By Pelumi King
Nigerian movies particularly the local Nigerian movies have always been substandard so far. Some of them have been severely criticised and made a butt of jokes from so far. Some even, because of these various substandard movies, branded the Nollywood industry as a movie of quantity not quality. At a point, it seemed that the Nollywood producers and distributors were only focused on bringing out contents, not minding their quality. There were lot of plot holes, movie errors, impossible movie tricks, bad graphics, bad plotlines and incredibly bad acting and directing, bad editing even bad producing in movies before the advent of elite Nigerian movies like Wedding party, Living in bondage etc.
This made many Nigerians abandon Nigerian movies for international movies like the Korean movies, Hollywood movies, Philippian movies even Bollywood movies. The lack of quality in the storytelling, appropriate plot lines and the likes made them abandon Nigerian movies. It got to a point that anyone who admitted openly that to watching Nollywood movies is ridiculed by his or her friends who would see him/her as local. People turned the errors made in continuity or other areas to movie skits or funny videos in order to poke fun at the ridicule that the Nigerian movie was slowly turning into.
It is also worthy to note that a few old time Nigerian movies were completely distinct most notably Tunde Kelani movies and Wale Adenuga movies which were top notch. Some movies which introduced big Nollywood movie stars like Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Kehinde Jakande, Funke Akindele, Kanayo o Kanayo, Emeka Ike to name a few were also top notch. It is also very movies that indigenous movies most notably indigenous movies in the Yourba language. However, the quality dropped when there were various repetitions of storylines in movies that is the same storyline done in different ways which ultimately ends up in the movies having the same or similar ending. A storyline that was hugely successful would be copied, replicated and improved on by other writers. This affected the quality of the Nigerian movies because it showed that Nollywood lacked ideas or new ideas.
The dearth of the Nigerian movie inspired some writers and producers to write unique story lines and produce quality Nigerian movies. Writers/Producers/ like Kemi Adetiba, Mo Abudu, Ramsey Nouah, A.Y, Charles Okpaleke to name a few.
Kemi Adetiba and Mo Abudu began the revolution and rebranding with Wedding Party. Wedding Party was a movie that perfectly described the arduousness of the planning of a Nigerian wedding party especially a wedding that involved two different tribes. It described the planning itself, the stress the married couple, friends and their parents go through, the stress the wedding planners and those involving with planning the event go through while also showing the comic side to the whole scenario.
It also pictured the affairs of the family of the couples and how they had handled it in order to make sure the wedding of one of their family members is successful. It also showed the sacrifices parents, friends, siblings of the family make for the couple involved. Wedding party 2 was not really different to part 1. They upped the stakes by moving it from an inter-tribal marriage to an inter-continental one. It involved a Nigerian man (Dozie) getting married to a white woman. It was also comical in its own right.
Few years after, Kemi Adetiba came up with King of Boys. King of boys took the Nigerian movie industry by storm when it was released in 2018. It was more than the Nigerian standard. The lighting, sounds, effects, plot, setting, story was perfectly done. Judging from the Nigerian movies point of view, it was a massive improvement. King of Boys is still the highest Nigerian grossing movie till date. King of Boys 1 reveals the nitty gritty of the “underworld criminal life” in Nigeria. It was a well written unique movie with nice lighting, plot and storyline was perfecting and relative. The casting was also perfectly done as the actors and actresses chosen for the role fit into the characters perfectly. They brought the characters into life. King of Boys received a lot of plaudits both home and abroad. The success and the positive reviews the film got made Netflix adapt the movie to turn into a series. The series; Return of the King came out not too long ago and was also a major success. It showed the development of major characters like Eniola Salami, Ade love, Makanaki, Akin Lewis, It also introduced new characters like Jumoke Randle, Odudubariba, Dapo Banjo, Tunde Randle, Sade Bello, Reverend Ifeanyi, Mr Mogaji to name a few. The sequel is also receiving plaudits and positive reviews from movie critics and fans alike.
Living in bondage, Sugar rush, New Money, Chief Daddy, Quams money, Lionsheart Omo Ghetto the saga etc. are movies that showed that Nigerian movies have improved in quality. Living in Bondage garnered several awards when it was released. It won about 4 awards in the African movies viewers choice awards (AMVCA).
Sugar rush was also a complete and humourous movie. It had all it needed to be blockbuster and it became a blockbuster; beautiful story line, wonderful plot, comical relief, plot twists, good casting etc. Sugar rush also did very well in the Nigerian box office. It is another very very good Nigerian movie. It has also received many positive reviews since its release. The movie was directed by Kayode Kasum and produced by Jade Osiberu and Abimbola Craig. Bunmi Ajakaiye and Jade Osinberu wrote the interesting movie called Sugar Rush. Adesua Etomi, Bisola Aiyeola, Bimbo Ademoye, Williams Uchemba etc. starred in the movie.
Quams money is a follow-up to New Money. It was well scripted, directed and produced. It had a lot of plot twists and also filled with suspense.
Lionheart also is another movie that showed how Nollywood has grown. It talks about a Female CEO struggle to balance her father’s transportation business. It showed the challenges a female CEO faces in the transportation business largely dominated by male CEOs. It also showed that it was possible that of a igbo person getting married to an Hausa person despite the bad blood that exists between then. Lionheart became the first Nigerian movie on Netflix when it was released. It also became the first Nigerian movie to be nominated for an Oscar as it was the first Nigeria entry for the Best international Feature film. Genevieve Nnaji spearheaded this movie. She also directed the movie. The movie was produced by Chinny Onwugbenu. It also garnered from very positive reviews from critics and fans alike
Nollywood has witnessed incredible growth in recent years. Producers, actors, writers and directors are now waking up and stepping up to the task. If the improvements continue and remains consistent, Nollywood would become one of the best in the world in quality…