My mother would always say if I put half the energy in watching movies into getting my life together it would have been better. And she is probably right but I cannot help myself. Movies are just everything to me. I am comfortable just living all of eternity holed up somewhere watching movies.
I remember in my junior secondary school when our teacher had asked if anyone in the class had seen the film Roots and it turned out that I was the only one in the entire class that had seen it. I think it was the first movie I saw on DVD back when DVDs started gaining popularity in Nigeria. I had already seen countless foreign and Nigerian movies to the extent that during the holidays I would go home, repackage the ones I had seen, and then bring it back to school to sell.
In the early 2000’s when I first started showing interest in Nigeria cinema, my brothers and I would join our mother in watching Nigerian movies, and soon enough we started going to the video stores to rent movies. Films like State of emergency, Egg of life, A million tears, Vuga made me fall in love with Nigerian cinema. They resonated with our society and culture.
So it breaks my heart when I see the Nigerian film industry that has evolved, settling for mediocre stories and bogus plots with no character depth and bad dialogues when they could do so much more. Especially with our top notch cinematography now, this seems to be the only thing that has evolved rather than decline. I do not know if the movie directors depend on the cinematography to make up for the lack of quality of these movies. Last year I remember seeing this particular movie (I can’t remember the name) where this woman was trying to find her identity outside of being a mother and a wife. The plot was a great one but character development ruined it. I could not find ways to relate to the character no matter how hard I tried which ultimately spoiled the experience for me; it could have been made into a silent movie and it would make no difference. Most Nigerian films do absolutely nothing for character development. The films are hinged on the plot to see it through.
There are a lot of stories to be told in the average Nigerian scene but, no, it’s misguided action movies with bogus plots that are better. The idea of movies is to portray reality through acting. I want to forget I’m seeing a movie. I want to see this actor somewhere and hate this person so much because of how well they brought their scene to life and then I remember it’s all just acting, however paradoxical the analogy is. But not Nigerian movies. They only make me painfully aware that I’m seeing a movie.
This article was written by Okoh Melissa Chiamaka; connect with her on Instagram via here