much explanation
Most Nollywood movies are very predictable. You can join in watching the movie at any point and you will still get the whole idea. Ain’t that amazing?!
You don’t even need to guess anything because everything will be explained to you as soon as it happens or even before. If danger is going to happen, you must know because you will hear the sound for sure. If some scandal happens, everyone must shake his or her ‘big’ head. Criminals and thugs must be smoking cigarettes while habiting in some uncompleted building. If someone is going to die, you will know because s/he must be coughing repeatedly before kicking the bucket. As if we all are children…*sighs*
In fact, the array of actors and actress is just enough to tell you how everything will be resolved in the end.
One Nigerian comedian even jokingly suggested that you can even ‘watch’ these movies just by viewing the advertising posters of such movies when they are released because everything that happened in the movies will be shown on the posters in pictures.
I remember those days when we normally forbade someone from telling us the whole story or how a story ended simply because we want to ‘feel’ the magick or surprise by ourselves but that is not so with these Nollywood things because even the soundtracks are there to fill you in…just in case you missed something!
Maybe you like it that way because it’s good for your brain as it doesn’t pose any mental challenge to you but I hate it when movies I rented with my own hard earned money easily send me to sleep!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three…sometimes watch out for Part Four
And you still wonder why there is no quality in these Nollywood movies?
Obviously it is all about the money and the market. At least in the eyes of the producers and the marketers. The reasoning is simple: the more the parts i.e. the sequels, the more the money to be made…and the faster the better!
Stories that are supposed to have ended far back are stretched to the point where there must be a sequel and you start wondering what else is there to talk about but these geniuses we have as film writers and producers will still have a way of springing another surprise to you by coming up with one of those WATCH OUR FOR PART 2 notices and one thing I give them is that they know how to keep to their words…because they will definitely be ready in the next two or three weeks time!
Lack of Creativity and Variety as actors usually don’t diversify
I have said it earlier, once you see the names of the actors and actresses in the movie, you not only have an idea of the storyline, you also know what these artistes are going to be doing.
To me, that is absolute stereotypical. Whatever happened to variety?
Once a movie has Emeka Ike, Jim Iyke, Desmond Elliot and of recent Van Vicker, then be sure you are in for a very long tale of love. If you happen to come across Kanayo O. Kanayo, then the movie would most likely have something to do with the occult and ritual killing. If you want somebody to cry for help or love or just for crying sake, why don’t you give it to Nkiru Sylvanus? Similarly, if you want to see some mischief, hand it over to Aki and Pawpaw!
All these help in bringing out that deplorable predictability I mentioned earlier but it doesn’t stop there. We have people who specialize in acting out wickedness. We even have those who specialize in talking obscenities and stupid stuff of that nature. Gatemen are normally of Hausa origin. There are some known set of boys who always feature either as hired assassins, cultists, thugs or criminals in almost all the movies they appear in!
So then what is the message?
That we cannot have actors and actresses who can diversify and still produce the wanted results? Such a lame reasoning.
Unreal acts and dialogues
Sometimes when I watch foreign movies, I am amazed when I see kids acting as if their parents in those movies are actually their real life parents. You will easily notice that everything comes out natural.
You watch someone like that Jack Bauer in 24 and at some point you start believing the guy is really a spy agent. The way he talks, the way he issues orders, the way his acts come off…that is what I call a real and standard make belief!
Bottom line, you notice that these producers pay attention to details no matter how little or insignificant!
But I can’t say the same thing for most of our Nollywood movies. Sometimes you see a family where the both parents are dark in complexion and their child is a mulatto! African families usually have two or more children but our movies don’t usually reflect this, maybe to save cost because what is not important is not important as long as you get the gist, huh?
You see some children and even some adults mouthing off some lame words and you won’t need a soothsayer to tell you that they are just reading some script and they are not even doing it well. Someone is shot and is supposed to be bleeding but the blood just won’t flow. Don’t even get me started with the type of guns I see in these movies together with those wonderful gunshot sounds too…
The children hardly act as if they are with their real parents or relations probably because they just met yesterday prior to the start of the shootings…
Do I need to talk about the sex too? The simulation of sex in most Nollywood movies will make even a misery laugh. You just get to see the two funny characters share a very brief misplaced kiss, and then they go under the sheets, and then something like a humping occurs in the partial darkness and then the camera rolls over to show you where they dropped their clothing and that’s that. If you don’t like, you know what to do. And believe me, I don’t like it…Hahaha!
And the worst is those scenes towards the end where the priests, Pastors or Men or God will pray and great miracles like someone receiving his lost eyesight back or something of that nature will take place, or maybe someone will confess his or her wrongdoings before repenting or dying. All these, just to show the triumph of good over evil!
Everything…almost everything is so unreal!
And you still believe we are going to overtake Hollywood…one day…maybe if you can keep it up like that, huh?
Please don’t make me laugh.
Lack of technology
Someone once mentioned that the reason why Nollywood movies are love-oriented is because we don’t have the technology to produce hi-tech movies.
I don’t know if this is true or false but one thing I know is that our movies tend to lack some technological touches that would have gone a long way in making them more acceptable in our today’s technologically oriented world.
Our film tricks or special effects are still laughable. So also are the slow motion effects. Our movies hardly touch on current fads like the internet, facebook, youth culture, music, sports, writing and suchlike. In fact, I have never seen any Nigerian movie where the scenes are filmed inside an airplane!
It is that bad!
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I am complaining because I know that will surely make someone to tell me to go make my own movie if I don’t like the status quo. Not that I am not already thinking along that line because I am doing something about it already but it will surely take some time. I am just doing this with the hope that some necessary changes could be made so that we can really start having the type of great movies that we really want...today!