Saturday, 8 November 2014

30 days in Atlanta review

hype that followed the release of the movie, 30 Days in Atlanta, can get a non-movie lover to go and see the film. Even before the release, it was put in for awards and it indeed won won four awards at the just concluded Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA) in Houston, Texas, USA. It had won Best Comedy at the Best of Nollywood awards a week earlier.

The film started in a crowded room where Majid Michael, an MC of an event, announced that Akpos (Ayo Makun, AY), the star of the movie had just won a trip to the United States. He was to bring along someone and he decided to go with his childhood friend and flatmate (Richard) played by Ramsey Nouah. They were to spend 30 days all-expense paid vacation in the United States. The movie moved on to their preparations for the trip. In other to speak with their loved ones while in America, they sent a laptop equipped with Skype to the village, a decision that would complicate matters in the future.

Their arrival scenes are unbelievably well done. The shots were clean and they had access to a large part of the airport. That is the first time a Nigerian movie has such an access in an American airport. From their arrival, they were given a house to live in and they later went to hire a car. All the shots were well taken and it will give viewers a rich viewing experience.

However, their arrival in the United States was followed by skits that were more of cliché. They were stereotypical stories of an illiterate arriving in a foreign land hence misbehaving; like when Akpos met a woman with a stubborn crying child, he stepped forward and warned the child that he would beat her if she was in Nigeria, or going to a bar and ordering for ogogoro, or meeting a friend who was doing an odd job in America but was believed at home to be in oil and gas business. It all looks like Osuofia in London is remade. But it is far better than Kingsley Ogoro’s effort. The skits are hilarious.

After the skits, a proper story starts to emerge. It turns out that the movie is a tale of love and disappointments. While Ramsey Nouah fell in love with a beautiful half Nigerian lady, AY was drawn to an older woman played by award winning American actress, Lynn Whitfield. Series of events led to AY being jailed for brandishing a broken bottle and both of them lost their women for other reasons. Love, however, found a way at the end.

The movie is probably the best Nigerian film made abroad. They spared no expense in props and location. They used a proper jailhouse, a proper courthouse, and a lot of other locations that would cost a lot of money and series of permissions to get.

The casting was on point as well. However, it would take some time to understand the synergy between the two major actors. AY was the funny one while Nouah was the serious one. You would ask yourself; how can two opposite characters be friends in the first place? But it worked. It also had top-notch actors on parade. Rachael Oniga, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Desmond Elliot, and award winning American actress, Vivica Fox.

The diva said about 30 Days in Atlanta: “It was fun for me to play a character that is kind of bossy. And the comedy was just fun. I think Lydia has put a spell on Wilson AY played by Akpos. He is hilarious. He makes me laugh. He’s got excellent comedic timing and I definitely hope that America gets to see the film because he’s got a bright future in front of him. I’ll love to work with him again.”

Technically, the film was well done though there were some glitches here and there. For example, the audio was not good in the scenes where they went to visit their uncle, Wilson, who has a domineering wife. However, the rest of the movie was hitch-free. All the magic was put together by Director, Robert Peters.

On the whole, it is clear that a lot of money went into the production, and AY, the producer might not recover all he has spent, but he has sent a strong message with this effort that a good quality comedy film can be made.

There is consolation for him though; he kissed Lynn Whitfield in the movie. It won’t be a surprise to see this film win at major awards like AMAA and AMVCA. This is another major milestone for AY.

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