Sunday, 14 August 2016

KUMBAYA, THE MUSICAL DRAMA FILM; AN EFFORT TO BE PRAISED AND NOT THROWN AWAY...

I took my tired looking self after a long day at a workshop to the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos to watch an highly anticipated drama film, Kumbaya (Come by home). I arrived quite early even when I know premieres do not start on time in Lagos but gradually, lots of invited guests arrived the venue including majority of the casts...Ok!..Let me fast forward!...

I would pat the producer on the back for coming this far because I know how challenging it is producing such in present day Nigeria but he must be ready to learn from his errors..avoidable errors and be better at his next project. Let me say that this is not a movie to be trashed but praised. Kumbaya opened with a beautiful montage...I loved every night scene I saw even though some of them were shot against untidy backgrounds. Let me jump right into the acting...Singer and songwriter, Essence, blew me off my seat...she simply proved that she is a worthy graduate of Theatre Art. I loved her deliveries, mannerisms and body language...I know the director must have pushed her to the limits against her comfort zone because majority laughed while watching most of her scenes.

We cannot push aside Aaron Sunday who simply proved he has a stake in Nollywood by a classic delivery of a 'bad boy' without being excessive or arrogant...simply cool and sexy. We did not see much of Lanre Hassan(Iya Awero) and neither did I feel a lot from Bayray Mcwizu. Ronke 'Oshodi Oke' Ojo also gave some humorous delivery of her role..Would I say It is more of a comic relief as described by some people, I do not know but the intrigued nature of the story line was empty. It was present but flat. This is a musical and our emotions should have been heightened by the circumstances surrounding the major character which is Alex. By the way, her acting shows she is a fresher but her vocal strength is beautiful.
I love the fact that the scenes were not too long except for some situations where Linda (Essence) was frying plantain with her son and Alex in the kitchen...that got awkward for me at a point and I told someone, I hope some rushes were not forgotten in this scene because it went on for too long and then a scene that seemed more like a musical video...Yes It is musical in nature but that was simply too long with no images relating to what the character wants us to feel in his song. I enjoyed most of the acting because they came out natural except for Alex's father who seemed like the scripts was placed right before him as a guide.

You will laugh watching Kumbaya but would you be gripped emotionally? I would say No. This is where the lighting mood, music mood, extreme close ups should have played out well..What was the major soundtrack...? Yea..I am asking myself just now because I do not know...This is a musical right...? The producer must sit down and check his errors so as to avoid a future recurrence and please do not use a director for such a sensitive role because he might lose the creativity in interpreting the story while dealing with his own lines...more so, he is not a professional actor.
Most of the costumes came out beautiful and make up too was calm and subtle but always do something to avoid excessive sweat while shooting except if it is needed as part of the interpretation. My classic high points in Kumbaya include Linda's mess when she came home drunk with Alex. Alex coming out to sing in place of Linda at the club, when Linda dropped a glass cup in her house; you might not be sure what she saw...the crazy relationship of Alex and her supposed boyfriend...the two men in the convenience getting acquainted and Mrs Coker's interaction with Linda's neighbor.

I would avoid giving a score but this is commendable but It can be better. I was concerned about the audio quality...something must be done about that too...the truth is when it comes to making a movie, everything must be right and being right does not have to equate to a billion dollar....the right people, the right steps must be taken...Talk may be cheap saying all of these but am sure the producer must have been getting more heats than this right now because some people have already trashed this.

Congratulations to everyone who was part of this project on or off the camera...If you believe the producer has much more to offer the industry, give him more pat and opportunity to grow in terms of support systems and am sure his next project will be better because you simply have to get it right each time you launch something new.