Like you probably know , I love watching movies. I go to the cinemas to catch the latest flick when I can. I’m not the most up to date person on the planet but I really love the movies. Unlike some too I’m also a very proud supporter of Nollywood. This means that I’ve also seen a few of those in the theatres. Like I said I believe in supporting the industry and I do what I can.
Some years back a friend proudly boasted that he didn’t watch home videos…been a while since I heard or used that term! Straight away I applauded him with some sarcasm. I understood why and could sympathise with him because the acting, story lines, plot, music etc was certainly not Hollywood standard. My philosophy though was that progress was taking place, maybe not as fast as we’d like but it was happening and we shouldn’t throw away the baby with the bathwater. We ultimately agreed to disagree.
Nollywood has made tremendous progress and we continue to witness it through the transition in quality i.e. the stories, acting, directing, equipment and training too. The ‘home video’ culture has upped its game and given fans, supporters and industry players more reason to stay focused and invested. This piece is about the movie premiere I attended on Sunday and not the analysis of recent developments in the Nigerian movie industry. So I’ll get on with it…
A friend asked me if I was interested in a movie and before I even asked her which one I’d already jumped at the offer. It’s always great to be one of the first to see something before every other person does right? So I discovered it was a film titled Alan Poza directed by Charles Novia. It was when I saw the venue that I realised that the cinema in Surulere had finally opened to the public.
Thankfully when I arrived at the venue I saw some familiar faces and marked time by chatting, catching up and generally watching those on the red carpet. This was pretty interesting because I got to see some Nollywood pioneers up close! The likes of Emeka Ossai, Norbert Young, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Gloria Young etc. I also saw other celebs too sprinkled in the crowd some from the popular sitcom Tinsel, artistes and other industry players.
All in all, I walked among the stars and even got to chat with some. Interestingly, they maintained low profiles and if you weren’t familiar with any of their shows they could easily be just another ‘familiar’ face in the crowd. Another thing that impressed me was the fact that we actually kept to time! There was no ‘African’ or ‘fashionable’ time, just a simple courtesy of keeping to schedule.
I wound up behind Norbert and Gloria Young and Bob-Manuel Udokwu. We chatted some before the movie started and if I wasn’t already a fan, I became one that night. If I wasn’t already content with my life I was certainly grateful for not living in the limelight because during my short interaction with them I realised that the life of a star is a delicate balancing act that requires more energy than I have for possible scenarios.
You’re wondering if I’ll even say anything about the film that made all the above possible. All I’ll say is that you’ll certainly find many instances to laugh before it ends…after all it’s a romantic comedy! Exasperation, irritation and a few surprises also lurk along the way. O.C. Ukeje was the fine boy-no-pimples ladies man with his besto Okey Uzoeshi winning and breaking hearts all over town. Beverly Naya, Lala Akindoju and Norbert Young certainly spiced up the story.
There are some parts you’ll wonder what the writer was thinking (think rolling of eyes moments) and how it still made it to the final cut but these certainly don’t detract from the overall enjoyment. I had enormous fun watching this movie and believe that those that go to the cinemas to watch it will too. No, I wasn’t paid to endorse neither am I a film critic, just someone sharing my night of laughter with the stars.