This is the first of Kannywoodscene’s discussion of some events, movies and performance of actors in 2013. This article focuses on the movies. We present you two categories here: the first is our selection of the best five movies of 2013, the second is our selection of the top five movies that didn’t live up to expectation.
Five Best Movies
LAMIRAJ: Making a decent movie is easy and safe. Making one people will cherish for the rest of their lives involves a risk and willingness to treat them as more than just less intelligent vessels. In an attempt to solve multi-dimensional problems of the world, science evolves technologies. While science operates in material realm, Islam operates in spiritual realm. Hence, those evolved technologies seldom clash with islamic principles. Moving away from overly simple stories found sensible by kids who can count their ages in one finger, LAMIRAJ brings an islamic review of one of those technological practice- Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART): Islam safeguards the lineage and keeps the family unambiguously defined without any foreign element entering it.Starring Ali Nuhu, Nafisat Abdullahi, Rahama Hassan, written by Yakubu M Kumo and directed by Aminu Saira, Lamiraj takes an adult themes- including fate, identity, motherhood- and makes them accessible without lessening their impact. LAMIRAJ works, and even if it doesn’t, it deserves an extra star for trying some no any other movie has ever tried, let alone pulled off.
WANI GARI:Written by Yakubu M Kumo, directed by Yaseen Auwal, WANI GARI is the first kannywood movie to utilise and explore its village settings since Tsangaya. It features many characters, each of which is marvellously distinct and well-crafted. Each of them has his own style, tone and character design but at no any time do any of them clash or fight one another- instead they all come playfully and make for great moments. Its swearing to authenticity allows it to send its narratives to fantastic heights without seeming phony. There is never a dull moment in WANI GARI especially when Sadiq Sani Sadiq is on screen, and he is on screen a lot. It takes each joke, each moment and builds on it to push its story and characters further. That it addresses the whole topic of inheritance and that it may also teach children, and perhaps remind grown-ups what it truly means to be honest, honourable, loyal and fair is a bonus in its sweetly laid-back way.
NI DAKE MUN DACE: For all his technical wizardly, what always made Ali Nuhu a successful director was the human element- he knows how to tell us about people, capable performance makes his job easy in NI DAKE MUN DACE. One of the things that makes NI DAKE MUN DACE is its wonderful character development. Not only are those characters beautifully illustrated with depth and personality, NI DAKE MUN DACE utilises them to their greatest extent, not only fitting them into the larger story seamlessly, but also provides each one with full arc to play with. With infinite warmth toward its characters, whip-smart humor and plea for human compassion, NI DAKE MUN DACE is complemented by a top notch production value. It’s so attuned to the way modern audience watch genre films that there are times when it seems to anticipate our objections and tease them out so that it can answer it later, to our satisfaction(when a moment feels a bit off, there’s reason for its off-ness). The film tweaks all the subplot it had begun and wraps is up rather neatly.
MAKAHON GIDA: MAKAHON GIDA is not only a tense, impeccably acted drama but also fulfils core value of Hausa filmmaking that’s practically forgotten. It shows how man, even the most complete of men is ambushed by one of the traps of the Shaytan and projects the necessity of following Shari’ah ahead of societal convention for Islam, it is a blueprint of societal balance. one of its characteristic being that it never for an instant, forgets the nature of man, or the limits of his capability. MAKAHON GIDA leaves the daring to the plot itself and allows the precision of the story be what blows you away. The most impressive thing about the film is that its characters are relatable, human and easy accessible and not biased. It seals the three stories it brings nicely but takes the viewer on a roller-coaster of emotional ride before arriving at those endings. It is certainly among Aminu Saira’s best works- he mixes tones brilliantly and is able to orchestrate emotions with soft and jagged camera movement. Doing it in a wrong way could result to something insensitive, foolish and overdone but Aminu Saira is too good at filmmaking to let that happen.
DA KISHIYAR GIDA: the film may be a bit thin in places but it gets better performance. Like any Mai Kwai Movie, you always get the feeling that there is some real investment in this movie. It utilises its feminine talent by approaching comedy with woman’s sensibility. Carrying the movie is exactly what Aina’u Ade does, her talent is undeniable. She shines in a role that is equal parts comedy and drama, in a movie that hits all the right notes to be exactly the kind of story I’d like to hope women are waiting for.
Top five movies that didn’t live up to expectation
BAKIN ZINARE: It’s hard to dismiss a movie in which multiple verses are quoted. Yes! BAKIN ZINARE has millions of ideas and it tries to do all of it at once, yet it couldn’t have teased out a coherent plot or relatable characters to go along with it. Imran S.I Ashir may be the only director on earth who thinks that many disparate plot elements should be in a single movie, but he is definitely not capable of making sense of them. It not only forgets to be cinematic by infusing any entertainment value, but the way the tension, the chaos and the crowd are depicted is terrible as its sloppy cinematography is roughly slammed together to create one incoherent scene after another. Despite the way it didn’t connect, you are sure to forgive it. BAKIN ZINARE is a kind of work that deserves some applause, the kind of filmmaking that teeters right on the edge of being revolutionary.
ZURIA: ZURI’A has technical exuberance of all films in FKD catalogue but there’s just a big “something is missing” written all over it. There is just one scene in ZURI’A that has any emotional traction and that can be a bad news for the professed tearjearker. The key issue with the movie is Zainab Indomie, not only her character is uninspiring, bit wobbly with inconsistencies, culturally drawn out(fashion designer) but also that she can’t pack any real punch into the character of career-minded girl who must prepare herself to play mother against all odds. Saddled with a screenplay that simply doesn’t provide the instant invigoration of the original film, ZURIA would have worked a lot better if it replaced those awful dialogues with something less tin-eared.
MATAR HAMZA: Matar Hamza relies too often on stock characters and easy story complication to follow through anything that is different. Some strange coincidence- and some sloppy screenwriting shortcut- bring Ali Nuhu and Fati Ladan and without knowing who, what and where of their situation, we stumble into the big, wild world. What is most shocking is the director’s apparent lack of command over the story that sprawls in various directions without saying much. This is Aminu Saira- could he not see that he lacked a firm grip on his film’s narrative? May be it is coupled by the camera that often feels too stagnant, Fati Ladan that seems too bland and sugary, the bizarre editing or the script which needed more passes to streamline and solidify a more compelling one-act structure. The film’s climax, which includes one twist you definitely saw coming- that she was going to let him believe she was cheating on him, now didn’t she? Bery of stars and few moral lessons guaranteeing you won’t feel a bit different than you did when walking into it.
OGA ABUJA: OGA ABUJA is too good to be disappointing. It settles for so much less than it could be, and in doing so, cheats its characters, its audience and its credibility. It stars an array of talented actors like Ali Nuhu, Ibro, John Okafor,etc, unfortunately the script squanders their talents and gives them little opportunity to inject much of their own personality. Their characters are running empty and there is nothing any of these talented people could have done to save them. The director is incapable of getting his point across through the story and so he simply throws a bunch of images and speeches on screen and then resort to incessant narration to connect them. OGA ABUJA doesn’t stop for breathes or pause to consider the physics of its stunts. It just goes and goes and goes blending word gag, sight gag, physical comedy and strange accent until the final credits role.
NAS: There is something appealing about watching a movie you don’t have to use any brain power to get something out of it. The problem with NAS is that it can’t live up to its bottom expectation. Let me just write it off to simply theatrical stupidity and move on with my day
Written by: Anas Abdullahi