Monday, May 11, 2015

Movie Review: October 1

I have never seen a Nigerian movie before. Nor do I know about Nigeria a lot. The movie is primarily in English with two or more local languages. October 1st is the day in which Nigeria obtained independence from the British Empire. The story unfolds in the time span of 30 days preceding the independence day in 1960 and tries to showcase several factors associated with Nigerian psyche during the time. Was Nigeria ready for independence? Will Nigeria able to forget the scars of colonialism? Will Nigeria stay united despite having a lot of religious and tribal diversity? In order to tell this story, the director Kunle Afolayan create a miniature replica in the remote town of Akote. The town has already witnessed the murder of two young women, and the killer is on the loose. The authorities entrust Inspector Danladi Waziri to catch the killer. Danladi has a deadline of October 1 to finish his job.

Unfortunately, I have no measuring stick for Kunle Afolayan's work for this is the first movie I am seeing which is coming out of Nigeria. The plot and the screenplay are slow but keep you interested in the proceeding. The sound design is different from regular movies. When the lead characters talk, their conversation is amplified. Even when an actor in this film speaks English, their voice goes a notch up the decibel level. When this style of talking is combined with the sound design that amplifies the speech, the conversations are heavy on your ears. If you discount the factor of loud conversations by design, the movie subtly touches upon the problems that Nigeria will have to face once independent. They may still be facing some of the issues. 

I have never seen the actors in this movie before. The lead role of Danladi Waziri is played by Sadiq Daba. Sadiq plays an investigator who can be a chameleon. He can listen well. He can flatter you. He can threaten you. All these faces of Danladi is safe with Sadiq. Danladi is adamant in finding the truth. He is not a torn man but a determined one. He is ridiculed for his convictions, but he is never wrong. Sadiq is not the usual choice for the role. He is a thin, wiry man. But the part is safe with him thereby proving you don't need physique to play a role.

This movie is not anywhere near violent as most of the thrillers these days. But it still is a disturbing movie and a good watch.

Language: English

Genre: Thriller

Rating: ***

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